Industry Experts On Ethereum Service Issues Due To Infura OutageNovember 14, 2020
Infura, Ethereum’s infrastructure provider, recently suffered a service outage that has impacted many companies that use the service.
On November 11, the Infura status page stated that, “We are currently experiencing a service outage for our Ethereum Mainnet API. Our on-call team is investigating and working to restore service functionality.”
The outage caused a delay in price feeds of ether (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens of some services. It also caused crypto exchanges, including Binance and Bithumb, to disable ETH and ERC-20 tokens withdrawals. The popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask is also having difficulties since Infura is its default service provider. (Both MetaMask and Infura are owned by Ethereum development studio ConsenSys).
After six hours, Infura posted an update stating that they found the cause of the problem and released a post-mortem of the service outage.
“Infura experienced its most severe service interruption in our four years of operation,” Infura said. “We realize that we are an important piece of infrastructure for many amazing products and projects. I’d like to apologize to all of our users and to the ecosystem. We recognize the faith that you place in us and we don’t ever take that lightly. I’d like to share the details of the incident with you so that there is transparency in what occurred and so that you can feel confident that our service will be better and even more resilient going forward.”
Below are some expert insights from the crypto industry on the news.
Pol Lanski from the tech team at Hermez Network, a decentralized zero-knowledge rollup that greatly scales and reduces the cost of payments and transfers on the Ethereum network, said:
“Trusting one single party to be your only service provider is throwing all the benefits of decentralization in the trash. If this party goes down, everything goes down.
Designing any blockchain service without decentralization is anchored to a legacy mindset of infrastructure. When designing anything on top of blockchain, you must consider how are you going to decentralize the failure points to make your service resilient – even when in the name of efficiency you want only one coordinator (like we have in Hermez Network) – the protocol needs to incentivize a healthy network of other nodes which can pick up the work, should something go wrong. We have the tools and incentive mechanisms to do that. We should not get stuck in the Web2 mindset.”
Ahmed Al-Balaghi Co-Founder & CEO of Biconomy said:
“As the industry grows and matures, we will certainly see more and more reliance on centralised third parties, particularly in infrastructure. Outages like this can really help spur more innovation and adoption of decentralized infra.”
Ben He, CEO of imToken said:
“At imToken we run our own Ethereum node infrastructure, because we can optimize it for our users and ensure the reliability of our service. The incident with Infura shows that it’s key for wallets to be more decentralized to avoid this happening. The whole point of decentralisation is that the user is in full control. As an industry, we will await and see how we can learn from this.”
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