Here’s a list of all the features and ways we made the Infura platform better in 2022.

Without any doubt, 2022 has been an interesting year for the blockchain industry. For us at Infura, this year has been one of embracing and fostering the multi-chain ecosystem and expanding our feature suite to deliver more value to new and existing developers.

In this article, you'll find a roundup of the most significant features we shipped in 2022. Whether you're a prospective or existing user, read on to see how Infura continues to evolve in its mission to support Web3 developers in building great products with minimal friction.

New features timeline, 2022 and beyond.

Supporting multi-chain access

Layer 1

Over the past two years, we’ve seen the growth in alternative Layer 1 blockchains that tackle different problems such as scalability and cost. As a company dedicated to meeting developers where they are at, Infura added support for more L1 blockchains in 2022 to ease access to the multi-chain ecosystem. These include:

Palm Network

Palm Network is an Ethereum side-chain implementing Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus for fast finality and native tokens leveraged as gas to all registered creators. Palm was designed with the needs of creators in mind and helps individuals and brands create and distribute NFTs in a sustainable, cost-effective, and frictionless manner.

Infura announced support for Palm Network in February 2022, allowing users to benefit from Palm's low-cost and low-latency transactions when minting and transferring NFTs. You can read more on the Palm Network in this blog post. Developers can also read the Palm RPC documentation to start building NFTs on Palm Network with Infura.

NEAR

NEAR is a Layer 1 blockchain with a cutting-edge design created to increase scalability for Web3 applications. For example, NEAR implements sharding to split the task of processing transactions across different sub-networks. This removes one of the greatest bottlenecks to scaling public blockchains: the need for all nodes to re-execute every transaction.

Infura launched support for NEAR Protocol in May 2022, and you can read more about the announcement in this blog post. You can also read our NEAR RPC documentation for details on making RPC calls to the NEAR blockchain using Infura's hosted nodes.

Although NEAR is ideal for building scalable dapps, the lack of EVM compatibility can discourage developers—particularly those coming from other EVM-compatible chains. This is why Infura also launched support for Aurora, an EVM-compatible Layer 2 blockchain running on NEAR Protocol.

With Aurora, developers can run smart contracts written or compiled for the EVM while benefiting from the scalability of the NEAR network. Absent a few differences, Aurora offers a similar experience to Ethereum users (gas fees are paid in ETH, for example). Developers can visit the Aurora section in Infura docs to start interacting with the network using Infura's infrastructure.

Avalanche C-Chain

Avalanche C-Chain is one of the three main chains in the Avalanche ecosystem which includes the P-Chain and X-Chain. The C-Chain is an instance of the EVM that combines a familiar runtime environment with Avalanche's Snowball consensus mechanism for faster processing.

With an estimated throughput ceiling of 4,500 TPS, Avalanche is a huge draw for developers building on mass-market dapps. After announcing support for the Avalanche C-Chain in July 2022, Infura offers RPC endpoints for interacting with the network. Read the Avalanche RPC documentation for more details.

Celo

Celo is an EVM-compatible PoS blockchain on a mission to fuel regenerative finance (ReFi) initiatives using blockchain technology. As highlighted by some, Celo's focus on creating social impact, as opposed to merely competing with other blockchains, makes it a unique project. Already, Celo is home to initiatives like Impact UBI (Universal Basic Income) for this reason.

Infura announced support for Celo in June, partly driven by the recognition of the importance of the former's mission. Developers can start using Infura APIs to access Celo, and have access to other Ethereum-native tooling such as Truffle, MetaMask, and Ganache for developing dapps on Celo Network.

Sepolia and Goerli testnets

As the biggest upgrade in Ethereum's history, the Merge resulted in a number of significant changes to the Ethereum ecosystem. These include the deprecation of Ropsten and Kovan—testnets that implemented Proof of Work (PoW) at the time. Both were replaced by new testnets implementing Proof of Stake consensus (Goerli and Sepolia).

Infura announced long-term support for the Goerli and Sepolia testnets close to the Merge to ensure developers can continue to deploy and test dapps in a risk-free environment. Planning to deploy soon? Check out Infura docs for guides on how to use the Goerli and Sepolia testnets via Infura.

