The biggest issue faced by Ethereum right now is scalability, its success has been its own enemy and the network is not able to scale enough for the ever increasing userbase, causing the gas prices or fees to explode.
Sharding, planned in the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, aims to solve this issue to some extent.
## So what is Sharding?
The official definition is: Sharding is the process of splitting a database horizontally to spread the load – it’s a common concept in computer science. In an Ethereum context, sharding will reduce network congestion and increase transactions per second by creating new chains, known as “shards”.
### Now lets dumb that down
With sharding, **Ethereum will let every node store just a part of the blockchain data, not the entire blockchain history and every transaction**. For example, if you can’t carry 800kg of load, you split that into 100s of 8kg loads and transport those instead, and then at the end destination you can glue the loads together into one.
What this means is that the **requirements for a node will be massively decreased, allowing more users to participate while also being able to process more transactions**. How this happens is that, currently, there is an indirect cap for how many transactions can be processed in each block, if we can increase this cap, we can make the network scalable, BUT, increasing this cap increases the hardware requirements of the node, which means less nodes, which means less decentralization, which means less security. By the way, this is what Binance Smart Chain did, they increased this limit to make network scalable and have low fees, but now they only have 21 validators which is a security issue and not very decentralized, in comparison ETH2.0 already has 130k validators.
So with sharding, the **Ethereum network will split into 64 shards, and a node will only need to process and store 1 particular shard, this means the requirements for a node have been lowered and thus the transactions cap per block can be increased, while not affecting the decentralizated aspect of the network**. This means Ethereum will become scalable, while staying decentralized! **BTW Sharding may lower the hardware requirements by an amount where you may be able to run an Ethereum node on a personal laptop or even a phone, this is not speculation this is written on the [official Ethereum site](https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/shard-chains/)**.
### When is Sharding coming?
Currently **Sharding has been planned for 2022**, it won’t come in the planned ETH2.0 merge happening end of this year, it is an upgrade after that. Earlier it was planned that Sharding should be done before the merge and then ETH2.0 should be a complete merge, but current goals have changed and now first a quick merge is happening followed by Sharding.
Let me know if you didn’t understand something or I got something wrong!