HomeBlockchainCrypto Remote Procedure Call Interface: in-depth analysis of Ethereum RPC nodes

Crypto Remote Procedure Call Interface: in-depth analysis of Ethereum RPC nodes

In this article we delve into the topic of RPC nodes, which are infrastructures that offer a “Remote Procedure Call” interface capable of acting as a gateway between users and decentralized crypto applications.

These nodes are used to ensure communication between dapps and the blockchain, allowing commands to be sent to the Ethereum virtual machine and other cryptographic networks.

Let’s see below how they work specifically and what are the best crypto providers on Ethereum.

Crypto: what is an RPC (Remote Procedure Call) node and what does it have to do with Ethereum?

The RPC nodes in Ethereum play a central role within the decentralized applications landscape of the crypto world, offering the possibility to send transaction requests to the network through 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.

In this way developers and users can easily interact with a web3 application, obtaining simplified access to the data and information of 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 are using the basic RPC offered by Consensys to communicate with the hosted network.

In our case, we introduced the topic starting from the Ethereum blockchain, but it is important to consider that RPC nodes are used for any type of decentralized cryptographic 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 be called or the procedure to be executed.

An example of an RPC node could point to the servers running the Consensus Layer and the Execution Layer infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The request, sent over a network using the HTTP or JSON-RPC data format, is received by the remote server that interprets the details of the call and executes the requested procedure, sending the result back to the client.

Quest’ultimo  receives the response and can process the result obtained from the remote procedure.

It is important to underline that access to RPC nodes must be configured with great care in order to avoid security issues with your wallet, exposing sensitive data to indiscreet providers, or amplifying technical vulnerabilities of the tool.

The endpoints of a Remote Procedure Call are often associated with an interface called “endpoint”, which represent URL addresses or specific locations through which it is possible to send a specific function or operation to the 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.

crypto remote procedure call

Different types of RPC endpoints

The endpoints essentially manage the functions or operations available through Remote Procedure Call (RPC) calls, providing crypto developers with a convenient standardized interface to interact with the reference blockchain.

Endpoints are generally classified into two categories, namely public and private ones, but we can also consider a third category of alternative endpoints that can help applications in maintaining backups by eliminating downtime.

Going into more detail, we can take a 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 productive-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 address the needs of a specific cryptographic application, offering improved speed and consistency with RPC nodes.

Private RPC endpoints also facilitate effective maintenance of explicit service level agreements or SLAs, thus ensuring higher performance.

– Alternative RPC endpoints

Finally, alternative RPC endpoints help avoid downtime as they function as backup endpoints. They play a crucial role in managing Ethereum RPC nodes and other chains as they offer a unique user experience in the crypto world.

Developing dApps with RPC endpoints is one of the best practices to avoid call errors.

ChainList: The best crypto providers of Remote Procedure Call nodes on Ethereum 

Every time we interact with a web3 dapp, we are using the Remote Procedure Call interface through a specific provider node, which is set by default by the wallet we have or manually selected for desired performance.

All RPC node providers work to ensure that dApps run smoothly, helping developers save time, money, and effort in creating innovative solutions for end users.

The best providers that offer this kind of service are Alchemy, Infura, Ankr, and Quicknode.

All 4 of them offer a reliable and scalable infrastructure to communicate with various blockchains, choosing between free plans for basic commands and paid plans for extra features.

Without going too much into technicalities, let’s see how to select an RPC server of choice among those available when we want to interact with a decentralized network.

The best way to use a specific Remote Procedure Call interface, different from the one set by default by your client, is to go 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, Chainlist score, and user data storage for privacy.

In the following image, we are choosing among different RPC node options for the Ethereum Mainnet blockchain.

By selecting the “Add to Metamask” option on the right, we can effectively switch between the provider we are currently using and the desired one.

Alessandro Adami
Alessandro Adami
Graduated in "Information, Media and Advertising", for over 4 years interested in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Co-Founder of Tokenparty, community active in spreading crypto-enthusiasm. Co-founder of Legal Hackers Civitanova marche. Information technology consultant. Ethereum Fan Boy and supporter of Chainlink oracles, strongly believes that smart contracts will be central in the development of society.