In a recent announcement, Snowtrace.io, a prominent blockchain explorer tool for the Avalanche network, has confirmed that it will be shutting down its website. This decision pertains specifically to the explorer powered by Etherscan’s Explorer-as-a-Service (EaaS) toolkit. While the Snowtrace team has not explicitly disclosed the reasons behind this decision, speculation in the blockchain community points towards Etherscan’s service fees as a contributing factor.
Snowtrace users have been advised to take immediate action by saving their backup information, including private name tags and contact verification details, before the stipulated shutdown date of November 30. This precautionary step is crucial to ensure that users do not lose their valuable data when the explorer is discontinued.
Etherscan’s EaaS service fees raise concerns
One of the key factors potentially driving the shutdown of Snowtrace’s Etherscan-powered explorer is the cost associated with Etherscan’s EaaS service. Mikko Ohtama, co-founder of trading protocol, shed light on this matter, revealing that an annual subscription to Etherscan’s EaaS can amount to a substantial $1-$2 million per year. While Etherscan is acknowledged for its quality as a product, concerns have been raised about the centralization of smart contract verification, particularly in light of regulatory scrutiny.
Ohtama emphasized the need for decentralization in the smart contract verification process, stating that regulators and other stakeholders may question the legitimacy of a system where the source code is hosted by a private company in Malaysia. This highlights the broader industry debate on the importance of decentralization and transparency in blockchain technology.
Ava Labs’ perspective: Moving onto something better
Phillip Liu Jr., head of strategy and operations at Ava Labs, the organization behind the Avalanche protocol, chimed in on the situation. Liu assured the community that Snowtrace’s shutdown of the Etherscan-powered explorer does not signal a cessation of operations for the protocol. Instead, he expressed that the team is actively transitioning to a new and improved solution.
Etherscan’s EaaS service offers blockchains a valuable combination of a block explorer and an application programming interface (API) solution. However, the discontinuation of a block explorer powered by Etherscan’s EaaS toolkit can occur for various reasons, including the non-renewal of a service agreement, insufficient bandwidth, or limited traffic.
In light of the impending shutdown, Snowtrace users are strongly advised to take action to safeguard their data. This includes preserving private name tags, transaction notes, contract verification details, and any other pertinent information that may be stored on the platform. Failure to do so could result in the permanent loss of valuable data.