Why Are RPCs So Important In Blockchain Development? 5 Use Cases

This post was originally published on ankr

Franciska Kovacs

Oct 1 · 4 min read

In the wake of Ankr’s new public RPC release, many more users will have access to a way to interface with blockchains. RPCs are essential tools blockchain developers use to build decentralized apps and projects. But what exactly are they? And why are they so important in blockchain technology?

In an effort to open the doors further to development, we’ve compiled the top ways you can get started with one of the most important services Ankr provides.

What Is An RPC (Remote Procedure Call)?

RPCs could be classified as a type of API (application programming interface) that allows for 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. 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.

5 Use Cases For RPCs

One of the main use cases for RPC is building dApps that have the capability to interact with one or more blockchains. Decentralized applications are based on smart contracts that enable features like automatic execution of a crypto trade. They also have a user interface that makes it usable for everyone. The RPC layer built into dApps allows these separate software applications to communicate with each other.

As an example, we can turn to a Web 2.0 use case of using a travel aggregator like Expedia to book a hotel. A user would go to Expedia.com to enter search request criteria. Then, the RPC would connect with several separate hotel sites to gather data. Once this is done, the user is satisfied, because they now have access to the information they were searching for, like room availability. They can do the same in dApps by connecting an end user to information like crypto pricing, block data, and more.

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When building, developers also need access to a variety of information like block numbers, node connections, transactions, and historical blockchain data. They can make “requests” to their desired blockchain in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and receive replies with the info they need. To do this, developers have a choice. They can either set up a node themselves and take on the DevOps of equipment maintenance and solving server problems, or they can use services from a provider of nodes like Ankr via an RPC layer. The latter is most often the easiest, fastest, and most affordable solution to gain instant access to blockchains.

The RPC layer is also useful when building applications because it greatly simplifies the job of developers. For instance, if you wanted users to be able to view their external wallet’s crypto balance within your new DeFi liquidity farming site, you wouldn’t need to build a wallet from scratch — you would just need to build an API that can ask to communicate with the wallet to find what the user holds. At the same time, the software that forms the crypto wallet can contain API-enabling code that allows interoperability with many other DeFi protocols.

WebSockets are APIs that allow for a constant exchange of information between a client and a server. Since it keeps the communication open and flowing, there is no need to establish a connection every time a message is sent. These are extremely useful for high-throughput applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities that need to send and receive large amounts of data.

Developers can run calls to execute tasks like encrypting wallets, producing a human-readable JSON object, finding current block size, creating multi-signature addresses, and much more. These are critical pieces of information that builders need to create their own blockchain platforms and services. With access to a free, readily available, and reliable RPC, developers will be able to build faster and make more efficient applications.

How Ankr Is Different From Other RPCs

RPCs that developers use to interact with the blockchain have traditionally come from either unreliable public services or centralized and paid providers. Ankr is focused on improving the principles of autonomy and decentralization that have been the focus of blockchain development so far. We believe that the crypto economy will be served best by self-funded communities and DAOs, not VC-backed service providers that follow Amazon Web Services down the same centralized path.

Ankr is on a mission to create an economy where a network of independent node providers can offer RPC capabilities to the developers who need them. We will audit these independent nodes and incentivize them with ANKR tokens to keep an extremely reliable and self-sustaining economy of supply (nodes) and demand (developers and stakers). Ankr will also offer paid services for those who need advanced capabilities in the RPC with options like unlimited requests to chains, access to historical data, and the ability to pay in crypto.

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