Sharding technology is becoming a promising candidate to address the scalability issues in blockchain. The key concept behind sharding technology is to partition the network status into multiple distinct smaller committees, each of which handles a disjoint set of transactions to leverage its capability of parallel processing. However, when introducing sharding technology to blockchain, several key challenges need to be resolved, such as security and heterogeneity among the participating nodes. This paper introduces RepShard, a reputation-based blockchain sharding scheme that aims to achieve both linearly scaling efficiency and system security simultaneously. RepShard adopts a two-layer hierarchical chain structure, consisting of a reputation chain and independent transaction chains. Each transaction chain is maintained within its shard to record transactions, while the reputation chain is maintained by all shards to update the reputation score of each participating node. We leverage a novel reputation scheme to record each participating node’s integrated and valid contribution to the system, in which we consider the heterogeneity of participating nodes (e.g., computational resources). The reputation score used in sharding and leader election processes maintains the balance and security of each shard. RepShard relies on verifiable relay transactions for cross-shard transactions to ensure consistency between distinct shards. By integrating reputation into the sharding protocol, our scheme can offer both scalability and security at the same time.

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