Connecting developers to the blockchain
My first cryptocurrency transaction was in 2011. I first experimented sending a Bitcoin from one wallet to another, and quickly recognized it as a disruptive force, in the same way Napster disrupted the recording industry. However, for me, my first crypto aha moment occurred when I read Vitalik’s white paper in early 2014. Ethereum could become the swiss-army knife to build platforms that interoperate and allow for the creation of a robust ecosystem, all with the benefits of a blockchain at the foundation.
It is one thing to come up with grandiose ideas in an academic white paper, it is entirely another to actually build it. To the credit of the founders, they actually built Ethereum and it is quite remarkable!
One of those original founders, Joseph Lubin, recognized very early on that the Ethereum ecosystem could benefit from building blocks to speed adoption and development. He formed ConsenSys to realize this vision. Here at ConsenSys, we are all about spawning, coordinating, incubating and accelerating ventures and foundational components that enable new services and business models to be built on the blockchain.
One of those foundational components is Infura. With Bitcoin, markets recognized early on that individual mining was not economically optimal, leading to large scale mining pools. With Ethereum, the underlying network function is not simply to transfer and store a token of value, but rather to provide distributed compute capability whose output is cryptographically validated and whose state is persisted on a blockchain. I believe that in the same way that economic incentives led to the formation of groups to pool hashing resources, another form of a pool will be valuable as a gateway for decentralized applications to interact with the blockchain. This is the role Infura is filling.
The idea seems to be resonating well in the community, too. Off-loading the requirement of running a full Ethereum node and allowing developers to focus on their code has been very well received and is accelerating their code release. The list of projects from the ConsenSys family using Infura today includes:
- Ujo Music
- Proof of Physical Address
And there are many more to come. As you might imagine, having a shared infrastructure layer acting as a bridge to the blockchain will be fundamental in building out a solid Web 3.0 application and a solid ecosystem. Infura is this bridge and soon Infura will be readily available to the Ethereum community at-large.
I’m extremely excited to be working on the Infura project and look forward to building the infrastructure engine that empowers Web 3.0. For more information and to get started with Infura, visit https://infura.io and follow us on Twitter @infura_io.