Yesterday’s incident involving Infura and Geth highlighted one very important thing within the Ethereum community – we need much better and more decentralized infrastructure. I think Owocki puts it nicely below by framing this as another ecosystem-wide issue that was only going to get serious attention once it reared its ugly head.
DeFi Summer caused dApps to invest in L2s Infura going down caused people to spin up backup geth nodes This is what anti-fragility looks like, folks!
November 12th 2020
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So we all know that during DeFi Summer (aka food ponzi mania) gas prices were consistently very high and causing lots of pain for users. At the time I argued that this was actually a good thing because it forced the entire ecosystem to start seriously adopting layer 2 scaling solutions – which is exactly what they’ve been doing. In the same way, and as Owocki notes, I think we’re going to see this ecosystem-wide effort play out with infrastructure providers because obviously the ecosystem is still too reliant on Infura.
Kain has already begun looking into other infrastructure providers for Synthetix because that app was actually hit quite hard yesterday since it was SNX snapshot day (basically the day that rewards are paid out so users weren’t able to mint/burn sUSD to fix their collateralization ratio or claim their rewards). I’m sure other teams are already looking into this too as redundancy is critical when it comes to this sort of infrastructure. It’s not just full node infrastructure either – middleware protocols like The Graph can suffer from “outages” too so projects should look to add redundancy to that part of their stack as well.
On top of this, yesterday’s incident also highlighted the need for better and more responsible disclosures of critical bugs within Ethereum clients (read Geth’s full post mortem here for more details). I’m actually quite torn on this because I truly believe that the Geth team didn’t mean any harm by keeping the issue mostly to themselves and then “stealth” fixing it but, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Going forward, I hope to see these critical issues disclosed with infrastructure providers so that they can apply the relevant fixes to avoid any any further network-wide disruptions.
Ethereum is an antifragile network and has faced critical issues like this before – from the DAO hack to the Shanghai DoS attacks to the Muir Glacier emergency fork – each one of these made Ethereum and the overall ecosystem stronger. We will learn from the Geth/Infura incident and we will press on – hardening Ethereum just that little bit more.
Have a great day everyone,
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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.
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