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Full Guide – How to Connect to Arbitrum Nodes

If you are looking to develop dApps (decentralized applications) for the Arbitrum network, you’ll likely find you need an Arbitrum node provider – or that you’ll need to connect directly to an Arbitrum node. Nodes are a fundamental part of any blockchain infrastructure, and they hold all the relevant information regarding the networks. They also act as endpoints enabling users and apps to interact with a blockchain. Nodes are highly critical for dApp development, suggesting that an Arbitrum node is needed when developing on Arbitrum. However, what is the easiest way to connect to Arbitrum nodes? Well, this is the question that we set out to answer in this article. So, if you are interested, read on as we’ll provide a complete breakdown on how to connect to Arbitrum nodes.

The easiest and quickest way to acquire an Arbitrum node is Moralis. Moralis is the number one operating system for Web3 development, and one of many valuable services that Moralis provides are the Speedy Nodes. Moralis’ Speedy Nodes provide fast and reliable nodes for networks like Arbitrum. However, we’ll get into more detail on the Speedy Nodes later in the article. 

Moralis makes blockchain development significantly more accessible as all users get access to an already developed backend infrastructure. As such, this allows developers to focus more on frontend development and avoid the bothersome process of setting up an underlying backend infrastructure. Using Moralis, you’re able to do everything from building an NFT trading interface to learning how to create a free token. So, if you are looking to become a blockchain developer, the first step in the right direction to reach this goal is to sign up with Moralis. Joining is completely free, and you’ll get access to tools like the Speedy Nodes immediately! 

What is Arbitrum? 

If you are familiar with the blockchain industry and Web3 development, then you might have experienced the scalability issues of Ethereum firsthand. As the Ethereum network and blockchain development is gaining traction, the network is getting congested making it unreasonably expensive to conduct transactions. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of solutions that look to remedy this. One could say that Arbitrum is one of these projects that seeks to improve Ethereum scalability.

Technically, Arbitrum is a Layer-2 scalability solution for the Ethereum network. Arbitrum is a platform that improves the capabilities of Ethereum based smart contracts by increasing speed and scalability. The platform is compatible with EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), making running unmodified Ethereum smart contracts possible.

Arbitrum is the brainchild of Offchain Labs, and the platform utilizes a technique known as transaction rollups, where batches of transactions are recorded on the Ethereum mainnet and executed on a scalable Layer-2 solution. This all happens while Arbitrum leverages the security of the Ethereum blockchain by keeping the record on the main chain.

Although Arbitrum set out to solve the scalability issues of Ethereum, it is not the sole solution on the market. There are several other similar solutions; however, here are three reasons why Arbitrum shines: 

  • High EVM Compatibility — Arbitrum is highly compatible with Ethereum-based contracts as the platform is EVM-compatible at the byte-code level. This suggests that it is possible to create smart contracts using, for example, Solidity and Vyper out of the box. 
  • Low Fees — Arbitrum does not only offer a solution to lower the transaction time of blockchain transactions. But it significantly reduces the costs of transactions alike, making blockchain development more economically sustainable. 
  • Established Ecosystem — Arbitrum does already have an established ecosystem as they currently work with dApps and blockchain projects like Uniswap, Sushi among others. 

Explaining Arbitrum Nodes

If you’re a returning reader here at the Moralis blog, you might already be familiar with the concept of nodes through articles like ”What are Archive Nodes?”. However, don’t worry; if you are new to the crypto world, we will provide a brief explanation. 

Nodes are essential components of any blockchain infrastructure, and they keep vital information regarding the networks. Each blockchain consists of several nodes that communicate with one another, meaning they are all interconnected. As they communicate, they share information regarding transactions to keep the blockchains safe and secure. 

A main function of blockchain nodes is generally to validate new blocks. Nodes can therefore reject or accept transactions that happen on a chain. If a node accepts a transaction, the information is stored on top of other blocks and shared with other nodes. However, depending on the network, nodes can have different functions, even though the most common ones are to keep the network safe and open to participants. 

Furthermore, nodes are also endpoints to the various chains. This means that blockchain nodes act as access points to a blockchain. As such, they are a gateway for users and applications to directly interact with a chain too, for example, perform a transaction. Moreover, it can also be a way for an application to access information that is stored on a chains’ network. 

So, what is an Arbitrum node?. Well, it is basically a node for the Arbitrum network. This means that an Arbitrum node is a way to interact with the Layer-2 solution and a component keeping the network secure. 

Why Do You Need to Connect to Nodes?

Likewise, the need to connect to a node, in general, can either seem self-evident or confusing, depending on your practical experience with nodes. Let us, therefore, briefly go through why you need to connect to nodes, to begin with. As such, you can be sure that you have all the necessary information when you want to connect to Arbitrum node providers. 

The short answer to why you need to connect to nodes is that this is essential for Web3 and dApp development. As we mentioned in the previous section, nodes are endpoints, meaning that they are access points for dApps to communicate with the chain, make transactions, etc. Nodes are therefore vital for blockchain development as they are a means for our projects to communicate with the various blockchains.

