What are RPC Nodes and Endpoints

8 min readApr 15, 2024

Source: nownodes.io/blog/what-are-rpc-nodes-and-endpoints/

In the dynamic landscape of blockchain technology, certain foundational components play a crucial role in enabling seamless interaction and communication within decentralized networks. Among these components are RPC Nodes and Endpoints, which serve as essential bridges connecting users, developers, and researchers to networks.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of RPC nodes and endpoints, clarifying their significance and exploring their practical applications. Join us as we unravel the complexities of RPC and uncover its pivotal role in the cryptocurrency landscape. Discover how NOWNodes can assist you on your node development path within web3.

What Is RPC in Web3?

RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call. In the context of blockchain nodes, particularly in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, RPC allows you to interact with a node remotely, as the name suggests. Here’s a simple rundown of the pivotal points:

  • Remote: you can access the node from a different computer or location. You don’t have to be physically present where the node is running.
  • Procedure Call: You can call specific functions or procedures that the node provides. These functions can vary depending on the network protocol and the capabilities of the node software.
  • Blockchain Nodes: Nodes are essentially computers running software that enables them to participate in the network. They store a copy of the blockchain and can validate transactions and blocks.

So, when you use RPC nodes, you’re essentially sending commands or requests to the node from a remote location to perform certain actions like sending transactions, querying information about the blockchain, or even configuring the node itself. It’s a way to interact with the network programmatically, enabling automation and integration with other software systems.

Let’s take a look at one example: Ethereum Node. In simple terms, an Ethereum node is like a computer that is connected to the Ethereum network. These nodes play a crucial role in the Ethereum network by maintaining a copy of the entire blockchain, which contains all the transactions and smart contracts ever executed on Ethereum.

An example of RPC in the context of an Ethereum node involves a client application (e.g., dApp) making RPC calls to interact with an Ethereum node. The Ethereum node acts as the server, providing services related to accessing the Ethereum, querying data, sending transactions, deploying smart contracts, and more. For instance, a dApp might use RPC to:

  • Query the balance of an Ethereum account.
  • Send a transaction to transfer Ether (the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum) from one account to another.
  • Deploy a new smart contract on the Ethereum.
  • Call functions within an existing smart contract to perform specific actions.

In this scenario, the dApp acts as the RPC client, making requests to the Ethereum node (server) using RPC calls, and the Ethereum node processes these requests, executes the necessary actions on the Ethereum, and returns the results back to the dApp.

What Is the Difference Between RPC Endpoint and Node?

RPC endpoints are specific addresses or URLs through which you can access the Remote Procedure Call functionality provided by a node. These endpoints act as entry points for making RPC requests to interact with the node’s services and functionalities remotely. For example, blockchain nodes like Ethereum, RPC endpoints allow you to programmatically communicate with the node to perform various operations on the network. Each RPC endpoint typically corresponds to a specific set of functions or procedures that the node supports, such as:

  • Querying blockchain data
  • Sending transactions
  • Managing accounts
  • Deploying smart contracts, and more

Also, RPC endpoints can use different transport protocols, such as HTTP or WebSocket. HTTP endpoints are accessed via HTTP requests, making them suitable for one-off requests or interactions. WebSocket endpoints provide a persistent connection, enabling real-time communication and updates between the client and the node.

Authentication and authorization mechanisms may be required for accessing RPC endpoints to ensure secure access to node functionalities. This can involve providing API keys, access tokens, or other forms of credentials to authenticate the client making the RPC requests.

In the case of an Ethereum node, examples of RPC endpoints include:

  • http://localhost:8545: This HTTP endpoint allows you to make RPC requests to interact with the Ethereum node running on your local machine.
  • ws://localhost:8546: This WebSocket endpoint provides a persistent connection for real-time communication with the Ethereum node.

When configuring your dApp or client application to communicate with an Ethereum node, you specify the RPC endpoint(s) it should connect to. Then, your application can make RPC calls to these endpoints to perform various operations on the Ethereum.

Developers interact with RPC nodes using Node APIs, which provide a standardized interface for making requests and receiving responses from the node. Data exchange between the application and the node typically occurs in the JSON format, a lightweight and widely-used data interchange format that is easy to parse and understand.

In summary, RPC nodes are foundational components that empower decentralized applications across various domains, enabling secure, efficient, and decentralized interactions within the Blockchain Infrastructure Services.

What are the Nuances of RPC Nodes?

To understand RPC Nodes better, you need to look into the different types and what makes each one unique. RPC nodes come in different types, each serving specific purposes:

  • Dedicated nodes: These are like private servers offering top-notch performance.
  • Private nodes: They limit access to certain users or applications for added security.
  • Shared nodes: These are like shared servers, offering a more budget-friendly option for multiple users.

These nodes are crucial for various decentralized applications like wallets, DeFi platforms, and web3 development. To facilitate communication between applications and RPC nodes, various technologies are employed, including gRPC and Websocket. These technologies allow for efficient and real-time data exchange between the application and the node, enhancing performance and responsiveness.

