Blockchain Shardeum Raises $18.2M to Tackle Slow Traffic, High Fees

Layer 1 blockchain Shardeum has raised $18.2 million in a seed funding round from over 50 investors, including Jane Street, Struck Crypto and The Spartan Group.

The capital will go toward building out its team, ecosystem and community, Shardeum co-founder Nischal Shetty told CoinDesk in an interview. Shetty is also the co-founder of Indian crypto exchange WazirX.

Other investors in the round included Big Brain Holdings, DFG, Ghaf Capital Partners and Foresight Ventures, among others.

Shardeum is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-based sharded blockchain, meaning anything that works on Ethereum can work on Shardeum. Sharding generally refers to splitting a blockchain’s infrastructure into smaller pieces to improve scalability, a noted problem with Ethereum, and improve both transaction times and fees. Shardeum can scale infinitely, expanding transactions per second as demand increases, explained Shetty.

Read more: What Is Sharding?

“Shardeum acts a lot like your traditional websites, where if you get a lot of traffic, you just add a server so it expands,” said Shetty. “The same concept works on Sharduem, where every time there’s a lot of traffic, you need more transactions. You just add more nodes and the transaction capacity increases.”

Shardeum isn’t the first sharded blockchain with NEAR being a notable example. Shetty says Shardeum stands apart by expanding transactions per second every time a node joins a network rather than having to add a shard for each increase. Shardeum also offers atomic composability, meaning that smart contracts can communicate between shards. End users are often required to take on the complexity of a sharded blockchain by choosing which shard to use, whereas users can interact with Shardeum in the same way as a traditional blockchain like Ethereum.

In the next couple of weeks, Shardeum plans to debut an autoscale feature that would allow the transactions per second to automatically contract when traffic goes down. The blockchain’s betanet will launch by the end of the year with the mainent following in the second quarter of 2023.

Over the next year, Shardeum will host hackathons in India and the U.S. and will provide an incentive platform for developers who want to help build and grow the blockchain’s ecosystem.

“We’re looking at India as one of the major markets for us. There’s never been an L1 built in India,” said Shetty, noting that Shardeum plans to go to other emerging geographies.