From the docs:

This creates a FallbackProvider backed by multiple backends (INFURA and Etherscan). This is the recommended method of connecting to the Ethereum network if you are not running your own Ethereum node.

As far as I know, both Infura and Etherscan require API keys. Did Richard Moore convince them to make their tools a public good when used via ethers.js?

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This is something I was also wondering recently when I was getting 429 Too Many Requests responses from the default provider. Looking at the source code there are default API keys hardcoded in the source code (see etherscan-provider.ts#L87 and infura-provider.ts#17).

It is possible that Richard has some additional arrangements with Etherscan/Infura to allow higher rate limits on those keys, but as I noticed, it is possible to hit the rate limits.

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