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Nischal Shetty And Omar Syed Launch Blockchain Venture — Shardeum

Startup modelled after OCC principles – Open, Collaborative and Community-driven

Alphanet launch likely by April this year, followed by its betanet launch by Q3 of 2022. Mainnet likely by end of Q4 of 2022.

Shardeum to also unveil a native utility token called SHARD ($SHM) for running DApps and P2P transactions.

Amidst an ongoing crypto boom in the country, Binance-owned crypto exchange WazirX cofounder and CEO Nischal Shetty has joined hands with US-based blockchain architect Omar Syed to launch a new Layer-1 blockchain called Shardeum.

The duo today unveiled Shardeum – an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible sharded blockchain with ‘infinite’ scalability, high decentralisation and increased security.

The project’s alphanet launch is expected by April of 2022, followed by its betanet launch likely by Q3 of 2022. The mainnet will likely be launched by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.

Shardeum Aims To Solve The Scalability And Gas Fee Issues 

Despite its popularity, Ethereum has been infamous for its low scalability and high gas fee issues. One of the key reasons behind the launch of projects like Polygon, a sidechain that reduces gas fees drastically while increases scalability manifolds.

While Ethereum upgrades are underway to solve most of the existing issues, Shetty’s Shardeum aims to solve not only the existing shortcomings of L1 blockchains such as Ethereum including low scalability, high fees and low throughput, but the venture aims to add on many other features too. The new venture will utilise sharding architecture to accommodate billions of daily active users, allowing for global-scale decentralized applications. 

While cofounder Syed has been working on the project for the last two years, the team is working on a novel technology that aims to incorporate sharding and auto-scaling to to provide high throughput, low latency, all while maintaining high levels of decentralization and security.

The startup says that it will be modelled on OCC principles – Open, Collaborative and Community-driven. Under this, all users on the platform will have access to discussions and information regarding the project. 

Shardeum cofounder Nischal Shetty said, “Blockchain scalability is one of the biggest barriers  to crypto adoption. Existing infrastructure is slow and expensive. With Shardeum, our goal is to provide the world with a sharded, infinitely scalable blockchain while ensuring true  decentralization. We are building a crypto infrastructure that can support over a billion people. We will be focused on making it cheaper and faster with every release. With Shardeum, decentralization will be affordable for everyone.”

The startups will also unveil a native utility token called SHARD ($SHM). This token will be available for use on the platform for running transactions on the network, incentivising validators, running DApps, among others.

Shardeum has set its eyes on the emerging markets with the startup targeting a user base in countries like India, Brazil and Nigeria.

Shardeum cofounder, Omar Syed said,“We want to build a platform that is highly decentralized so that many people can participate and the transaction rate actually increases with more participants. This is possible with dynamic sharding and is radically different than anything else that is out there. I think Shardeum will be like the Tesla of smart contract platforms.”

With swathes of new users joining the blockchain ecosystem, it faces major hurdles. One of them includes scaling issues caused by a rapidly growing user base. This has led to Layer 1 blockchains becoming slower, expensive, and unsustainable. A recent report by JP Morgan highlighted exactly that. The report claimed that Ethereum’s decentralized finance (DeFi) dominance was at risk owing to scaling issues of the network.

To combat this, networks are exploring sharding to tackle computing bottlenecks. Sharding involves partitioning of databases enabling blockchain firms to process more transactions per second. This in turn, helps reduce latency but is known to be prone to security concerns.

A Chainalaysis report found that blockchain is poised for mainstream adoption with countries like India and Vietnam emerging as the fastest crypto adopters. An Inc42 analysis found that there were over 350 blockchain startups in the country in 2021. The report also found that blockchain could contribute as much as $62.2 Bn to the Indian economy in 2030.

India’s crypto market grew 641% from July 2020 to June 2021, helping turn the region into world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets.

Add to this, blockchain startups collectively raised over $247 Mn in VC funds last year despite a slew of regulatory hurdles. This follows the announcement of a fiat cryptocurrency by the Centre in Union Budget 2022 yesterday.

Days ago, a Bengaluru-based Crypto startup, Flint, raised $5.1 Mn in seed funding from a clutch of investors including Sequoia India.Before that, cryptocurrency staking management platform, Stader Labs, raised $12.5 Mn in a funding round led by Three Arrows Capital, valuing it at $450 Mn. Another crypto startup Sahicoin also bagged seed funding for its social media platform for crypto users.

The great performance builds on a great 2021. The segment churned out two unicorns last year. In August of 2021, CoinDCX closed a $90 Mn Series C funding round, led by B Capital Group, valuing it at $1.1 Bn. Less than two months later, Bengaluru-based CoinSwitch Kuber also raised $260 Mn in Series C funding round led by a16z, valuing it at $1.9 Bn.

The startup could actually help resolve a long pending issue plaguing the blockchain world and if it successfully emerges with a solution, it could put India’s crypto ecosystem on the global map.

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