A Monopoly of AWS might Lead Ethereum to central points of Failure

You can use Ethereum on Amazon Managed Blockchain to quickly provision Ethereum nodes

In recent times, blockchain has emerged as the core technology powering a wide range of Decentralised Apps (DApps) in cryptocurrency, Decentralised Finance (Defi), NFTs, etc. DApps require robust ways to store data and manage user identity, access, and key management in a privacy-focused manner. The majority of 4,653 active Ethereum nodes are in the hands of centralized web providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), which could “expose Ethereum to central points of failure,” according to crypto analytics platform Messari.

A Monday post shows that three major cloud providers account for 69% of hosted nodes on the Ethereum Mainnet, with over 50% of that coming from Amazon Web Services (AWS), over 15% from Hetzner, and 4.1% from OVH. Figures from Ethernodes additionally show that Oracle (4.1%), Alibaba (3.9%), and Google (3.5%) also provide web hosting services on Ethereum.

While the distribution of cloud service providers becomes more decentralized among the bottom third of providers, Messari pressed the concern in a December 2020 report that the high-cost nature of node infrastructure may leave Ethereum vulnerable:

“High costs to run infrastructure make it more likely that nodes would run infrastructure with cloud computing providers (i.e AWS) – making Ethereum more exposed to central points of failure.”


Benefits of building on Ethereum

Ethereum offers an extremely flexible platform on which to build decentralized applications using the native Solidity scripting language and Ethereum Virtual Machine. Decentralized application developers who deploy smart contracts on Ethereum benefit from the rich ecosystem of developer tooling and established best practices that have come with the maturity of the protocol. This maturity also extends into the quality of user experience for the average user of Ethereum applications, with wallets like MetaMask, Argent, Rainbow, and more offering simple interfaces through which to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts deployed there. Ethereum’s large user base encourages developers to deploy their applications on the network, which further reinforces Ethereum as the primary home for decentralized applications like Defi and NFTs. In the future, the backward-compatible Ethereum 2.0 protocol, currently under development, will provide a more scalable network on which to build decentralized applications that require higher transaction throughput.


Ethereum on Amazon

You can use Ethereum on Amazon Managed Blockchain to quickly provision Ethereum nodes and join them to the public Ethereum mainnet or popular public test nets. Ethereum nodes on a network collectively store an Ethereum blockchain state, verify transactions, and participate in consensus to change a blockchain state.

You can use an Ethereum node to develop and use decentralized applications (dApps) that interact with an Ethereum blockchain. The “backend” of a dApp is a smart contract that runs in a decentralized way across all the nodes that are joined to an Ethereum network. Anyone who joins the network can develop and deploy a smart contract that adds functionality.

The “front end” of a dApp can use Ethereum API operations and libraries, specifically the JSON-RPC API or the Consensus API, to interact with the Ethereum network. You can use these APIs to communicate with an Ethereum node in Amazon Managed Blockchain. These APIs allow the dApp to read data and write transactions. You can use the JSON-RPC API to query the smart contract data and submit transactions to an Ethereum node on the Managed Blockchain. You can use the Consensus API to query the Beacon chain and its configuration. You can also use Consensus API to get the health of nodes on the Goerli and Ropstentestnets and Mainnet.