Connecting to blockchains is messy and complicated. Infura offers to do that work for you but that brings with it fears over increased centralization.
Blockchains are hard to use. Wouldn't it be nice to have something that makes navigating the decentralized web a bit easier? That's where Infura comes in. It promises to make building on Ethereum easier and quicker. But in the process, does Infura make Ethereum more centralized? We find out below.
Infura is a set of tools for anyone to create an application that connects to the Ethereum blockchain. It interacts with the Ethereum blockchain and runs nodes on behalf of its users.
It is used by:
Infura aims to make life easier for developers. These are some of the main bugbears:
By taking the weight off companies, Infura enables certain benefits:
Did you know?
In 2017, Infura relayed transactions that moved more than 7 million ether.
A lot of Ethereum-based applications rely on Infura to connect to the Ethereum blockchain and make transactions for their users. But Infura is a centralized service and is therefore vulnerable to attacks that may limit its functionality and it could be used to censor transactions by governments or third parties.
As more and more services use it, it centralizes the Ethereum blockchain around one company. This isn’t very decentralized.
Infura believes the ideal situation is for everyone to host their own node. However, this utopia is far off in the future. Until then, they aim to provide the community with a service that makes integration easier.
Perhaps the future lies in everyone having their own node and Infura will be no longer required. Until then, Infura is creating a giant on-ramp for people to use Ethereum. Until Ethereum becomes fast and easier to use, Infura's position as a centralized guide is set to continue.