Share your GetBlock experience with other devs and get 5M RPCs

banner image

What is Blockchain RPC (Remote Procedure Calls)?

Deen Newman

Deen Newman

April 8, 2024

7 min read

article cover

In this longread, let’s study the basics of blockchain remote procedure calls or blockchain RPCs and their usage in Web3 development. Also, we’ll find out how to use blockchain RPCs for dApps and what to know about blockchain RPC providers' security.

What is blockchain RPC? Quick facts

Blockchain RPC (Remote Procedure Call) serves as an interface allowing applications to interact directly with a blockchain network, enabling actions like querying data and submitting transactions. When it comes to RPC meaning, the blockchain segment reveals a similar design to Web2 systems.

  • Blockchain RPC allows the execution of blockchain commands remotely, facilitating operations such as retrieving account balances, sending transactions, and calling smart contract functions;

  • RPC uses a client-server communication model, where the client sends a request to the server (the blockchain node) to perform specific operations, and the server responds with the requested data or confirmation;

  • RPC in blockchain supports a wide range of applications, from wallets and exchanges to decentralized apps (dApps), by providing them with the necessary blockchain data and interaction capabilities;

  • While it follows standardized protocols for basic operations, blockchain RPC can also be customized for specific blockchain functionalities, offering developers flexibility in integrating blockchain features into their applications.

As such, blockchain RPCs are inevitable for development of commercial applications, and, in some cases, for advanced personal usage of cryptocurrencies.

How does blockchain RPC work?

Blockchain RPC (Remote Procedure Call) works by establishing a communication channel between a client application and a blockchain network node. The client sends a request to the node via RPC calls, specifying the action it wants to perform, such as querying blockchain data or submitting a transaction. These calls are formatted as structured commands, typically in JSON format, over HTTP or WebSocket protocols.

Blockchain_RPC_nodes

Image by GetBlock

The node processes these requests by executing the specified actions directly on the RPC node. Blockchain, once receiving a transaction, makes the node respond back to the client with the results, such as transaction details or account balances, enabling seamless interaction with the blockchain without needing to run a full node locally.

Best blockchain RPC providers in 2024: List

Blockchain RPC provider is a platform that connects customers to blockchains via ready-made endpoints. Users sign in, get API endpoint addresses and connect to decentralized networks with ease.

# Blockchain RPC provider Launched Blockchains supported
1 GetBlock 2019 50+
2 Alchemy 2019 6
3 Quicknode 2018 35+
4 Infura 2016 8
5 Ankr 2019 30+

The segment of blockchain RPC node providers gained traction in 2021-2022 after the third Bitcoin (BTC) bullish rally. GetBlock, Alchemy, and QuickNode are the top blockchain RPC node providers while Consensys-backed Infura pioneered this concept.

Benefits of using blockchain RPC

Using blockchain RPC offers significant benefits by enabling seamless interaction with blockchain networks. It facilitates direct communication with the blockchain, allowing applications to perform transactions, query data, and execute smart contract functions efficiently. This enhances application functionality and user experience by providing real-time access to blockchain information.

Furthermore, BTC RPC abstracts the complexity of blockchain technology, making it more accessible to developers without deep blockchain expertise. It also supports scalability and flexibility in application development, as developers can easily integrate various blockchain features into their applications. Overall, blockchain RPC - be it ETH RPC or BSC RPC - is a crucial tool for building dynamic, secure, and efficient decentralized applications and services.

Blockchain RPC endpoints can be accessed with GetBlock node provider. Discover RPC endpoints for over 5o blockchains tailored to every developer's needs. Register with MetaMask in a click and test the top-notch connectivity with Web3 today – free 40,000 daily requests already available in your account.

Use-cases of blockchain RPC

Blockchain RPC endpoints play crucial roles in Web3 development of every crypto application including Play-to-Earn apps, DeFis, DEXes, GameFis, wallets or block explorers. Both centralized and decentralized solutions leverage the RPC node blockchain relies on.

Blockchain RPC for dApps

Blockchain RPC plays a pivotal role for decentralized applications (dApps) by serving as the primary communication bridge between these applications and the blockchain network. It enables dApps (on programmable blockchains - MATIC RPC, OP RPC, etc) to query the blockchain for real-time data, submit transactions, and interact with smart contracts seamlessly.

This interaction is crucial for dApps to function, as it allows them to execute blockchain-based operations directly from their interfaces without requiring users to run full blockchain nodes. By leveraging RPC, dApps can offer users a smooth and integrated experience, combining the decentralized benefits of blockchain technology with the accessibility and efficiency of traditional applications, thereby driving adoption and utility in the decentralized space.

Blockchain RPC for crypto wallets

Blockchain RPC is crucial for decentralized cryptocurrency wallets, acting as the conduit for these wallets to interact with blockchain networks. It allows wallets to perform essential functions such as querying balance information, sending and receiving transactions, and monitoring the status of these transactions on the blockchain. By leveraging RPC calls, decentralized wallets can offer users real-time access to their funds and transaction data without the need to host a full node locally.

This not only enhances the user experience by providing fast and accurate information but also ensures that the wallets can operate efficiently and securely, maintaining the decentralized ethos by enabling direct interaction with the blockchain.

Blockchain RPC for block explorers

Blockchain RPC is integral to the operation of block explorers, serving as the foundation for these platforms to access and display blockchain data in a user-friendly manner. Through RPC calls, block explorers can retrieve detailed information about transactions, blocks, addresses, and smart contracts directly from the blockchain.

This enables them to provide real-time insights into blockchain activities, including transaction histories, wallet balances, and network statistics. The use of RPC ensures that block explorers can offer comprehensive, up-to-date information, making the blockchain's complex data accessible and understandable to both seasoned users and newcomers, thereby enhancing transparency and trust in the blockchain ecosystem.

Challenges and limitations of blockchain RPC

Despite being a powerful and multi-purpose technology, blockchain RPC endpoints have its own limitations when it comes to scaling, security, and centralization.

  1. Scalability bottlenecks. As the demand on a blockchain network increases, RPC servers can become overwhelmed with requests, leading to slower response times and potential downtime. This scalability challenge is especially pronounced during peak usage times or on networks with high transaction volumes.

  2. Security vulnerabilities. Exposing an RPC interface can introduce security risks if not properly secured. Unauthorized access through RPC endpoints can lead to data breaches or manipulation. Ensuring robust security measures, such as authentication and encryption, is crucial but can be complex and resource-intensive.

  3. Centralization issues. Relying heavily on a limited number of RPC nodes for network access can lead to centralization, where the control and operation of these nodes are in the hands of a few. This centralization can contradict the decentralized ethos of blockchain technology, potentially creating single points of failure and influencing network reliability and integrity.

As such, working with blockchain RPC nodes requires basic security and technical expertise.

Context Banner

FAQ

  • How is blockchain RPC different from traditional APIs?

    plus
  • Which blockchain networks are compatible with blockchain RPC?

    plus
  • Can blockchain RPC be used for both public and private blockchain networks?

    plus
  • What are the prerequisites for implementing blockchain RPC?

    plus
Deen Newman

Deen Newman

April 8, 2024

7 min read

twittertwittertelegramtelegramLinkedinLinkedin