By: Isha Das
Web2 giants, including Microsoft and Tencent, have partnered with Consensys on its mission to decentralize the Infura network, a key gateway to Ethereum for the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. The search for heightened decentralization aims to prevent outages on the Infura network, thereby ensuring more reliable services for Web3 applications, such as the MetaMask wallet service.
The collaborations announced represent a significant milestone towards decentralizing the Infura network, managed by Consensys, and enhancing its censorship resistance. The Decentralized Infura Network (DIN), slated for a Q4 launch, will address Infura's existing centralization issue. With 'failover support' being one of the primary features in the DIN, traffic can be re-routed to one or more DIN partners during outages, guaranteeing higher uptime rates in the long run.
The services powered by Infura offer API access to the Ethereum and IPFS networks. Primarily, it is through Infura that decentralized applications (DApps) obtain real-time on-chain data from the Ethereum blockchain. The centralization issue became glaringly apparent when MetaMask, along with several centralized exchanges and DeFi projects, faced downtime due to a temporary Infura outage in November 2020. With DIN, applications will not need to rely on a single service provider, thereby minimizing risks of shutdowns.
The current line-up of partners is not a closed set, as Infura seeks to collaborate with other 'highly reliable' internet infrastructure providers. Beyond the current federated phase, the goal is for the DIN to govern as a decentralized autonomous organization or another democratic governance structure.
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