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Exploring the Limitations of RPC Nodes and the Solution to Them

Whether you are an experienced or new blockchain developer, you’ve most likely heard of RPC nodes. Furthermore, those developing dApps (decentralized applications) directly on top of RPC nodes will know the many limitations of RPC nodes. However, RPC nodes are still in widespread use among Web3 developers, although they’re growing less popular due to their inherent limitations. As such, programmers require alternatives to RPC nodes that are markedly quicker, more efficient, and easily manageable. In this article, we’ll explore the limitations of RPC nodes, and how to solve these issues – namely, by using Moralis. As such, let’s familiarize ourselves with this solution and see how it can benefit programmers. Before we do, however, let’s explore the concept of RPC nodes and why Web3 developers shouldn’t use them.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn about Moralis – the ultimate Web3 operating system and development platform. Specifically, Moralis will help you overcome all of the limitations of RPC nodes, giving you an advantage in dApp development . If you are eager to start building and have all the prerequisites covered, go ahead and register your Moralis account for free now. However, we strongly recommend going through the following sections to get a deeper understanding of the limitations of RPC nodes. Moreover, by exploring these limitations, you’ll also realize why developers need more than just RPC nodes. Moralis provides this solution, with its broad toolkit, including the Moralis NFT API and the comprehensive Moralis SDK.

What are RPC Nodes?

In order to provide you with the best explanation of what RPC nodes are, we need to take a closer look at each of the two parts of the term “RPC nodes”. Starting with RPC, you may already know that it stands for “remote procedure call”. Moreover, RPCs are a form of inter-process communication (IPC). Furthermore, in distributed computing, “an RPC” refers to the process where a piece of software executes a subroutine in a different location, which is also often referred to as an “address space”. Since one address calls the procedure while the other responses, the “clients” and “servers” terms are used for these addresses. 

Let’s move on to the second part of the “RPC nodes” term. So, what are nodes? Nodes can essentially be any device, such as a computer, laptop, or server. They are endpoints or gateways that provide a way for users and applications to interact with the network. Moreover, different types of nodes (full nodes, full archive nodes, etc.) can fulfill different functions, and the two main functions offer access to the network and keep the network secure. 

Putting it all together, we can see that RPC nodes are an essential component of the infrastructure of any blockchain because they store the information that a particular blockchain holds. Furthermore, all nodes are interconnected with one another and constantly share data in order for all nodes of the chain to stay up to date. That way, the network’s integrity is ensured. When it comes to the world of blockchain, we need a node to use RPCs. They allow us to send transactions and read blockchain data. As such, developers need to run their own nodes or use a reliable RPC node provider. For instance, Moralis Speedy Nodes provides the quickest nodes that support major blockchains. 

Various Limitations of RPC Nodes

The most common mistake that many developers make when taking on a crypto project is that they focus on building around an RPC node. This results in a lot of overhead, from setting up and running an RPC node to spending a lot of time developing and building an infrastructure around it.

While RPC nodes are still a central part of Ethereum, Binance, Polygon, and other blockchains, RPC nodes are also low-level tech (close to the base level). They are almost on hardware’s level, which means that they only offer primitive options. As such, you can view RPC nodes as CPUs of crypto – they are the simplest building block of blockchain technology. 

Moreover, just like with the first computers created, when everyone was programming on CPUs directly, many developers now fall into the trap of trying to communicate directly with RPC nodes. Thus, basically speaking directly to the hardware level. While this was the only way available when the blockchain first came to life, it’s no longer the case. Compared to some of the most advanced Web3 development tools available, working directly with RPC nodes would be like writing with a chisel in stone instead of typing on a computer.

RPC Nodes are Inefficient and Time-Consuming

Knowing that programming directly on RPC nodes isn’t the optimal way, let’s look at some of the main limitations of RPC nodes. Using this outdated method makes your code extremely inefficient. For one, RPC nodes require a lot of requests (they are request-heavy), which demands a lot of work and back and forth communication. In addition, to program all that also consumes a lot of time, which is the most valuable asset a developer has.

Imagine for a second that you wanted to build a website and had to communicate directly with the CPU. You probably agree that it would be highly frustrating. Yet, when it comes to crypto, countless developers still take that outdated route. That’s why it takes them such a long time to deliver dApps.  

Example – Limitations of RPC Nodes

Let’s look at an example of comparing RPC nodes with Moralis to get users’ information regarding their balances. Let’s start by using RPC nodes. If a user has one hundred tokens, we’d need to send one hundred requests to get the balance of every token. However, when we use a proper Web3 SDK from Moralis, we solve this by a single request – we just ask for a user’s balance, and it automatically covers all types of tokens and coins. 

This is an excellent example showing one limitation of using RPC nodes compared to using Moralis. One the one hand, this reduces coding time. Moreover, it also significantly shortens the loading time from a couple of seconds to about one hundred milliseconds. Moreover, you have to keep in mind that checking a balance is a basic task. Just imagine the number of requests when you try to use RPC nodes to do more advanced and complex tasks. Furthermore, building your own indexes means you’ll spend weeks, if not months, developing the backend part of your dApp. On the other hand, you can use Moralis’ SDK and get every task done easily and quickly with a single request. 

