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Selecting a node provider

📝In this article, we cover:
  • What is a blockchain node provider
  • How nodes communicate with the blockchain
  • Node providers for Immutable zkEVM and Immutable X

What is a blockchain node provider?

Nodes are the building blocks of a network. They are computers that connect with other computers to form a blockchain and therefore the only way to access the information on a blockchain. While it’s possible for individual developers to run nodes, this process is expensive as it requires initial capital cost and a long time to set up.

Blockchain node providers offer ways for general consumers to access the information on a blockchain without having individuals run their own node. This means that instead of sending requests to a local node (which you would otherwise control), consumers would need to instead send their requests to their blockchain node provider.

How do nodes communicate with the blockchain?

Nodes communicate with the blockchain through a software communication protocol called a Remote Procedure Call (RPC). In the context of web3 gaming, an RPC would allow your client (e.g. your website or game) to request services or execute function from Ethereum. Often, any node that has the ability to respond to RPC requests is called an RPC node.

Node providers

For building on Immutable zkEVM
Immutable will be the only node provider at testnet launch, however we will look to expand in the future.
For building on Immutable X
To use Immutable X, you will first need to connect to Ethereum. This is because several Immutable X flows require interaction with L1 (user registration, deposits, and withdrawals).

Popular Ethereum node providers include: Moralis, Alchemy and Infura.

After connecting to Ethereum, you will need to use Immutable's APIs to interact with Immutable X.

Here are some additional considerations when comparing blockchain node providers:

Core technical offerings

  • What are their supported blockchain networks?
  • What level of detail do their dashboards and interfaces go into?
  • What's their API interface like?

Developer experience

  • What SDKs do they have?
  • Can I share projects and collaborate with my team members easily with the offering?
  • What support level / documentation should I expect?

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