Layer 2

Layer 2 networks have emerged as the preferred solution for scaling Ethereum and bringing the benefits of decentralized computation to more users. These blockchains inherit Ethereum's decentralization and security while reducing waiting times and gas fees for Ethereum users. Infura added support for the following L2 chains in 2022:

StarkNet

StarkNet is a permissionless and decentralized zero-knowledge rollup protocol launched in early 2021. Like other L2s, StarkNet executes transactions off-chain and publishes the results of transactions to Ethereum for settlement. It also produces STARK (Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge) proofs attesting to the validity of off-chain execution.

By using STARK proofs to ensure transaction validity, StarkNet provides users with strong security guarantees. Unlike their cousins (SNARKs), STARK proofs can be generated without a trusted setup and are more efficient at scale. Today, StarkNet has processed millions of transactions and powers many high-profile projects in Web3.

StarkNet joined the family of Infura-supported networks as the first ZK-rollup in the Infura ecosystem. Developers interested in accessing Infura's API endpoints for StarkNet can find helpful how-tos and explanations in our StarkNet RPC documentation.

Optimism and Arbitrum

Optimism and Arbitrum are a variant of L2 scaling solutions (known as optimistic rollups) that improve throughput on Ethereum by processing transactions off-chain. Optimistic rollups use a verification game wherein economically incentivized parties can dispute the results of off-chain computation to protect users.

Without the need to verify computation unless a dispute arises, optimistic rollups can support more expressive computation than validity rollups. As such, optimistic rollups have become home to some of Ethereum's biggest applications—including Uniswap, Curve, Sushiswap, and more—looking to offer users a faster UX and cheaper fees.

Although Infura added support for Optimism and Arbitrum in 2021 (and Polygon in 2020), this year we continued to improve support for Ethereum L2s.

Infura also joined the Data Availability Committee (DAC) for Arbitrum's Nova chain in August 2022. As a part of the DAC, Infura ensures availability of transaction data to Arbitrum Nova users. Given the importance of data availability to user security, Infura data availability service is critical to Arbitrum Nova's ability to provide scalable and low-cost transactions for Web3 applications without trading off security.

You may read the Infura x Arbitrum announcement and Infura x Optimism announcement for more details on the launch. Developers looking to start integrating L2 solutions with dapps can also rely on Infura's node infrastructure: read the Arbitrum RPC documentation and Optimism RPC documentation for more information.

Infura Web3 Endpoints

To grab the endpoints for your project, on the Infura Dashboard click the “Manage Key” button for your project. From the “ENDPOINT” page, you can select the network (e.g. mainnet, testnet) and be able to copy the URL for your web application.

Note that for Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum, you can select the Network dropdown (e.g. mainnet, testnet), and it will bring you to the “MANAGE PLAN” page. On this page, you need to checkbox the “NETWORK ADDONS” and include a credit card in the “CHECKOUT” section before you can save. Once this is complete (we will not charge your card for these free add-ons), you can see the networks from the ENDPOINTS page available.

Value-add features

Free archive node access

For various applications such as decentralized exchanges, liquidity pools, blockchain indexers, and analytics platforms, access to archival blockchain data (i.e., data beyond 128 blocks in the past), is critical. It is, however, increasingly difficult to set up and maintain an archive node—especially as the Ethereum blockchain continues to grow in size.

With Archive access, you can now answer:

  • What was the balance of wallet 0x78da1cc9a1f3bc5 on January 1st, 2020 at 2:00 pm?
  • What was the Total Supply of USDT on July 1st?
  • What was the price of DOGE on UniSwapV2 on July 1st?
  • Would the purchase of 10 XX tokens for 0.1 ETH have been successful at 12:00 pm?

We believe this is a huge differentiating feature for using Infura. To make life easier for developers, Infura announced free archive node access on every plan. Customers using the Core Tier can make up to 25,000 requests for archive data, while Developer Tier users can make up to 100,000 archive node requests per day. Team Tier and Growth Tier users have access to unlimited archive data access.

More details can be found in the accompanying blog post.

