The Harmony project has just announced a mainnet upgrade that makes it the first blockchain in the world to successfully combine sharding and the proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm. The launch has been backed by project partners Binance, Huobi and BitMax as well as professional validators Blockdaemon, Stake.fish and Figment Networks.
In 2018 the combination of PoS and sharding became the most promising solution for blockchain scaling. Projects such as Ethereum 2.0, Near Protocol and Harmony adopted this approach to increase performance, speed up transactions and reduce costs while maintaining decentralization.
However, 2 years later no project has been able to implement sharding in the PoS algorithm, Harmony being the only exception. From now on, transactions on the Harmony blockchain are confirmed in just 8 seconds and are a lot cheaper than in other blockchains. Thus, the cost of a transaction on this network is only $0.000001. Sharding allows such progress without compromising decentralization. At the moment the network counts on 320 public nodes, however, this number is expected to grow to 1,000 by the end of the year. Harmony CEO Stephen Tse said:
"Now that we're equipped with a battle-tested base layer, we will shift gears to pursue adoption with the same nonstop execution that enabled us to launch the first sharded PoS blockchain. Our scalability, speed and cost will enable use cases and user experiences that no other blockchain before us could."
It is worth mentioning the launch has been supported by partners, exchanges and validators, including Blockdaemon, Stake.fish, Staked.us, Wetez, Sesame Seed, Everstake and InfStones. Binance, BitMax and Kucoin will give support to Harmony staking on their platforms.
Now that the core protocol work is completed, Harmony will focus on solving the even more difficult challenge of adoption. However, Harmony's support for the Ethereum Virtual Machine allows developers from the ETH ecosystem to test the mainnet, which in turn will help to boost its adoption.
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