what means 'sharding'?

Sharding is a new way of validating and storing data of the Ethereum. It means that not all nodes will validate and store data but rather just a small subset will perform these functions. Sharding is the process of dividing big pieces of data into smaller subsets. Ethereum is one of many cryptocurrencies using sharing concepts. 

Why is 'sharding ' helpful?

Sharding result in better scalability and enhanced transaction speed. The idea  is based on two assumptions:

  1. Management of big data is more costly because it requires high-performance computers. The assumption goes as far that costs increase exponentially with big data sets.
  2. While transactions per unit rise linearly, response time for querying data is rising exponentially. 
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