Nevertheless, the process of manually setting up, running, and continuously managing your own nodes is grueling. Despite playing this vital role in the emerging dApp and Web3 industry, working with nodes can be challenging for both small and large companies. Essentially, the issues stem from the process of running one’s own nodes being time-consuming, extremely complex, and resource-intensive. With that said, however, there is still a genuine need for nodes. Consequently, a growing number of developers are turning towards so-called blockchain node providers

Although Moralis acts as a blockchain node provider, it is also much more than this. Moralis gives developers full-fledged tools for managing one’s Web3 backend infrastructure without any of the usual hassles. In fact, developers using Moralis can develop dApps in a matter of minutes and hours rather than weeks and months. If you think this sounds too good to be true, be sure to check out our popular guide on how you can build Ethereum dApps

How to Connect to Arbitrum Nodes with Moralis Speedy Nodes

The first step in the process of how to connect to Arbitrum nodes is to sign up with Moralis. Signing up is completely free, and you’ll get access to all the tools of the platform, where, among others, you’ll find Moralis’ Speedy Nodes. 

Once logged into your account, you will be able to find the ”Speedy Nodes” tab in the navigation bar to the left of your Moralis interface. To find the nodes, all you need to do is click this alternative, and you’ll be presented with six different networks. Among the alternatives, you can find the Arbitrum network. To access the Arbitrum node, all you need to do is click the ”Endpoints” button for the network in question, and you’ll be presented with a pair of URLs. 

The first alternative in the list is an endpoint for the Arbitrum mainnet; meanwhile, the second alternative is for the Rinkeby testnet. This means that you can opt for two different alternatives depending on your development needs. This is how you acquire Arbitrum nodes using Moralis; however, what does ”Endpoints” actually mean? 

How to Connect to Arbitrum Nodes — Moralis Endpoints

When clicking the ”Endpoints” button, the URLs presented to us can be regarded as the node itself. As such, we can utilize the URLs to connect our projects to the Arbitrum network. This means that it is possible to, for example, interact with the URL directly in the command line. Essentially this means that the URLs are the gateways to which we connect our projects and dApps to interact with the Arbitrum network. 

So, the possibilities with these nodes are endless, but we’ll provide you with two short examples when they come in handy. Firstly, we can utilize the endpoints URL when developing dApps, making it possible to, for example, query the chain for the current block number. To do so, all we need to do is copy the URL and define it as a variable. With the variable defined, we can then simply utilize the Web3 library to connect to the network. This process would look something like this: 

const NODE_URL = "YOUR SPEEDY NODE URL HERE";
const provider = new Web3.providers.HttpProvider(NODE_URL);
const web3 = new Web3(provider);

Prior to this, you will also need to import the Web3 library; however, you’ll find a clear explanation of how this is done in the Moralis documentation. The documentation explains how to connect to Ethereum nodes; however, the process doesn’t significantly differ for the Arbitrum network. 

The second example when the endpoints come in handy is when changing MetaMask network. If you have MetaMask as a browser extension, all you need to do is hit the ”Add to MetaMask” button for the endpoint in question. 

Exploring Moralis Speedy Nodes

Throughout the article, we have continuously mentioned Moralis’ Speedy Nodes. As such, it is only logical that we dive a bit deeper into this Moralis tool. If you’re already a Moralis user, you will know that Moralis Speedy Nodes is a hugely popular feature. Essentially, Moralis Speedy Nodes give you access to all the same functionality as regular nodes. 

What’s more, Moralis Speedy Nodes are fully integrated with all Moralis services. This means that you will be able to build your dApps quickly and easily. Furthermore, consider that Moralis Speedy Nodes is just one of Moralis’ many features. Albeit it is one that makes it exceptionally easy to connect to Arbitrum node infrastructure.

As such, Moralis Speedy Nodes effectively make Moralis one of the easiest-to-use and most powerful blockchain node providers. What’s more, seeing as Moralis continuously rolls out support for new chains and features, it is easy to understand why many are already opting for Moralis.

How to Connect to Arbitrum Nodes — Summary

Nodes are vital for the infrastructure of a blockchain as they provide security and essentially make the networks go around. Moreover, nodes are also extremely useful development tools as they provide a way for our projects to communicate with the various blockchains. As such, we can use nodes to get user ERC-20 token balances, deploy contracts and even change MetaMask networks. However, it isn’t always smooth sailing when acquiring a node, as running one yourself can be pretty bothersome. It is, therefore, crucial to find a reliable node provider such as Moralis. 

As a Moralis user, you’ll receive free access to the Speedy Nodes service, where you’ll find blockchain nodes for six different networks. The nodes provided by Moralis are not only fast but also highly reliable, which makes blockchain development more accessible. However, the Speedy Nodes of Moralis should be used for the right purpose as users don’t always utilize them correctly. For more information on this, read the following article on Ethereum RPC nodes explaining when not to use blockchain nodes. 

Moreover, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s possible with Moralis. Moralis provides additional development tools like the NFT API, price API, native support for IPFS, the Moralis SDK, and much more. So, if you want to build your first dApp and get into blockchain development, then the first step should be to sign up with Moralis. It is completely free, and you’ll get immediate access to all the platform’s tools, so you have nothing to lose! 

December 28, 2021
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