In this article, we delve deeper into the subject of RPC nodes, which are infrastructures offering a “Remote Procedure Call” interface capable of serving as a gateway between users and decentralized cryptography applications.
These nodes are used to provide communication between dapps and the blockchain, allowing commands to be sent to the Ethereum virtual machine and other crypto networks.
Let’s take a look below at how they work specifically and which are the best crypto providers on Ethereum.
Crypto: What is a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) node and what does it have to do with Ethereum?
Ethereum RPC nodes play a central role in the decentralized application landscape of the crypto world, providing the ability to send transaction requests to the network via a convenient “Remote Procedure Call” interface.
The term “RPC” refers to a mechanism that allows a program to call functions or procedures on a remote computer over a network.
This way, developers and users can easily interact with a web3 application, obtaining simplified access to data and information from a blockchain
To put it simply, when we connect with our Metamask wallet (which acts as a client in this case) to a dapp, we use the basic RPC offered by Consensys to communicate with the hosted network.
In our case, we introduced the subject starting with Ethereum blockchain, but it is important to consider that RPC nodes are used for any type of decentralized crypto network such as Solana, Avalanche, Fantom, BNB Chain, Arbitrum, Optimism, etc.
In detail, remote procedure call interfaces work as follows:
a client (the application from which a command is to be sent) sends an RPC request to the remote server, containing details about the function to call or the procedure to execute.
An example of an RPC node could refer to the servers running the Consensus Layer and Execution Layer infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain.
The request, sent over a network in HTTP or JSON-RPC data format, is received by the remote server which interprets the call details and executes the requested procedure, returning the result to the client.
Quest’ultimo receives the response and can process the result obtained from the remote procedure.
It is important to emphasize that access to RPC nodes must be configured with great care to avoid security issues with your wallet, exposing sensitive data to prying providers, or amplifying the tool’s technical vulnerabilities.
Remote procedure call endpoints are often associated with an interface called an “endpoint”, which represents specific URLs or locations through which a specific function or operation can be sent to the remote procedure call. Ethereum blockchain.
Below is a practical example of a specific call to an Ethereum endpoint, where we invoke the function “eth_getBalance”which determines the balance of an Ethereum address.
Different types of RPC endpoints
Endpoints essentially manage functions or operations available via RPC (Remote Procedure Call) calls, providing crypto developers with a convenient standardized interface for interacting with the reference blockchain.
Endpoints are generally classified into two categories, namely public and private endpoints, but one can also consider a third category of alternative endpoints that can help applications maintain backups by eliminating downtime .
Going into more detail, we can look at these different types:
– Public RPC endpoint
Public RPC endpoints represent shared resources that can be used by anyone without the need for special permissions.
Anyone can send requests to the network with a public endpoint, but production-level applications are not supported. This type of endpoint does not have an active infrastructure for developers and does not always meet the needs of a dapp.
– Private RPC endpoint
These are designed to meet the needs of a specific crypto application, providing improved speed and consistency with RPC nodes.
Private RPC endpoints also facilitate the efficient maintenance of explicit service level agreements or SLAs, ensuring superior performance.
– Alternative RPC endpoints
Finally, alternate RPC endpoints help avoid downtime because they function as backup endpoints. They play a crucial role in managing Ethereum RPC nodes and other chains as they provide a unique user experience in the crypto world.
Developing dApps with RPC endpoints is one of the best practices to avoid call errors.
ChainList: Best RPC Node Crypto Providers on Ethereum
Every time we interact with a web3 dapp, we use the remote procedure call interface through a specific provider node, defined by default by the wallet we have or manually selected for the desired performance.
All RPC node providers ensure that dApps work smoothly, helping developers save time, money, and effort in creating innovative solutions for end users.
The best providers offering this type of service are Alchemy, Infura, Ankr and Quicknode..
All 4 offer reliable and scalable infrastructure for communicating with various blockchains, choosing between free plans for basic orders and paid plans for additional features.
Without going into too much technical detail, let’s see how to select an RPC server of choice from those available when you want to interact with a decentralized network.
The best way to use a specific remote procedure call interface, different from the default one set by your client, is through the website Chainlist.org
Here, in addition to connecting our wallet to the preferred blockchains (testnet and mainnet), we can choose from a wide range of RPC nodes for each selected network.
For each node there is information such as: server address, block height, latency, channel list score and user data storage for confidentiality.
In the following image, we choose from different RPC node options for the Ethereum Mainnet blockchain.
By selecting the “Add to metamask» on the right, we can efficiently switch between the provider we are currently using and the desired one.