An in-depth analysis of Apron Node Service

Apron Labs has developed a set of Huobi Eco Chain node services based on the Apron Network prototype products, filling the gap of Heco ecosystem node services, and providing free services for developers in the Heco ecosystem. This service will become the Infura of the Heco ecosystem.

We are currently looking for active DApp developers who wish to build their service on Heco ecosystem to offer them full node services for free.

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What can the Heco node service provided by Apron Network do?

The Heco node service provided by Apron Network is similar to the service provided by Infura for Ethereum, allowing developers in the Heco ecosystem to conveniently use the node’s API, and to develop various blockchain applications conveniently and quickly. In the future, Apron Network will improve its products and continue to iterate on Heco node services. Eventually, it will fully realize the matching between the services of node operators and the needs of developers on the decentralized infrastructure service platform, so that operating nodes can bring benefits and allow the entire blockchain ecology continues to develop.

Why Apron Network?

On November 11, 2020, Beijing time, an error occurred in the Infura API service of the Ethereum node service, which caused the collapse of several services that depend on Infura. Many mainstream projects are using Infura, including Ethereum wallet MetaMask, non-custodial wallet Coinbase wallet, crypto game CryptoKitties, lending platform Compound, and many other DApps.

The reason behind this error is that the developers of Ethereum have upgraded the code, and the clients will be affected if their nodes are not upgraded in time. These service providers that have not updated the client include Infura. The blockchain run by Infura’s nodes has a short fork (30 blocks in 2 hours). Technically, this means that an “unannounced hard fork” has occurred.

Although it was remedied in time and there was no real fork, this incident still sounded the alarm for the decentralized Web 3.0 world. Relying on centralized services will bring great risks.

Nodes are one of the most important guarantees of decentralization. Although nodes are so important in the blockchain world, how many people and institutions are running nodes? According to the statistics of the bitnodes website, Bitcoin has about 11,507 nodes, and according to the statistics of the ethernodes website, Ethereum has about 11,376 nodes.

Diversified equipment is a state that has been conceived since the birth of Bitcoin in the blockchain field. Not everyone can have better-performance professional computer equipment, and with the development of technology, more better-performance equipment needs to be added to the blockchain network, but there are several practical problems in maintaining nodes:

  1. It takes up a lot of disks and requires a lot of hardware investment.
  2. It requires energy for node maintenance.
  3. There is almost no benefit from running nodes. These three problems make it difficult for individuals and teams to have motivation to run nodes.

So the idea of ​​Apron Network was born, hoping to create a decentralized infrastructure service network based on blockchain technology, through a decentralized way to complete the matching between developer service requirements and node operator services, so that the blockchain network can continue to be safe and reliable. When this idea came into being, we applied for Web3 Open Grants. The review experts of the Web3 Foundation gave high expectations and looked forward to Apron Network’s ability to bring new changes to the Web3 world.

What is the future of Apron Network?

From the perspective of the traditional software industry, Apron Network is a form of middleware services. For the information industry, middleware is an important bridge for the industry.

The definition of middleware is a type of software that provides connections between system software and application software and facilitates communication between software components. Application software can use middleware to share information and resources between different technical architectures.

In the blockchain, blockchain middleware can be understood as a kind of software that provides communication between the blockchain and application software. Help developers make better use of the underlying protocol and develop applications better and faster.

Apron can be seen as an example of putting middleware theory into practice. As can be seen from the above three categories, node services are also a kind of middleware, and Apron is a part of this middleware. Apron must become a decentralized Infura, providing users with API access services in a decentralized manner, which will support multiple chains, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, IPFS, Tron, etc.

In addition, Apron will also integrate various services, including data analysis platforms, data storage and messaging services, and so on.

Middleware platforms not only bring convenience to application developers, but also bring convenience to middleware service providers and users in the ecosystem. The data analysis platform mentioned above is run by middleware service providers. They set reasonable fees and provide high-quality services to developers, so as to obtain benefits and form a decentralized AWS basic service market. There is no doubt that users will also get benefits. Decentralized services can make the entire network more secure, thereby ensuring the safety of user assets. In addition, by choosing high-quality service providers in the service market, users will get a more stable user experience.

Judging from the past experience of the development of the information industry, middleware is the largest market in the information industry, and it also accounts for most of the profits of the entire industry. It is predicted that by 2020, the revenue will reach 33.7 billion U.S. dollars, and it will grow every year with a growth rates of around 7%. In the blockchain field, there will also be a stage of rapid development of the middleware service market in the blockchain field in the future, and Apron Network will occupy a certain share in the blockchain infrastructure service field.

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