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Best Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024: Researching Cost-Efficiency

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

December 21, 2022

8 min read

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Best Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024

As the crypto segment is still trapped in a painful recession, and the next ‘bull run’ is nowhere near, the time has come to choose customizable and flexible ‘out-of-a-box’ solutions for Web3 infrastructure.

In this text, we’re going to review the offerings of top blockchain RPC providers and compare actual costs of using their services in various use-cases.

Seeking for the best nodes provider for dApps: Top 3 Blockchain RPC Services

Blockchain RPC providers are designed to connect dApps to blockchains without the necessity to run their own nodes. As such, these services are designed to streamline the processes of Web3 development.

Before getting to the review of the existing services, let's take a moment to understand what infrastructure is in the context of cryptocurrency networks and how RPC node providers facilitate access to it.

What is an RPC Node?

In blockchains, nodes are computers that store information about blocks, transactions, and accounts. Unlike traditional databases, blockchains are decentralized: every node stores and updates the copy of information that is necessary for adding new blocks and transaction validation.

RPC nodes fit into the broader set of blockchain nodes, offering a dedicated interface for external communication with cryptocurrency networks. Developers commonly leverage them to programmatically engage with the blockchain.

Ethereum RPC providers, for instance, offer endpoints for users to make requests and query data, submit ETH transactions, or execute various operations on Ethereum.

RPC Node Provider Features

What makes a perfect blockchain RPC provider?

  1. Cost-efficiency (maximum number of requests to blockchain per USD);
  2. Speed (maximum number of requests per second);
  3. Availability (highest possible uptime, the percentage of time an API endpoint is available);
  4. Latency (lowest possible time of data processing from sender to receiver);
  5. Multi-functionality (wide range of additional services including the likes of webhooks, explorers, and so on).

In general, users can prioritize the characteristics of Web3 RPC providers that they find crucial.

Types of RPC Node Providers

Infrastructure providers are typically divided into types depending on the audience they are tuned to cater to.

Private RPC providers focus on supporting permissioned networks. These networks are restricted to authorized participants, often within an organization.

On the other hand, our focus lies on public node providers, which cater to popular blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Polygon. Their main objective is to streamline interaction with these blockchains by offering easy access to nodes, simplifying user engagement and facilitating development activities.

This review isn’t intended to cover all aspects of blockchain RPC providers' performance; instead, we’re attempting to focus on cost-efficiency and flexibility of the services offered by three segment’s ‘blue-chips’:

  1. GetBlock
  2. QuickNode
  3. Alchemy

To test their services, we decided to compare some popular types of methods (commands) used by the dApps on Ethereum (ETH) and EVM-compatible blockchains.

Behind plans, prices and requests: What is a compute unit (CU)?

In our analysis, we’re going to use the term ‘compute unit’ or CU. This metric is designed to measure the amount of computing power needed to execute this or that request to blockchains.

As some methods (commands) are more difficult to execute than others, their execution takes more CUs from a user’s balance.

To compare the performance of GetBlock, QuickNode, and Alchemy, we experimented with following methods:

eth_call - calls read-only functions of a smart contract, doesn’t create new transaction;
eth_getBalance - returns the balance of the account of given address
eth_getBlockByNumber - returns information about a block by block number
trace_block - returns traces created at given block
trace_transaction - returns all traces of given transaction
eth_blockNumber - returns the number of the most recent block

RPC Method Number of CUs spent per one method (Quicknode) Number of CUs spent per one method (Alchemy) Number of CUs spent per one method (GetBlock)
eth_blockNumber 1 10 1
eth_call 2 26 1
eth_getBalance 2 19 1
eth_getBlockByNumber 2 16 1
trace_block 1 24 1
trace_transaction 2 26 1
AVERAGE 1.7 20.2 1

GetBlock leverages different metrics: its ‘request’ always consumes one ‘request’ from the user account whatever methods they use.

As such, for this analysis, we can assume that 1 GetBlock’s request is equal to 1,7 CU of QuickNode or 20,2 CU of Alchemy.

