*Note: This review and score is purely based on the information disclosed by the validator service and the scoring rubric
Last Updated: Oct 7, 2019
About Infinity Stones
Infinity Stones’ validator service operates across the Cosmos, EOS, TRON, LOOM, Tezos, and IRISnet blockchains. Built by a team of PhD’s from Georgia Tech, Infinity Stones differentiates itself with its blockchain-agnostic validation approach, as well as its strong uptime guarantees and insurance policy. Infinity Stones presently offers 10-20% commission validation services, and is based across Oregon, Singapore, and China.
Team Background (50/100)
- Full-Time/Part-Time (10/10)
- Prior Blockchain Dev/Impact (0/10)
- Systems Experience (5/10)
- Recognizability (5/10)
Current Voting Power (27/100)
- Total Staked: (6/10)
- Unique Self-Bonders: (2/10)
- Commissions: (0/10)
Historical Metrics (60/100)
- Uptime (10/10)
- Proposals (2/10)
- Legal Compliance/Insurance (+5)
- Innovations (+5)
Infinity Stones was founded by a group of PhD’s from Georgia Tech in May 2018. The team includes Sili Zhao (business analyst), and Emily Zhu (founder), as well as a number of other engineers and business development personnel spread across the US and China.
The core Infinity Stones team has reportedly been following the blockchain industry for multiple years, and has recently taken its first foray into the space with its PoS validation services. The team has now grown to six people in the United States, and 10+ in China. These team members in China are largely focused on product and engineering – specifically trying to build additional infrastructure for Infinity Stones’ staking pool. The US team is reportedly focused on branding, marketing, and business development – as well as some infrastructure dev. Brief bios of some of the team can be found below:
Founder: Unknown. This individual is reportedly a structural engineer by background, and an alumni of tech giants like Google Cloud. Infinity Stones’ founder is currently in china, alongside the engineering team
CEO: Unknown. Georgia Tech PhD. Specialization in IoT devices. Previously worked at Oracle. Focus at Infinity Stones is IoT and systems.
Head of Engineering: Unknown. Previously a Google engineer. Experienced in operational security and cloud security. Project lead on Infinity Stones’ patent-pending HSM module.
Chief Product Officer: Unknown. Georgia Tech PhD. 10 years experience in product development and cloud computing.
Alerts Lead: Unknown. Previously a Google engineer. Responsible for monitoring, maintenance, and disaster recovery.
The Infinity Stones team is all full-time on this project.
Infinity Stones is presently the #30 validator on the Cosmos hub by delegation with ~1.508 million atoms delegated. At time of writing, this translates to approximately $5.47M USD. The majority of these funds (1.031 million) come from a single address, which is predicted to belong to either i) the Infinity Stones team, or ii) Infinity Stones seed investors. Infinity Stones offers 10% commission on this service – a rate slightly higher than industry standard.
Infinity Stones is presently the #9 validator on EOS with ~144.35 million votes. These votes have come from 7,600 thousand unique accounts.
Infinity Stones is presently the #19 validator on the TRON by delegation with ~224 million
votes. The majority of these votes (200 million) come from a single address, which is predicted to belong to either i) the Infinity Stones team, or ii) Infinity Stones seed investors.
Infinity Stones is presently the #16 validator on the LOOM network with ~3.613 million LOOM staked. At time of writing, this translates to approximately ~$160,000 USD. Over 60% of these funds have been self-delegated. Infinity Stones offers 15% commission on this service – a rate slightly below than industry standard.
Information unavailable. If you know the Infinity Stones Tezos address, reach out.
Infinity Stones is presently the #59 validator on IRIS network with ~2.246 million IRIS staked. At time of writing, this translates to approximately ~$82,000 USD. Over 99% of these funds have been delegated from a single third party address. Infinity Stones offers 20% commission on this service – a rate above industry standard.
Infinity Stones has maintained near 100% uptime since its entrance into Cosmos’ active validator set. The team has missed 50 out of 1000 precommits once and 150 consecutive precommits twice in the past 5 months. The company has 0.88% of the network’s voting power; a number that has been maintained relatively neutral over the past few months.
