Free2Shard: Adversary-resistant Distributed Resource Allocation for Blockchains

Ranvir Rana, Sreeram Kannan, David Tse, Pramod Viswanath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we formulate and study a new, but basic, distributed resource allocation problem arising in scaling blockchain performance. While distributed resource allocation is a well-studied problem in networking, the blockchain setting additionally requires the solution to be resilient to adversarial behavior from a fraction of nodes. Scaling blockchain performance is a basic research topic; a plethora of solutions (under the umbrella of sharding) have been proposed in recent years. Although the various sharding solutions share a common thread (they cryptographically stitch together multiple parallel chains), architectural differences lead to differing resource allocation problems. In this paper we make three main contributions: (a) we categorize the different sharding proposals under a common architectural framework, allowing for the emergence of a new, uniformly improved, uni-consensus sharding architecture. (b) We formulate and exactly solve a core resource allocation problem in the uni-consensus sharding architecture-our solution, Free2shard, is adversary-resistant and achieves optimal throughput. The key technical contribution is a mathematical connection to the classical work of Blackwell approachability in dynamic game theory. (c) We implement the sharding architecture atop a full-stack blockchain in 3000 lines of code in Rust-we achieve a throughput of more than 250,000 transactions per second with 6 shards, a vast improvement over state-of-the-art.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-114
Number of pages2
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • game theory
  • sharding


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