Chunk: A Unit of Data in Blockchain
Chunk is the part of each chunk resulting from the NEAR split.
What is Chunk (NEAR)?
A Chunk is the portion of each block resulting from a split in NEAR. A Chunk is part of the data sharding mechanism in the NEAR protocol that allows the system to scale horizontally by splitting the blockchain state into non-overlapping parts. Each Chunk is managed by a group of validators. Together, they take care of the storage and computing resources required to process the transactions associated with that Chunk.
The Chunk provides two basic services:
- State storage. Chunk stores state history and provides indexing and querying services on top of it.
- Execution. Chunk executes transactions using EVM and maintains a transaction history that contains both failed and successful transactions.
NEAR uses Proof-of-Stake, anyone can participate as a validator. This system ensures that everything remains open and unresolved, yet secure.
NEAR uses sharding to scale the network – the more people use the network, the faster it grows. NEAR was originally designed with sharding in mind, and it is integrated into the core protocol.
NEAR has a unique set of trade-offs to achieve the highest possible decentralisation at the same level of performance as centralised alternatives. This is done through the use of sharding, which means paralleling transactions across thousands of computers.
NEAR provides developers with three core components to build highly scalable applications:
- Scalability. Developers scale applications according to demand using state separation. The same machine learning model can be used across shards, reducing the cost of scaling.
- Computational resources. Developers access computing resources (CPU, RAM) through a protocol to run their application.
- NEAR tokens. Users make transactions on the platform using NEAR tokens, which allow them to work with services and applications based on the protocol.
The NEAR protocol introduced ‘Chunk producers’ to allow more people to participate in securing and decentralising the network.
A Chunk producer (COP) is a process that runs on a node and is responsible for producing blocks. The COP is only interested in creating new blocks and not in checking transactions or maintaining state.
The Chunk contains all block transactions as well as as transaction receipts and results.