Time is a force we cannot escape; an essential, universal rule that we all live by. Its effects on human behavior have been studied by academics and tech companies alike. On the web, speed is a function of time, and it governs if users like your app, or love it; if they’ll come back to it, or abandon it. The time it takes for a resource to load, a reaction to a click, for something to happen on the screen — dictates whether you make the conversion or not. Speed matters.
Blockchain technology, the distributed ledger protocols behind today’s decentralized applications (dApps), has been notoriously slow. Ethereum has an average block time of about 13 seconds. Bitcoin, around 10 minutes. dApp users wait long enough for states to change, smart-contract events to happen — so any immediate, significant improvement in speed should be strongly considered.
For many dApps, the Web3 provider plays a big role. Web3 providers, like QuickNode, operate blockchain nodes and are the source of latest (and historical) block data; a blockchain oracle.
dApps connect to Web3 providers to retrieve data which users interact with. They constantly monitor contracts and accounts for events, and update their UI in real-time. This allow users to have the latest data available to them in order to catch opportunities, make decisions, or simply view outcomes of programmed transactions — which is especially useful in #DeFi (decentralized finance). The ability to see something before anyone else, or even before it happens (like looking into the mempool / transaction queue) is something of a superpower.
On the subject of speed, there are often challenges with how fast this data can be retrieved from a Web3 provider. How close is the node to you, your app servers, or your users (ie. does your request have to hop multiple networks, oceans… or is it nearby)? Is the server running the node software well-provisioned to handle the volume of requests (ie. is it running on a single-board computer… or enterprise server hardware)? How well-peered is the node to have the latest data available the moment it happens on the network (eg. residential broadband… or multi-gigabit fiber)?
How quickly your Web3 provider responds to your (or your users’) app requests makes a big difference in how your app “feels”… how enjoyable it is to use. For this, QuickNode has gone to great lengths to ensure the absolute fastest performance with its API product — a globally-distributed Ethereum (and soon Bitcoin) node network.
Each request made to a QuickNode API endpoint is routed to the nearest location from where the request originated, reducing network hops and minimizing latency (ie. speeding up response time). Each node is run on enterprise-grade server hardware in some of the most well-connected datacenters around the world (including New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and Amsterdam). The nodes run in over-provisioned environments with tuned settings, to ensure adequate peering and performance at all times.
QuickNode Boost technology adds a layer of acceleration through cache utilization, reducing response times by up to 300% (vs. vanilla node clients), and comes standard with all QuickNode plans.
Curious how all this adds up, or how it compares to your current Web3 provider? We’ve developed a tool to do just that. QuickNode Compare is an in-browser benchmark for Web3 endpoints. Just plug in your Web3 provider endpoint and click “Run”. It will send & track as many web3 requests as your browser can make in 30 seconds, and give you a shareable URL with your results.
Here are some test results we’ve already run:
Our background in running datacenters and global content delivery networks has pushed us to make the Internet faster, better, more enjoyable for everyone. Web3 is the next evolution, and we are here to make Web3 and blockchain-powered applications faster.
Learn more about Web3 Infrastructure on QuickNode.com, follow on Twitter, and share your results using hashtag #Web3Compare. Thanks to all of the people that helped test / refine this tool. Let’s #BUIDL a faster #Web3!