November 11, 2020 — Ethereum infrastructure provider Infura suffered a significant service outage earlier today.
The incident, which was initially reported as an issue with the Ethereum network itself, caused numerous crypto exchanges, including Binance, Bithumb, Upbit, and Crypto.com, to halt Ethereum and ERC-20 token withdrawals.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted, “There was a possible ETH chain split at block 11234873. Etherscan and Blockchair are showing two different chains and data after this block. We’re resolving now but have temporarily closed withdrawals. Funds are #SAFU.”
Ultimately, it was determined that the issue lay with Infura, a company that runs Ethereum nodes on behalf of numerous clients. In sum, an error on Infura’s side caused different blockchain explorers to show different information.
It seems like Infura is having an outage which is causing some pretty big delay in price feeds and some exchanges are also delaying withdrawals of ETH and ERC-20's. Metamask also having issues. There could also be an effect on some DeFi stuff
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) November 11, 2020
As for Infura, its official site described the issue as an “ETH1 Mainnet API service degradation.” Per the most recent update, the Infura team reportedly identified the root cause and are preparing to restore service functionality.
“We’ve brought additional capacity online for the affected components and are continuing to triage the root cause of the outage. System recovery operations are in progress,” read the site.
The incident caused many commentators to make note of the danger in relying on a single party for such an important task. One Twitter user jokingly called Infura a “Decentralized Single Point of Failure.”
If you ran your own node you would have seen that there is no chain split
— Lefteris Karapetsas (@LefterisJP) November 11, 2020
Raul Marcos, founder of the crypto-focused advisory firm Carbano, also weighed in, tweeting, “We love to talk about decentralization, but Infura is the AWS of the Ethereum ecosystem. Thousands of projects use Infura to get data from the blockchain, including exchanges and Metamask.”