Infura – Scalable Blockchain Infrastructure

Infura provides scalable access to blockchain technologies like Ethereum and IPFS. Infura is built by team under the umbrella  of ConsenSys which is a blockchain venture production studio. ConsenSys has global team building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily Ethereum.

Setting up you Infura infrastructure is as simple as just registering and providing your email address. Once you enter your email address, based on the type of networks you need access to for example Ethereum Mainnet, Test or IPFS etc, Infura then emails you your private https urls to the respective networks.

The urls will be associated with your unique access token, so that only you can use the urls. Your Infura urls are under SSL.

You might be able to use Infura infrastructure without providing access tokens, but then there is a throttle on your requests.

Also , Infura relieves developers from setting up test and main net infrastructure for building Decentralized applications. It provides a service layer which talks to Infura based Ethereum and IPFS nodes.

Infura takes care of issues like syncing of multiple ethereum nodes or setting up your testnet. Infura already serves 1 billion requests per day.

The best part is Infura provides JSON-RPC pass through , which matches exactly with existing Ethereum JSON-RPC methods.

Apart from that Infura also provides REST based API interactions instead of JSON-RPC as well.

Here are the key useful features of Infura:

  • TLS-enabled Ethereum endpoints : Public endpoints for the Ethereum Mainnet and all testnet networks.

  •  TLS-enabled IPFS gateway: For decentralized storage, with custom reliability features.
  •  Portable Ethereum interface: Fully compatible with the standard JSON-RPC API and popular web3 libraries.
  •  “Ferryman” Service Layer: A reverse proxy that helps with scaling and reliability.
  •  Multi-client Ethereum backend: Geth and Parity—the most popular clients, both for robustness.
  •  Private Installations Available: Permissioned private infrastructure can be set up for your organization.



The good:

  • The service relieves the headache of setting up your private blockchain or test net etc. Apart from the syncing of nodes and connection issues.
  • Its free service for now and extremely easy to register.
  • Service layer is a easy REST and JSON-RPC based API’s.
  • Clients can directly talk to Infura infrastructure, instead of hosting their own backend blockchain based architecture.
  • The service is extremely helpful for ideas where blockchain is a supplementary addition.

The bad:

  • Pricing structure is not clear. Developers don’t know if in future they will be subjected to high cost of usage.
  • The syncing and other blockchain node issues usually happen when developers plan to have private blockchains, this solution might be more valuable for those use cases. Otherwise test networks are pretty easy to setup.
  • Even though developers have less worries on blockchain nodes and syncing issues, this gives lesser control over the same.
  • There an be additional network hop to talk to Infura, which in turn talks to blockchain networks. This can reduce speed.

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