Amazon Web Services (AWS) has just made it easier for developers to run blockchain to its Amazon Managed Blockchain services, according to an announcement on Tuesday. It's a move many developers had long been clamoring for.nodes using its cloud services, adding the Ethereum
Currently, around 57% of Ethereum nodes are hosted on cloud services, with 40% of those hosted nodes using AWS. This implies that around 19% of Ethereum nodes are run on AWS already.
But this is the first time Amazon has provided its own Ethereum management option through its blockchain service, making it easy for anyone to spin up a node “in minutes,” the company touts.
With this new service, AWS threatens the role of Infura, a popular service that runs Ethereum nodes on behalf of crypto companies. (Disclosure: Infura is funded by ConsenSys, which also funds an editorially independent Decrypt). Infura is estimated to be running between 25% and 50% of its nodes on AWS, according to The Next Web.
The purpose of providing a managed software service is that it enables crypto companies to access blockchain data without running nodes themselves. Nodes require expensive equipment to run and can be difficult to interact with. In particular, many crypto services need to access historical data, which requires running an archival Ethereum node—a much bigger and more complex version of its blockchain.
Amazon’s new Ethereum option supports the main Ethereum blockchain, along with two popular testnets (places where developers can experiment with applications before sending them live), Rinkeby and Ropsten. (You can get some testnet Ethereum tokens on the Rinkeby testnet from faucets such as this one.)
The service will automatically monitor the health of the Ethereum nodes and update them when a new upgrade comes out for the blockchain. It will support decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, one of the core Ethereum use cases.
While the service is available in London, Singapore and Tokyo, it’s only available in one region in the US East (N. Virginia) region, which is one of its four US regions.