Pyramid: A layered sharding blockchain system

Zicong Hong, Song Guo, Peng Li, Wuhui Chen

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Sharding can significantly improve the blockchain scalability, by dividing nodes into small groups called shards that can handle transactions in parallel. However, all existing sharding systems adopt complete sharding, i.e., shards are isolated. It raises additional overhead to guarantee the atomicity and consistency of cross-shard transactions and seriously degrades the sharding performance. In this paper, we present Pyramid, the first layered sharding blockchain system, in which some shards can store the full records of multiple shards thus the cross-shard transactions can be processed and validated in these shards internally. When committing cross-shard transactions, to achieve consistency among the related shards, a layered sharding consensus based on the collaboration among several shards is presented. Compared with complete sharding in which each cross-shard transaction is split into multiple sub-transactions and cost multiple consensus rounds to commit, the layered sharding consensus can commit cross-shard transactions in one round. Furthermore, the security, scalability, and performance of layered sharding with different sharding structures are theoretically analyzed. Finally, we implement a prototype for Pyramid and its evaluation results illustrate that compared with the state-of-the-art complete sharding systems, Pyramid can improve the transaction throughput by 2.95 times in a system with 17 shards and 3500 nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2021 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780738112817
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021
Event40th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2021 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 10 May 202113 May 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Conference40th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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