We at Ankr are constantly upgrading our core products and launching new tools that allow developers and stakers to connect to Web 3.0, build new applications, and earn crypto easily. Together, we are on the front lines of a brand new technology. As a result, our community is often bombarded with complex technical definitions that can be tricky even for our most knowledgeable users and customers!
With this in mind, we are launching a series of Ankr Dictionary articles that will explain the meaning of the most frequently used terms in the Ankr ecosystem. This first piece is dedicated to the products we’ve created for both blockchain developers and crypto investors.
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are an essential tool for blockchain development. Put simply, APIs allow developers to interface with complex systems and enable communication between software, applications, and blockchains.
APIs are integral to the internet as they allow interactions between separate entities. They could be seen as messengers that take a developer’s request for information and provide them with suitable responses from “endpoints” like blockchain nodes. This could include information like node connections, block numbers, addresses, timestamps, transactions, historical blockchain data, and much more.
APIs are also a critical requirement for building dApps. They connect applications to information from the individual blockchains themselves. Developer APIs are one of the core services provided by Ankr to empower Web 3.0 adoption through accessible, easy-to-use infrastructure. Ankr’s API services allow users to instantly deploy decentralized applications on the leading blockchains, including Binance Chain, Ethereum, Kusama, and Polkadot.
Internet Bonds are a liquid staking solution on the Ankr StakeFi platform. They are sometimes referred to as synthetic staked tokens, staking derivatives, or liquid staking. These may sound like complicated terms, but Internet Bonds are very easy to use. You will simply delegate your tokens to be staked on the blockchain of your choice and receive bond tokens in return. Many crypto users don’t like that staking requires them to “lock up” the value of their tokens, causing them to miss out on other earning opportunities, but Internet Bonds solve this capital inefficiency problem.
Bond tokens like aETHc or aAVAXb can be used just like regular tokens. You can use them to yield farm on DeFi platforms and participate in other earning strategies to gain two sources of rewards at once: 1) The income that will automatically be generated from your staking rewards, 2) All other DeFi earning strategies you can use to further compound your rewards.
Every crypto use case requires access to nodes. These are the individual computers that form a network to satisfy the storage, computing power, and consensus requirements of blockchains. This foundational principle has been true since the first applications of bitcoin and the crypto economy.
Types of Nodes:
Validator nodes are sometimes referred to as Staking Nodes as they are used to validate transactions on Proof-of-Stake blockchains, forming their foundation. Hosters of validator nodes are normally entitled to collect a commission fee, although conditions might vary significantly depending on the network.
Full nodes are sometimes referred to as Developer Nodes as builders need access to them for creating new blockchain applications. They constantly synchronize with their upstream nodes, revalidating and replaying all the transactions committed by validators. Running a full node allows its owner to scale read traffic, which might be important for dApp development, among other things.
RPCs (Remote Procedure Calls) could be classified as a type of API (Application Programming Interface) that allows developers to run code that can be executed on servers remotely. And when developers build dApps with RPC capabilities, the app will be able to connect users’ requests to information from blockchains (by accessing a network of nodes). For instance, when users access a DEX or use MetaMask to make transactions, their requests go through an RPC to connect them with the nodes that hold the data from blockchains.
One of the main uses for an RPC is building dApps that have the capability to interact with one or more blockchains. Decentralized applications usually include a smart contract, like the ability to execute the terms of a crypto trade automatically, and a UI to make it usable for everyone. The RPC layer built into dApps allows these separate software applications to communicate with each other.
The RPC layer is also useful when building applications because it greatly simplifies the job of developers. It allows them to interface with blockchains in simpler ways, allowing them to interact automatically with blockchain data and execute tasks like crypto wallet transactions.