The Burden of Infura

Quick Take

  • The Ethereum blockchain continues to swell in size, with a default full “synced” GETH node requiring ~130GB of space (vs full archive node size of ~1.8TB); doubling the size requirement in just ~6 months
  • Meanwhile, total active synced Ethereum nodes (full, light, archive) according to Ethernodes block explorer have seen a 50% decline since April 2018
  • Rapid chain growth and node sync burden have pushed many dapp developers to opt-out of maintaining their own node, and depend on ConsenSys-operated infrastructure solution Infura.
  • Infura (hosted on AWS) is positioned as a potential single central point of failure for a significant portion of the Ethereum network in its current form, as its infrastructure dependence is widely pervasive within the dapp ecosystem

It’s difficult to be a viable decentralized network when a majority of your applications depend on centralized infrastructure services.

That’s the situation many in the community want Ethereum to grow away from, as the cost and requirements to sufficiently run a fully synced node have pushed developers and dapp teams to opt-out of maintaining their own local infrastructure, and instead defer to third-party centralized infrastructure service providers like ConsenSys-owned Infura.