Since its founding over a year ago, Infura has had a mandate to support the Ethereum community, to help it grow. We’re pleased to announce that as part of this commitment, we are now running a signer (aka authority) and a bootnode on the Rinkeby test network.

Rinkeby is a proof-of-authority (PoA) network using a protocol called Clique, and it addresses important problems associated with proof-of-work (PoW) consensus on a test network like Ropsten. When PoW consensus is used on a network with a small amount of hashpower, an attacker can easily mine a large percentage of blocks, exclude legitimate transactions from being mined, modify the gas limit, and clog the network with his own spammy transactions. This has all happened on Ropsten, disrupting developers’ ability to build and test their software.

On Rinkeby, blocks are only minted by trusted signers, typically members of the community who are good citizens and can be relied on to help the network run smoothly. You can see the blocks minted by Infura here.

Infura also runs a Rinkeby bootnode. When a new node joins the network and wants a copy of the blockchain, a bootnode helps it to find other peers and sync the chain. The next release of geth will use Infura’s bootnode, although this is typically transparent to geth users.

The Rinkeby testnet has been running well for several months and is a great alternative to Ropsten.

Thanks to Péter Szilágyi and the go-ethereum team for entrusting us with the responsibility to run the signer and the bootnode.