The Raging Debate Over Infura the Most Centralized Part of Ethereum

By Prashant Jha

Infura the tool developed by ethereum to handle billions of code request per day and help the developers connect with Ethereum blockchain without having to run a full node. The raging debate over the centralization in Infura is at its peak now.

Many people believe the Infura being the sole centralized authority for availing the code could be the biggest contradiction to the decentralization. Many people have argued that the Infura is run by ConsenSys operated on a cloud platform hosted by Amazon, is a pretty centralized way of working.

What if the ConsenSys stops the services of infura, that would mean all the Dapps connected via Infura would come to a standstill. In an interview, Mr.
Michael Wuehler, the co-founder of Infura, told

“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,”

There is no denying the fact that Infura has served as a central pillar to make Ethereum as successful as it is today. However one must look for an alternate decentralized form of infura to establish the ethereum network as one correct decentralized chain. Mr. Afri Schoedon, release manager for parity ethereum client, tweeted,

“There is no point in having dapps connecting through Metamask to a blockchain hosted by someone else. If we don’t stop relying on Infura, the vision of ethereum failed.”

The idea of code distribution through a decentralized system for different developers, so that they can connect their application to the ethereum network is on the rise. Many incentivized schemes such as  VIP node, Dappnode, and D-Node are being tested as the solution to controversial Infura.

 

Why Infura came into being in first place?

The issue of expanding nodes and the memory it requires has been the sole reason for the creation of Infura. In the current scenario, one node of the Ethereum blockchain needs 1 Terabyte of memory, which many traditional computer or laptop system does not have. The issues do not end at the memory requirements, the processing power required to operate a one terabyte size of the file is beyond the capability of many traditional computers.

Mr. Aidan Hyman, CEO, and co-founder of ethereum research and development startup Chainsafe explains how Infura works,

“The way Infura works is they host their own full nodes and they open up an [interface] to allow you to easily access those full nodes,”

The other issue with a system like infura is the privacy concerns, as when compared to running a full node on the computer, most of the activities are stored privately. But, when it comes to using infura, the network takes many sensitive data including your wallet information and IP address.

If more and more people started opting for a system like infura and stop downloading the complete node, the number of nodes on the network will decrease gradually over time, and Infura might become the single source for anyone to join on the Ethereum blockchain network, making it heavily centralized.

 

Ethereum And Infura pushing for new alternatives

The problem of getting the centralized tag has gotten into the head of the ethereum core team. The new incentivized programs such as VIP node and Turbo Geth have received the funding from the Infura itself.

Mr. Wulher explained,

“Our efforts are mainly about continually trying to push more and more decentralization into the way that our technology stack is delivered. We didn’t create the problem, we are just a Band-Aid on the problem. We are just providing a solution that is needed”

The efforts from the infura and Ethereum look genuine and a commendable approach to weed out any potential threat over the decentralization of the Ethereum network.

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Prashant Jha

As a content writer Prashant believes in presenting complex topics in simple laymen terms. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader.

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