The Race to Replace Ethereum’s (ETH) Most Centralized Layer has Started

The release manager of the Parity Ethereum client, Afri Schoedon, says abandoning Infura, means Ethereum’s (ETH) vision would have failed. Infura takes care of 13 billion code requests every day clearing the way for developers to link to Ethereum (ETH) without running a full node.

By creating a more straightforward approach for interfacing with Ethereum (ETH), Infura underpins most decentralized apps in the Ether ecosystem. Infura is run by a single provider (ConsenSys) and relies on Amazon-hosted cloud servers. Hence, there are concerns that the service is the only point of failure for Ethereum.

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A Decentralized Alternative May be Required

While Infura’s contribution to Ether has been acknowledged by many projects, many others apart from Schoedon believes seeking a decentralized alternative may be the way forward. Currently, there are 11,803 Ether full nodes. Infura accounts for 5 to 10% of these nodes because Infura’s nodes account for a disproportionate amount of traffic, they are highly reliable. A fully archived node can take one terabyte of data. This means that the storage protocol is frequently outsourced to firms with means to manage such infrastructure.

What True Decentralization Offers

Efforts have been made to find a viable alternative. Take an example; Parity Technologies recently released a code library that will facilitate light client development called LightJS. Parity hopes that this solution it will help developers build light clients as opposed to relying on Infura. The reason for this is because, while the option offers less hardware and isn’t as storage-intensive as Infura, light clients can be designed to maintain the same level of or the degree to what decentralization offers when operating a full node.

What Other Alternative Projects Offer

Alexey Akhunov’s Turbo Geth project seeks to completely restructure the way Ethereum software clients deal with storage. In the most recent model of the software rewrite, Akhunov’s solution reduced the storage requirements to a fifth of the current size. Also, several projects, like Dappnode, VIP node, and D-node, focus on the underlying incentive layer to make more people operate a full node. The reason for this is that, unlike the miners who secure transactions on Ether, full nodes aren’t rewarded in any way.

On the other hand, the VIP node uses the identifier and with this full nodes can connect to the Ethereum network to dish out rewards to online nodes. These are paid via a subscription from developers who wish to make use of the service. There’s more. Another project, called D-Node, is designed to create a marketplace for developers and node operators, although it tries to decentralize the relationship between the parties involved.

To achieve this, D-Node makes uses of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). D-node is an initiative by the Toronto-based startup Chainsafe. It began operations in May at Ether hackathon ETH Buenos Aires. D-node is funded by means of a grant from the Ether Community Fund.

Finally, another project is Dappnode. It is founded by Jordi Baylina, the blockchain developer. This project takes a different approach. It allows developers to create a local network designed in away that it becomes easier to carry out dapp deployment.

Princess Ogono is a writer, lawyer and fitness enthusiast. She believes cryptocurrencies are the future. When she's not writing, she spends time with her adorable cat, Ginger and works out often.


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