Infura, the prominent crypto infrastructure firm under ConsenSys, is taking a significant step towards decentralization, partnering with industry giants Microsoft and Tencent. This move addresses concerns about its perceived centralization and aims to enhance reliability within the crypto ecosystem.
Background: Infura’s Dominance and Criticisms
Infura, a crucial solution for developers connecting applications to blockchains, has faced criticism for its centralization. Its dominance considered a potential single point of failure, led to concerns about the broader crypto ecosystem’s stability. Historically, using Infura meant relying on its servers for uptime and data accuracy, occasionally resulting in controversies such as downtime or data censorship to comply with regulations.
Over a year ago, Infura announced plans to decentralize its services, aligning with the Web3 ethos that values decentralization. Thomas Hay, Infura’s lead product manager, emphasized the advantages of decentralization, stating it allows for innovative solutions while acknowledging the ease of use of centralized services.
The Decentralized Infrastructure Network (DIN): A Collaborative Effort
Infura‘s latest move, the “Decentralized Infrastructure Network” (DIN), brings together key partners, including Microsoft and Tencent, alongside various crypto firms. This collaborative effort aims to provide developers with a robust connection to Ethereum and other leading blockchains.
While the core functionality of Infura remains unchanged, DIN introduces a crucial feature – the “failover” switch. This optional switch allows Infura users to safeguard against network disruptions. In the event of Infura’s blockchain nodes experiencing downtime, requests can seamlessly transition to a vetted partner, determined through rigorous load and quality assurance tests.
A Progressive Approach to Decentralization
Infura acknowledges that the DIN initiative represents a progressive movement towards decentralization. Rather than an immediate overhaul, the focus begins with a feature addressing a universal need: enhanced uptime through failover capabilities. This step is part of Infura’s broader roadmap for “progressive decentralization,” highlighting its commitment to evolving in response to user requirements.
Infura‘s collaboration with industry leaders and the introduction of DIN and the failover switch underscores its dedication to addressing concerns about centralization and ensuring a more reliable experience for developers in the evolving crypto landscape.