Best Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024: Basics

As we mentioned above, out of three providers, GetBlock uses ‘request’ as a measure of computing resources its user can leverage while QuickNode and Alchemy customers purchase CUs.

Also, GetBlock is the only blockchain RPC provider in our review to employ a ‘pay per use’ model: its requests have no ‘expiration date’ so that users only pay for the resources they actually use.

Blockchain RPC provider Measure Pay per Use GetBlock request ‘weight’ Number of blockchains (mainnets) available
GetBlock Request Yes 1 63
QuickNode CU No 1.7 20
Alchemy CU No 20.2 9

As such, GetBlock offers the highest number of blockchains for its users to highlight its commitment to ‘all-in-one’ principles.

Best Free Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024: Shared Nodes

Free tariffs allow devs to run early-stage dApps, to test new technical designs or to experiment with nodes for personal usage. As such, blockchain nodes providers launch free tariffs as entry-level offerings.

Shared node offerings are available with some limitations: limited throughput (requests per second), limited net number of requests sent, and so on. Let’s overview the conditions of free tariffs offered by GetBlock, QuickNode, and Alchemy.

Blockchain RPC provider CUs Requests Rate limit, RPS Number of endpoints
GetBlock 1 200 000 1 200 000 60 Unlimited
QuickNode 10 000 000 5 882 353 25 1
Alchemy 300 000 000 14 851 485 16 5

That said, while Alchemy and QuickNode offer larger numbers of requests, GetBlock guarantees the highest rate limit in free tariff.

Web3 developers can share 1 200 000 requests between the unlimited number of blockchains; this allows them to try more networks and optimize resources as GetBlock is the only blockchain RPC provider with the unlimited number of endpoints in free tariff.

Best Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024: Premium Tariffs

To allow their clients scale and add new features, blockchain RPC providers offer premium tariffs with enhanced opportunities. Typically, that includes a higher number of requests, maximum rate limit metrics and upgraded support line.

Blockchain RPC provider Price, USD Requests Price per 10,000 requests, USD Rate limit, RPS Number of endpoints
GetBlock 499 Unlimited Up to 0.01 Up to 200 Unlimited
QuickNode 299 70 588 235 0.04 300 20
Alchemy 49 19 801 980 0.02 33 15

GetBlock’s premium offer (unlimited package with x3 rate limits) appears to be a smart bet for resource-efficient development: it offers unlimited number of requests together with lowest price per 10,000 requests.

To activate this special package, please reach out to our team:

Compared to relevant offerings of our competitors, this service can save $200-$800 per month (for dApps with continuos load). Should you project work without continuos load, our smart solution will use Pay-per-use packages that don’t expire in a month.

Meanwhile, when it comes to RPS on premium plans, QuickNode’s offering is the fastest one.

Just like in the previous comparison, GetBlock is the only blockchain RPC provider that allows its users to create an unlimited number of endpoints within one account.

Best Blockchain RPC Providers for 2024: Customized Offers

When it comes to customized premium offerings (dedicated nodes that provide private access to blockchain), GetBlock is among the most user-oriented blockchain nodes providers. Namely, it can set up a purpose-made solution for high-performance dApps with eye-watering features:
This offer is particularly attractive for the products with 1-2 blockchain protocols used:

  • 1000+ requests per second (RPS);
  • Archive data;
  • All customizable configurations tailored for certain use-case;
  • Low-cost trial period;
  • Dedicated support line

In addition to that, GetBlock released a dedicated nodes configurator to streamline the process of setting up dedicated nodes: it can be configured for your use-case in (literally) three clicks.

Wrapping up: Things to look for when choosing a blockchain RPC provider

To sum up, every blockchain RPC provider has its own strong points. Meanwhile, GetBlock champions cost-efficient and smart approach to development resources. This, in turn, allows Web3 devs to make engineering processes more resource-optimized, and, eventually, reduce net costs of development.

Order GetBlock shared nodes for free, or try custom-made dedicated node for just $50

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

December 21, 2022

8 min read