Infura NFT API and SDK

This was the year NFTs went mainstream, with high-profile collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and World of Women receiving attention from celebrities, the media, and social network denizens. While the bear market has affected the valuation of NFTs, it hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of brands, creators, and developers planning to tap into the benefits of NFTs.

To streamline the process of creating, minting, and distributing NFTs, Infura announced the beta release of the Infura NFT API and SDK in June. Now in open beta, the Infura NFT API and SDK is an all-in-one toolbox that provides utilities for writing and deploying NFT smart contracts without the overhead of writing considerable lines of code.

The NFT SDK also provides tools for reading NFT information efficiently. For instance, developers can easily extract information about all NFTs owned by an address or the total supply of an NFT collection. This feature will likely be useful to devs working on NFT marketplaces, blockchain gaming, and other applications that rely on user-owned digital assets for certain functionalities.

Developers working on NFT projects can start integrating the Infura NFT SDK into their workflow by reading the Infura NFT SDK documentation.

We’ve already had 2000+ customers sending transactions through the Infura NFT API and we’re looking forward to the NFT API GA release in Q1 2023.

Project and Key Sharing

This year saw the introduction of a feature many Infura users have requested in the past: project sharing. With project sharing, users can enable external access to an Infura project by adding new members and assigning roles. Account owners will still retain control of granting and revoking access, modifying roles, and changing access settings, however.

We share more details on how project sharing works for Infura users in the announcement blog post. Interested readers can also read the project sharing documentation for a more comprehensive overview of this feature.

Decentralized Infrastructure Network

From inception, decentralization has always been one of blockchain technology's biggest value propositions. Which likely explains its unofficial status as the Most Debated Topic in the crypto community.

As a crypto-native organization, Infura understands the need for decentralization—both at the protocol level and infrastructure level. For this reason, we announced plans for a Decentralized Infrastructure Network (DIN) that operates differently from the current SaaS model adopted by blockchain node providers.

A decentralized network of node providers (which doesn't rely on Infura's support, we should add) is critical to the resilience of Web3 applications. While this is a small step for Infura, it is a great leap for efforts at building a decentralized, permissionless, and censorship-resistant Internet for the next generation.

Exfura is a work in progress, with more details to be shared on the project next year. In the meantime, you can read this letter from Infura founder E.G. Galano to understand the rationale to decentralize Infura's infrastructure.

IPFS dedicated gateway

The Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol designed to solve one of the Internet’s biggest problems: ensuring the long-term availability and integrity of stored information. IPFS combines content-addressing, file encryption, directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), and cryptographic primitives like versioning and Merkle trees to enable the persistence of data.

Earlier this year, we announced the deprecation of Infura's public IPFS gateway. Although partly designed to curb misuse of the gateway, the decision was also informed by a desire to increase the quality of service for developers accessing IPFS through Infura.

Infura's dedicated IPFS gateway feature shipped in Q2 2022 and boasts more exciting improvements on the previous public gateway. This includes the freedom for developers to create unique subdomains for projects and restrict gateways to provide only pinned files. Read the IPFS dedicated gateway documentation to start using it in your project today.

IPFS upload via UI

Another important Infura feature launched in November 2022 was the ability to upload files to IPFS via the Infura dashboard UI. Previously, developers were restricted to either uploading files using the IPFS API or ipfs-upload-client CLI tool. While both options are good, other developers may find the drag-and-drop IPFS uploader easier to use.

Files uploaded to IPFS via the Infura UI are automatically pinned to ensure long-term availability. Furthermore, users can manage the pinning and unpinning of IPFS files from the same interface. The UI also displays uploaded files in the project UI for easy access.

Closing thoughts

With a bigger suite of blockchain node APIs and dozens of exciting features launched in 2022, Infura continues in its mission to empower blockchain developers.

As the year ends and a new one beckons, the Infura network is committed to giving every Web3 developer access to highly available, scalable, and secure infrastructure for building decentralized applications.

Ready to start your blockchain adventure? Sign up for a free Infura account today and get instant access to Ethereum, Polygon, IPFS, and 10+ L1 and L2 chains today. You can also get in touch with the team if you need more direct support, or specific information around pricing, sales, and infrastructure.

Happy holidays! And thank you for being part of the Infura community.