Diverse Usage of RPC Nodes in Web3

For many users, RPC nodes are essential, although their operation is mostly automated. Often, the inner workings of these nodes remain unknown, especially when performing routine tasks in the cryptocurrency landscape. Here are some simple examples of RPC Nodes in action:

  • Sending a Transaction: Imagine you have a cryptocurrency wallet application on your phone. When you initiate a transfer of cryptocurrency from your wallet to another person’s wallet, your wallet app sends an RPC request to a node on the network. This RPC request contains information about the transaction, such as the recipient’s address and the amount of cryptocurrency to send. The node processes this request and adds the transaction to the blockchain.
  • Querying Blockchain Information: Let’s say you want to check the balance of your cryptocurrency wallet or view the details of a particular transaction. You can send an RPC request to a node on the network asking for this information. The node then retrieves the requested data from the blockchain and sends it back to you as an RPC response.
  • Executing a Smart Contract: In Ethereum and other networks that support smart contracts, you can use RPC to interact with these contracts. For example, if you have a decentralized application (dApp) that allows users to trade digital assets, you can send RPC requests to the Ethereum network to execute functions in your smart contract, such as buying or selling assets.

Who can use RPC Nodes? RPC allows various parties to interact with blockchain nodes, providing a gateway to perform actions or retrieve information from the network. Besides using the RPC nodes unknowingly by individual users with sending crypto, RPC Nodes can be wildly used by developers.

For developers building dApps or DeFi platforms, RPC is invaluable. It allows dApps to query blockchain information or execute smart contracts. For example, a developer creating a dApp for trading digital assets can use RPC to interact with smart contracts on the Ethereum network, enabling functionalities like buying or selling assets.

Additionally, Blockchain researchers that are studying blockchain data can also benefit from RPC. They can use it to query specific information stored on the network, such as transaction histories or contract states, for analysis and research purposes.

In summary, RPC serves as a bridge between users, developers, researchers, and the network, enabling seamless communication and interaction with data and functionalities.

Start Your RPC Journey With NOWNodes

For those who seek ‌development support in order to maintain the dApp or DeFi platform they like, NOWNodes comes right into the place. NOWNodes provides developers with access to a network of dependable RPC Nodes across multiple networks. This approach simplifies the process of building and deploying blockchain-based applications.

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a burgeoning entrepreneur, NOWNodes offers a user-friendly interface and flexible pricing plans to suit your needs. Let NOWNodes empower you to bring your vision to life.

So how does NOWNodes work? Getting started with NOWNodes is a breeze with a few simple steps:

  • Sign up for an account and verify it by email. No KYC required.
  • Choose a tariff plan. There are a variety of plans that fit any development needs, including a START FREE plan!
  • Explore the available RPC Nodes for their desired networks.
  • Create an API key. On the “DASHBOARD” page find and click the “ADD API KEY” button.
  • Use the provided endpoint and the methods from the “DOCS” page to interact with the blockchain.
  • Retrieve data.
  • And execute transactions seamlessly.

With NOWNodes by your side, you can focus on unleashing your creativity and driving innovation in ‌decentralized development.

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In the dynamic decentralized landscape, the significance of RPC Nodes and Endpoints cannot be overstated. These components serve as vital conduits, facilitating seamless communication and interaction within decentralized networks. As we conclude our exploration of RPC, it becomes evident that RPC nodes enable remote access to blockchain functionalities, empowering developers, businesses, and researchers to use the full potential of web3.

Through RPC nodes, users can initiate transactions, query blockchain data, and execute smart contracts, all with the convenience of remote access. Furthermore, the versatility of RPC endpoints allows for flexible communication protocols, catering to diverse needs and preferences.

The nuanced understanding of RPC nodes reveals a spectrum of possibilities, from dedicated nodes offering exclusive resources to shared nodes providing cost-effective solutions. Whether it’s sending transactions, querying information, or executing smart contracts, RPC nodes play a pivotal role in driving innovation and efficiency in the decentralized ecosystem.

Moreover, the accessibility of RPC nodes extends beyond individual users, encompassing developers seeking to build decentralized applications (dApps), entrepreneurs venturing into the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi), and researchers delving into data analysis.

In this context, NOWNodes emerges as a valuable resource, offering developers access to a reliable network of RPC nodes across various networks. With user-friendly interfaces and flexible pricing plans, NOWNodes empowers individuals and organizations to realize their visions, facilitating the seamless integration of blockchain technology into diverse applications and use cases.

As we embark on this journey of innovation and exploration, let NOWNodes be your trusted companion, providing the infrastructure and support needed to unlock the full potential of decentralized ecosystems. Together, let’s continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and shape the future of web3.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What role do RPC Nodes play in blockchain development? RPC Nodes serve as intermediaries, enabling developers to interact with the blockchain network and execute transactions without the need to run a full node.
  • How do I choose the right RPC Node provider for my project? When selecting an RPC Node provider, consider factors such as reliability, scalability, and security. NOWNodes offers a comprehensive solution with access to reliable RPC Nodes across multiple blockchain networks.
  • Can I access RPC Nodes for different blockchain networks through NOWNodes? Yes, NOWNodes provides access to RPC Nodes for various blockchain networks, allowing developers to build applications on their preferred platforms.
  • What are the benefits of using NOWNodes for accessing RPC Nodes NOWNodes offers a user-friendly interface, reliable infrastructure, and flexible pricing plans, making it an ideal choice for developers seeking to leverage blockchain technology in their applications. Moreover, we provide our users with 24/7 customer support service and we are committed to maintain high service quality standards.