In October, Afri Schodeon, the Release Manager for the Parity Ethereum Client lamented on Twitter about Ethereum community’s overreliance on Infura. Turns out the release manager is not alone in the opinion as a number of members of the community have come forward to express their worries about the overdependence of Infura.
Infura has been Pivotal
No one is questioning Infura’s contribution to the success of Ethereum, however, the major concern here is how a purported decentralized system is ironically built in the most centralized network possible.
Infura which is believed to host billions of request codes by developers seeking to connect to the Ethereum network without having to go through the hassle of running a full code is operated centrally.
Infura’s Centralization Question
Infura operated centrally by the ethereum development studio ConsenSys. The operator is a client of Amazon’s cloud services where Infura’s data is store. The problem with this kind of operation is that when the operator goes down, infura goes down as so is Ethereum. Also when Amazon decides to withdraw their cloud services unceremoniously Ethereum’s Centralizing will be derailed.
Michael Wuehler, the co-founder of Infura confirms these worries in his statement that;
“If every single dApp in the world is pointed to Infura, and we decided to turn that off, then we could, and the dApps would stop working. That’s the concern and that’s a valid concern.”
Stakeholders are lobbying for the development of an Infura-like system but one that is decentralized in order to protect Ethereum’s integrity. A number of ideas that can replace Infura have been tossed around only that none has been acted upon.
Parity Technologies is among the firms that have come up with proposed alternatives for Infura. The company has unveiled LightJS- a new code library that solves the shortcomings of Infura. With the new release the company seeks to inspire developers to create light clients that will replace the infamous Infura.
Turbo Geth project also seeks to find an alternative to Infura together with Dappnode, D-node, and VIP node that encourages developers to run full nodes to avoid using Infura. These are just but a few proposed long term solutions to the Infura issue.