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Microsoft, Tencent and other tech giants join the Infura decentralized network

Microsoft, Tencent and 16 other Web2 giants have partnered with Consensys as part of its mission to decentralize the Infura network – the key access point to Ethereum for much of the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.

The partnerships aim to increase decentralization on the Infura network – essential to preventing outages of the Web3 services that operate it, including the MetaMask wallet service.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Andrew Breslin, senior product manager at Consensys, said the importance of partnerships was less about “who they were” and more about large companies aligning with Infura for “wanting to decentralize every layer of the data stack.” “blockchain infrastructure”.

Scheduled for launch in Q4, the Infura Decentralized Network (DIN) provides a solution to Infrua’s centralization problem, with the network currently controlled by Consensys, meaning it remains a single point of failure.

“The cost and complexity of running a service like Infura was kind of limiting in terms of who we could partner with to serve that traffic,” Breslin said. “There is now this huge, thriving ecosystem of Web3 infrastructure providers that can provide a complementary service to Infura.”

Breslin said one of the first major features offered in the DIN is “failover support” for the Ethereum and Polygon networks. Failover support means that traffic can be redirected to one or more DIN partners in the event of an outage, ensuring higher availability rates in the long term.

When launched, DIN will enable more reliable and censorship-resistant access to Ethereum, as decentralized applications (DApps) will not need to rely on a single, co-located service provider, said Breslin.

Developed by blockchain software giant Consensys, Infura offers a development suite that provides API access to the Ethereum and IPFS networks. Currently, Infura is the access point for most DApps to access real-time on-chain data from the Ethereum blockchain.

In November 2020, the centralization issue emerged when the MetaMask wallet stopped working due to a temporary Infura outage. Several centralized exchanges and DeFi projects were also affected by the downtime.

Decentralization of blockchain data providers on the Infura network is critical to long-term censorship resistance because, currently, centralized data providers can be shut down with a single well-planned attack or sufficient legal action .

Related: “End of an era” – Consensys abandons Truffle and Ganache amid shift to MetaMask Snaps

Addressing the list of newly announced partners, Breslin said the current lineup was not a closed set and that Infura wanted to let other “highly trusted” internet infrastructure providers know that Infura was also open to what they join the DIN.

“DIN’s success depends on us working with more and more operators over time.”

The cohort of new companies is working with Infura in what Breslin called the “federated phase” of DIN – a temporary trial period during which the network remains centralized.

“Infura and these 18 partners are now participating in this federated phase of the DIN, meaning we are working as equal partners,” Breslin said.

Moving forward, Breslin said DIN would ideally be governed as a decentralized autonomous organization or another type of governance structure that ensures each partner has a democratic say in the direction of the network.

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