Why Ethereum Needs Decentralized RPC Service

Pocket Network community content on the importance of operational resilience.

Decentralized Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) are an essential part of the Ethereum ecosystem. They enable resilient communication between Ethereum clients and the Ethereum network. Currently, centralized RPC relays commonly serve as a bridge between Ethereum clients and the network. These centralized RPC services have several limitations and vulnerabilities that can be addressed by decentralized RPC services. In this article, we will explore the issues with centralized RPC relays and the benefits of decentralized RPC service for the Ethereum ecosystem.

Issues with Centralized RPC Service

One of the main issues with centralized RPC relays is the reliance on a single point of failure. If the centralized RPC service goes down or is compromised, the entire Ethereum network can be disrupted. This can lead to significant losses for users who rely on the Ethereum network for their transactions and applications. On the other hand, decentralized RPC services do not introduce a single point of failure. Instead, they are distributed across multiple nodes. This makes them more resilient to failures and attacks, as the network can continue to operate even if some nodes go down.

Another issue with centralized RPC services is their vulnerability to censorship. As they are controlled by a single entity, they can be censored or blocked by governments or other external parties. This can be a major issue for users in countries with strict internet censorship laws, as it can prevent them from accessing the Ethereum network. Fully decentralized RPC relays, on the other hand, are not controlled by a single entity. They are therefore less vulnerable to censorship.

Centralized RPC services also have scalability issues. As the Ethereum network continues to grow, a centralized RPC service may not be able to handle the increased traffic. This can lead to delays and the possibility of failed relays or poor latency for users. A decentralized RPC service, on the other hand, can scale more easily as it is distributed across multiple nodes. This allows for a larger volume of traffic without experiencing delays, outages, or spikes in latency.

Pocket Network's decentralized RPC service brings latency below 300 milliseconds in the US East, US West, Singapore, and Germany regions.
Pocket Network’s latency results for Ethereum service across different regions.

Greater Privacy and Distribution of Control

A further advantage of decentralized RPC service is that it can provide more privacy to users. Centralized RPC services can potentially collect and store data on the transactions and activities of their users. This is a concern for users who value their privacy and do not want their transaction data to be collected and potentially sold to third parties. Decentralized RPC services, on the other hand, do not have access to the same level of data, as they are not fully controlled by a single entity. This can provide users with more privacy and security.

Finally, decentralized RPC relays can also contribute to the broader decentralization of the Ethereum network as a whole. The Ethereum network was designed to be decentralized, with no single controlling entity. However, the reliance on centralized RPC relays goes against this principle, as it puts a single point of control in the hands of the RPC relay operator. Decentralized RPC relays, on the other hand, can help to further Ethereum’s original vision and values by distributing control across multiple nodes.

In conclusion, decentralized RPC services offer several advantages over centralized RPC services for the Ethereum ecosystem. They are more resilient to failures and attacks, less vulnerable to censorship, have better scalability, provide more privacy to users, and contribute to the decentralization of the Ethereum network more generally. As such, it is important for the Ethereum community to continue moving towards decentralized RPC relays as a more secure and aligned option for the future.