Fortmatic + Alchemy, fast and functional blockchain infrastructure with peace of mind

Sean Li
Sean Li
Sep 10 · 4 min read

Alchemy is our infrastructure provider and one of our earliest partners. They came to the rescue when we were running into node management issues a couple months after our public debut at ETHDenver. To date, we’ve been integrated in quite a few Ethereum applications and have sent over 1.5 BN queries and writes to the Ethereum network through their API. Alchemy deserves huge props, and I’m excited to share more about how Alchemy is a crucial piece of infrastructure for Fortmatic to deliver an uncompromising product.

In the current blockchain space, we see tremendous innovation and growth, but we have also experienced the drawbacks of an early ecosystem as a business looking for solutions we can rely on and leverage to move faster. The Alchemy guys are veterans, adhere to best B2B practices, take care of their customers, and provide valuable peace of mind. We really appreciate their excellent customer support, listening to our needs, and having skin in the game.

Before Alchemy, we experienced dropped connections, missed transactions, inconsistent data, and breaking node version updates.

When we were three guys hacking on the Fortmatic MVP before launch, we spent at least a month writing custom code around our node infrastructure and 2–3 hours of upkeep per day in order to do book-keeping and show pending transactions, which were very important for us to provide a responsive user experience.

One of the major issues was WebSockets connections. Any connections that were older than an hour were automatically terminated, as well as any idle connections. While having to build our entire security architecture and frontend UI, we also had to construct a program that looped to reopen the WebSockets connection 100 times a day! This solution wasn’t foolproof since our programmatic worker erratically failed. Our team spent at least another week stabilizing our worker, but we still had to monitor our worker and come in to restart it whenever necessary.

Because our worker detected closed connections and reopened them, we had many short gaps where we were disconnected and might have missed transactions. At the end of each day, we ran a backfill process to catch any missed transactions related to our wallets.

In addition, we had problems with versioning. Changes that were incompatible with our system were made on our previous provider, and version was not bumped. The changes updated the main version we were running and broke processes on our end.

Alchemy came to the rescue, with reliable infrastructure, ultra responsive support, and providing the peace of mind that we needed to focus on our own product instead of the node infrastructure.

We are laser-focused on the product and vision we’re building towards at Fortmatic, and therefore, we have three very strict criteria for any solution we’ll be integrating with: limited vendor lock-in, risk-free on-boarding, and future-proof solutions/companies that can grow with us and take care of us along the way. We were pleased that Alchemy imposed no vendor lock-in risk and their endpoints required zero time upfront to integrate. Since using Alchemy’s service was a simple URL change, it was a no-brainer to just try it out. Alchemy is also a startup company built by veterans, with strong customer-centric ethos, and therefore, gives us the comfort to grow with them as they are very receptive to our requests and feedback.

With Alchemy, the difference in performance was remarkable. Transactions were processed consistently ~3–4x faster on both mainnet and testnets. For example, a Fortmatic user will need to wait around only ~7 seconds for their transaction to process instead of 20–30 seconds. This was a huge boost to our user experience.

Getting data from eth nodes can be challenging, especially with nodes being kicked off and achieving consensus. We no longer worry about being connected to one node and querying data from another based on a balancer. Alchemy’s infrastructure is very consistent in the data that it serves back to us.

Alchemy saves us time, money, and hustle.

In the long run, having a reliable source for blockchain queries and transactions saves time, money, and hustle. We used to spend 60–90 hours a month fixing issues related to infrastructure. Alchemy provides the expertise, real-time support, and the peace of mind we need to sleep better at night. Our engineering team rarely needs to worry about node infrastructure anymore, since the best products for developers are often hidden in the background, stay out of developers’ ways, and ultra reliable. It’s important for developers to stay focused and not get distracted by incidents.

If you are curious about trying Alchemy, you can get started here! If you’re interested in learning more about Fortmatic, join us on Discord or find us on Twitter!

Learn more about Alchemy: alchemyapi.io

Chat with us on Discord: discord.gg/JqrDbRB

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/fortmatic

Fortmatic

Auth is simpler on the blockchain. Let users access your Ethereum app from anywhere. No more browser extensions and seed phrases.

Sean Li

Written by

Sean Li

ceo @fortmatic | ex-@docker @kitematic | @uwaterloo alumni

Fortmatic

Fortmatic

Auth is simpler on the blockchain. Let users access your Ethereum app from anywhere. No more browser extensions and seed phrases.

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