Moralis ushers in the next paradigm in comparison to building around RPC nodes. As such, it makes the creation process of dApps quick and predominantly about the frontend. Imagine if design a beautiful house as an architect, and also have to worry about how to produce building material. That wouldn’t work. The architects know that materials and tools are there to support their ideas. Similarly, Moralis provides you with all the materials and tools as far as the backend portion goes. 

Building Around RPC Nodes is Not Future-Proof

You might be wondering how Moralis makes such a giant leap forward possible. Well, you have to consider the fact that there is a big portion of the crypto backend that mostly all Web3 applications need to cover. As such, we can use templated single lines of code to cover repetitive coding. These code snippets are available in Moralis’ documentation. Essentially, Moralis enables you to avoid reinventing the wheel for every dApp. Moreover, the same principles apply to all blockchains. 

Thus, by using tools that fully incorporate cross-chain interoperability, you can easily create a cross-chain dApp. What’s even better is that Moralis puts cross-chain interoperability front and center. Moreover, Moralis’ team of devoted developers constantly looks for new reputable chains to add. For instance, full support for Avalanche was one of Moralis’ latest addition of supported networks. With that in mind, you can future-proof your dApps through Moralis.

Building your dApps with Moralis means building your projects is easier, but also that you’ll be able to go-to-market quicker. 

Building Around RPC Nodes Drains Resources

Aside from resources building around RPC nodes, dApps that are built that way are also difficult to maintain. As such, it drains your resources trying to maintain and also keeping them up to date. Why not make things easier on your team of developers and focus more on delivering a better user experience?

Given all of the above, as a blockchain developer, you should never speak with an RPC node directly unless you really have to. For instance, when you need to upload a smart contract, you have to communicate directly with the RPC node. However, for most of the Web3 development process (especially to fetch data from the blockchain), this is not necessary when you use Moralis. It basically takes care of the entire blockchain-related backend development. As such, anyone proficient in JavaScript and able to use MetaMask can create excellent dApps in a short period of time. So, now you know why you shouldn’t use RPC nodes

Moralis – The Ultimate Solution to Overcome Node Limitations

The definitive Web3 operating system, Moralis, comes from developers, for developers. It’s free to use, and it’s the best way to deliver future-proof decentralized applications quickly and easily. If you want to use Moralis’ platform, get started by creating an account, and let Moralis guide you in your dApp development from start to finish.

Moralis NFT API vs RPC Node

Since NFTs are all the rage right now, being able to deliver high-quality NFT applications is indeed a useful skill. However, doing so by connecting to an RPC node and starting to build the entire infrastructure from scratch, you’d spend months. On the other hand, using Moralis’ NFT API, you can build simple dApps that revolve around NFTs in minutes. Moreover, check out some of our guides and articles where we’ve taught our audience how to build an NFT game in minutes, how to create your own NFT in five steps, how to create an NFT minting platform, and much more on different blockchains. If you insist on using nodes, keep in mind that Moralis is a top “Infura for BSC” and “Infura for Avalanche” alternative.

Using Moralis’ NFT API, you use a single line of code to get all the user’s NFTs, including the metadata. You don’t have to worry about which NFT a user has, as the entire transaction history checkup is done at the backend. If you were to speak directly with an RPC node to get the same thing done, you’d have to make tons of requests, if not hundreds.

RPC Nodes are Dying 

According to experienced developers, RPC nodes are set to “die” sooner than later. Why? Well, no one is going to be using them due to all the limitations of RPC nodes presented herein

Let’s look at Microsoft Windows, for instance. Developers do not build on top of computer hardware; instead, they focus on building on top of Windows and let the latter take care of the communication with the hardware. That way, it is a win-win relationship. Windows focuses on their part, while various software companies have more time and resources to focus on the user experience. Furthermore, as new hardware comes out, software developers do not have to worry about all of that. As long as the new hardware is compatible with Windows, they know that users will be able to use their products.

Moreover, it all comes down to resources. By devoting their time and money to enable the simplest and smoothest way for software to communicate with hardware, they get to save a lot of resources. Moreover, the end-users also benefit by getting their hands on much more affordable pieces of software with a much better user experience since this is where the developers’ focus is.

The same logic applies to blockchain. As it evolves, no one will be building around RPC nodes. It just won’t make any sense. Moreover, thanks to Moralis, it already doesn’t make sense to build around RPC nodes.

Exploring the Limitations of RPC Nodes and the Premier Solution – Summary

While most developers still focus on the outdated way of building directly on top of nodes, there are much quicker routes available. One of the best ways to easily overcome the limitations of RPC nodes is by using the ultimate Web3 development platform – Moralis. Its SDK and Web3 APIs offer single lines of code to cover all your blockchain-related backend coding. 

Going through the sections above, you’ve learned about the leading limitations of RPC nodes, which include:

  • RPC nodes are low-level tech. 
  • Programming directly on top of RPC nodes is inefficient.
  • RPC node programming is request-heavy.
  • Programming directly on top of RPC nodes is time-consuming.
  • Web3 applications running directly on top of RPC nodes are slow.

If you already know JavaScript and how to use MetaMask, you’re all set and can start developing phenomenal dApps with the help of Moralis today. Furthermore, if you need some additional inspiration or explanation of various crypto terms and concepts, make sure to check out Moralis’ YouTube channel and Moralis’ blog. We produce valuable content on a daily basis.  

October 14, 2021
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