Behind all the grandiose vision of transforming the internet to the next generation, while doing away with most of the ills of the present, Web3’s primary backbone is a decentralised architecture. The capability of establishing this core is at the heart of what we can call the Web3 revolution. As the likelihood of Web3 becoming a reality is coming to the fore, the Web3 infrastructure heats up as more providers have started competing with each other, which indicates towards a healthy decentralisation of the Web3 ecosystem. While people interact open source applications as Metamask, Web3 games, the metaverse and the DeFi protocols, they don’t stop to think as to what happens in the background for all of it to work.
Web3 is a new digital city in the making and the node infrastructure providers are the ones who make this city live and kicking; which makes the operations possible; dynamic and real time with all the controls. The DApps need to communicate and serve billions of requests and other functions, so it is imperative to have a huge node infrastructure to support such operations. This being capital intensive these DApp builders provide remote access to nodes. There is huge monetary incentive to provide this infra but is it happening the way to best subserve the Web3 ecosystem. Unfortunately, the fastest to provide this sort of infra is being provided by centralised companies.
They set up a fleet of blockchain nodes, housed in AWS data centers and can be accessed by these developers for a subscription. The service has been provided but this has come with the heavy cost of centralization. This leaves the system vulnerable to attack. Once again as Web2, the system runs on the mercy of few powerful players. About 80% of the Ethereum nodes are located in the US and Germany. If only 3 mining pools come together, it can end up in a 51% attack. It is not the ideal or the functional goal which Satoshi Nakamoto had set out for. Distributed ledger is what is talked about and every transaction should have the consent of 51% of the nodes on the network. In the current scenario ”if large node providers collude, Web3 would lose all the advantages it has over Web2.”
It will have to battle once again a losing battle from censorship resistance to trustworthiness and also* continue with the ongoing disadvantages;* relatively high fees and low transactional throughput. Outages can also happen anytime. Amazon has suffered many outages in the past. Recently, Ethereum’s move to Ethereum 2.0 was set back with a 7 hour outage. This happened because of a hardware failure of a single node on the network. Solona has suffered multiple outages due to lack of sufficient, decentralised nodes, competent enough to handle spiking traffic. The harsh reality is that many of the blockchain protocols are to find a way to scale and become more decentralised. But now decentralised providers are emerging as viable alternatives. There are a number of service providers in this space, such as Ankr, Flux and QuickNode, that are competing for their market share. In them is the strength of Web3 and our much better digital future.
WEB3 INFRA WILL DECIDE ITS FATE AND THE QUALITY OF OUR DIGITAL LIFE.