Understanding Chunk in NEAR Protocol
Sharding is a mechanism employed by NEAR to horizontally scale the system by dividing the blockchain state into non-overlapping chunks.
Each chunk is managed by a group of validators who collectively handle the storage and computational resources required to process transactions associated with that specific chunk.
A Chunk serves two primary purposes:
- State Storage: Chunks maintain a historical record of states and provide indexing and querying services on top of this data.
- Execution: Chunks execute transactions using the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and maintain a transaction history, including successful and failed transactions.
Open Proof of Stake and Sharding for Scalability
One notable characteristic of this system is that anyone can participate as a validator, which is why it is called “open Proof of Stake.”
This ensures an open and permissionless network while maintaining security.
NEAR employs sharding to scale the network, increasing its speed as more users join it.
Unlike some other systems, NEAR was designed with sharding in mind from the beginning and has integrated it into the core protocol.
Decentralized Cloud Computing
The network is maintained by validators and stake-weighted community members who receive compensation through NEAR tokens for their contributions.
The NEAR Protocol offers three key pillars for developers to create highly scalable applications:
- Scalability: Developers can scale their applications to meet demand by leveraging state sharding. The same machine-learning model can be used across different shards, reducing the cost of scaling.
- Compute Resources: Developers can access compute resources like CPU and RAM to run their applications through the protocol.
- NEAR Tokens: Users transact on the platform using NEAR tokens, which enable interaction with services and applications built on top of the protocol.