Scaling Node Operations at Coinbase

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Tl;dr: This blog shares insights on how Coinbase is investing in new tools and processes to scale its node operations.

By Min Choi, Senior Engineering Manager — Crypto Reliability

Blockchain nodes power almost every user experience at Coinbase. We use them to monitor fund movements, help our customers earn their staking rewards, and build the analytics needed to support popular features within our applications. As such, being able to effectively manage blockchain nodes is vital to our core business and we are continuing to invest in ways to scale our node operations.

One of the most difficult aspects of node management is keeping up with the constant, and sometimes unpredictable, changes to the node software. Asset developers are consistently releasing new code versions and some blockchains, such as Tezos, leverage an on-chain governance model to take a community vote on all proposed changes. A decentralized governance model such as this makes it difficult to predict when a change will be introduced and prepare our internal systems in advance. An example of such a scenario is depicted in the below Messari alert.

Data provided by https://messari.io/

The consequences of not keeping up with these changes can be severe to our customers. They could cause long delays to balance updates in our core wallets or slashed staking rewards. To help minimize these incidents from occurring, we’re focusing investments into the following areas:

This service gives us an extra pair of hands (or…

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