Of the five significant proposals on the Cosmos Hub thus far, Infinity Stones has participated in one (20%). The team voted in accordance with popular opinion on this proposal (a resolve for a security critical bug).
On IRIS Network, Infinity Stones hasn’t had any notable downtime. The company is also listed as “active” on LOOM network at time of writing.
Infinity Stones describes itself as the “bridge” between different blockchains – with a goal to connect to as many blockchains as possible. The company focuses stringently on maximizing uptime with a standard architecture across networks – with desired downtime periods of less than 20 seconds per downtime event. At time of writing, the Infinity Stones team is also working on a DAO to encourage more active participation in governance. The team presently solely participates in governance primarily across TRON, EOS, and Cosmos, but sees itself improving its breadth of governance activity in the future.
Infinity Stones is one of the few projects that offers “downtime rewards” – an insurance policy against downtime events. The company presently has a partnership with Circle – a leading P2P payments company, which covers all slashing resultant of downtime. This policy is presently only in place on Infinity Stones’ Cosmos validator, however will be expanded on in the future.
- Failover (8/30)
- Private Peering (10/10)
- Agreements with other Validators (unknown/10)
- Sentry Scaling (10/10)
- Backup Strategy
Infinity Stones presently operates all validator nodes in the cloud, primarily using AWS. The company employs a master-slave architecture on validator nodes, with signatures originating from cloud-based HSMs. All validators can only be accessed inside a VPN. The company made the decision to “go cloud” for the early stages of its setup, however may transition to a physical setup in the future. Automatic failover is in place at time of writing.
Infinity Stones presently deploys a standard sentry architecture with private peering. Sentries are exposed on a public P2P network for RPC’s, while the Infinity Stones Validator nodes only serve requests from known Infinity Stones sentries. Infinity Stones additionally has snapshotting and autoscaling configured. This helps with the rapid deployment of new sentries in the face of Network instability and/or DoS attacks.
Custom code developed by Infinity Stones to date has been focused on adaptive key management. The Infinity Stones team has done in-house development to make Cosmos and other validated networks compatible with AWS CloudHSM.
Infinity Stones has additionally stated they have built a disaster recovery system designed to reduce downtime events to 20-60 seconds. No comments were made on whether the disaster recovery system specification or architecture would be made open source in the future.
Monitoring Tools (67 /100)
- Network Level (5/10)
- Hardware Level (5/10)
- Paging (10/10)
Single Point of Failure (100/100)
- Multi-Cloud (10/10)
- Multi-Region (10/10)
Key Management (25/100)
- HSM Selections (0/10)
- Smart Key Management (5/10)
Validator Access (0/100)
- Physical/Remote (0/10)
Infinity Stones maintains a 24 hour rotation maintained by DevOps engineers to monitor abnormal events. This rotation features 12 hours watch by their US team, and 12 hours watch by their Chinese team. Standard open source monitoring tools are used. Autoscaling is triggered through monitoring tool events.
Single Points of Failure
Infinity Stones operates sentries across multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Alicloud. Within each provider, Infinity Stones uses multiple regions, mitigating issues caused by geography. In a recent article, Infinity Stones claimed more than 100 nodes are presently under their management.
InfinityStones presently uses AWS CloudHSM as their Hardware Security Module. These devices are accessed through AWS Cloud Services, exposing potential vulnerabilities if a key AWS account were to be breached. Based on each chain’s implementation, Infinity Stones will do secondary development as well. For example, Cosmos is using SECP256K1 algorithm for encryption which is supported by AWS CloudHSM. However, Cosmos has not yet integrated this feature into its codebase. The Infinity Stones team has done secondary in-house development to make Cosmos compatible with AWS CloudHSM.
Access to physical hardware is non-existent in Infinity Stones’ setup. This is typically considered a negative; as troubleshooting cloud services is more difficult and complicated than unplugging and fixing malfunctions in a physical machine.
When prompted, the Infinity Stones team provided the following focal point for future efforts:
“Infinity Stones wants to be a one-stop shop for customers to i) stake tokens, ii) participate in governance, and iii) engage with staking pool product offerings (rewards monitoring, fast payouts, etc.)”