Calimero network’s private shards explained
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Oct 7, 2022
Denis Devcic
  • Product

The beauty of the blockchain technology is that all participants in blockchain networks trust the information on it, because the data on that blockchain is immutable, visible and accessible to everyone in real time. But web3 is currently far from perfect, as two major challenges exist: privacy of data and potential for businesses to scale using blockchain technology.

Challenges in using blockchain for businesses

If all the data is publicly available and transparent, questions of privacy appear.

  1. What happens when the information is classified as personal information?
  2. Is there a need for data protection or compliance obligations? Under which jurisdiction?
  3. What happens when the information is a business secret?

Preserving the privacy of personal and business data is a necessity, not a luxury. On the blockchain, it can be done through combining on-chain and off-chain data and interoperability. All of which is possible with Calimero private shards.

Let’s not jump into Calimero's explanation just yet. There is one more important question that needs to be addressed: scaling . Scalability is the ability of a blockchain network to support an increasing amount of transactions, by increasing the number of nodes/validators.

As the interest for using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology grew, many users and companies started issuing tokens, building Dapps and creating NFTs more and more each day. As a result, networks started getting congested, which as a result brought increasing gas costs for new and existing users, discouraging them from building more amazing products. This is where new scaling solutions came into being. A good example is NEAR , which uses sharding for scaling and supporting the increasing blockchain usage. But even with sharding, for some businesses that have a lot of network transactions on a daily basis, the costs can pile up.

This is where Calimero comes in - as you can spin off your own shard within which the transactions are free and private . You’re only required to pay a fixed amount per month based on the number of validators you’re running.

What is Calimero network

Calimero is a customizable sidechain built on top of NEAR protocol. It can be viewed as a network of networks. A solution for businesses to access privacy features and enable scaling. Calimero provides you with an infrastructure which shares all the best benefits of NEAR while being enhanced with multiple new features with emphasis on privacy.

Calimero enables you to:

  1. Spin off your own private shards (think of a shard as a small private blockchain network that you own)
  2. Communicate between your shards and other networks, or between multiple shards (even if the shards are owned by different companies)

By using Calimero private shards, among other things, users can enhance applications by interoperating with open source protocols and applications , from DeFi to NFTs. Users can hold and manage public assets and move them between private shards and other public chains seamlessly.

Furthermore, users are benefiting from cross shard transactions, which provide the ability to interact with third parties on the public chain or other permissioned enterprise shards. Private shards can interact with each other over encrypted channels.

With Calimero, possibilities are endless.

Benefits of using private shards by Calimero network

Calimero’s private shards have all the benefits of NEAR in terms of high performance, security and sustainability. But as an important distinction, shards are not using NEAR’s validators, execution and state storage, but rather you’re using your own. The main benefits include:

  1. Scaling your business by having access to free transactions within the shard.
  2. Making part (or all) of your transactions private, with only people/entities with the access to the shard being able to view the data.
  3. EVM compatibility - You can use DApps already built on Ethereum mainnet instead of building them from scratch.
  4. WASM compatibility & Javascript support for easy onboarding to web3
  5. Interoperability - Shards can communicate with the NEAR mainnet, and between themselves (each shard can represent a different company or parts of the same company ), and thanks to the bridge, multiple different assets such as fungible and non-fungible tokens can be transferred.
  6. Customizable, performant and cost efficient. It’s possible to perform up to 200.000 transactions per second (standard shard deployment has the throughput of 5.000 transactions per second). Block times, contract sizes and gas limits are customizable. Bridging the assets or calling data is fast (5-10sec) and cheap (it costs a couple of cents).

Who are Calimero’s private shards for?

Calimero can be used:

  • As a gateway for traditional (web2) businesses to get into the web3 world with an easy to use dashboard for managing their private shard.
  • For businesses already operating in web3 who need zero gas scaling and privacy features.

Which industries can Calimero be used in?

There are countless use cases, as only the imagination is the limit. To provide some inspiration, we’ve listed a couple different industries where private shards achieve their full potential.

private shard use cases in various industries

  1. Governments
  2. Think of banks implementing CBDC, or KYC & anti-money laundering use cases. The private data is stored on a shard, and can be available when needed, but is otherwise hidden from the public.
  3. Fintech
  4. Digital assets and tokenization of financial assets, AML, KYC and digital identity, credit scoring, capital markets, trade finance, privacy solutions (for custody and treasury management)…
  5. Infrastructure
  6. For companies into energy, healthcare, insurance, real estate, telecommunications, supply chain…For example in the supply chain/transportation industry, you can use Calimero to verify data, keep track of the shipment across multiple companies (each with its own shard) and even buy/sell the goods while they’re still in transport.
  7. Web3
  8. DAOs, DeFi, CeFi - think of all the operations within them, including orderbook, darkpools, treasury management and contributors payroll, Also in gaming, metaverse, entertainment, publishing (art, music, NFTs)…Example of using private shards in gaming: you start a chess game on the mainnet. You bridge the whole game to a private shard. On it, the game plays out for FREE and the moves are hidden (unless you want to reveal them). You bridge the outcome back to the mainnet. And voila!

The possibilities are #NEAR endless! Contact our team if you want to learn more and try running your own private shard to access the countless sharding benefits. You can use Calimero for free while we’re in test mode. Our team can give you access to a private shard for your project. Follow us on Twitter to stay tuned for all the news surrounding private shards! If you want to learn more, you can listen to the lectures Calimero team members had at Nearcon in Lisbon (September, 2022).

Sandi Fatic giving lecture at Nearcon on private sharding

Importance of privacy and scaling brought by Calimero - Sandi Fatić (CEO) - LINK

Igor Jerkovic giving lecture at Nearcon on building NEAR to Calimero bridge

Building a bridge used for communication between NEAR and Calimero’s private shards - Igor Jerković (Core engineer) - LINK

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