A Look At Crypto Node Infrastructure Providers

Node infrastructure is a service provider layer for businesses that hold and operate cryptocurrencies assets. The platform-as-a-service provides customers a rich interface to interact with nodes in various crypto networks. 

The investment opportunity here should consider:

  • The quality of the full node and feature set provided: This is the driving factor for customer acquisition. Areas a prospective customer may evaluate include: supported protocols, availability, security and observability. 
  • The ability to multiply revenue generation opportunities from the acquired customers. Areas to consider include staking, DeFi activities to generate yield, etc. 

Enterprise-Grade Full Node Capacity

  • Supported protocols and latest upgrades: In the future multi-chain world, the velocity to support new networks and the ability to scale to new assets that are “early” can accelerate customer acquisition. 
    • Blockdaemon around 25 protocols via an unified API
    • Alchemy is heavily invested in Ethereum and its layer 2 network supports (Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon). For institutional clients, the ability to access layer 2 protocols can be extremely attractive since it helps fee saving.
    • QuickNode: Supports 11 protocols with some Layer 2s. A differentiating feature is the unified searchable NFT API that is indexed across different NFT smart contracts. 
  • Developer Experience: The ability to integrate with the client’s platform via HTTP, web socket, SDKs in supported languages can be critical for customer to onboard to a node provider and evolve with its architecture.
    • For some protocols Blockdaemon offers are provided with SDKs in many languages and some of them have JSON-RPC.
    • The experience in Alchemy feels more seamless with the Web Playground and SDKs, with dedicated Ethereum support to explore contract calls and execution steps with more granularity . 
  • Availability and scalability: Having a sounding strategy with diverse environments (data centers, cloud) can quickly win customer trust. The configurable node with horizontal scaling can serve more concurrent requests. 
    • QuickNode is available in 8+ regions.
    • Blockdaemon is located across 70 data centers.
    • Alchemy shared details on its scalable infrastructure to achieve this:
  • Security: Connecting to a node provider poses firm risks for institutional clients since it transmits transaction data. Customers care about the ability to upgrade nodes to the latest version on time.
  • Observability: Providing insights and analytics on node traffic with reliable tooling. 
    • Both Blockdaemon and Alchemy built an extensive dashboard, reaching feature parity. 

Revenue Generating Features

  • While Blockdaemon’s main line of business is a node provider, it also offers staking service for additional return. This product line may be worth a parallel analysis with validator-as-a-service competitors such as stakefish (See more in notes).
    • Area to consider: easiness to integrate, attractiveness of staking revenue.
  • Would a customer choose a packaged solution for node and staking service or would choose the best-of-class from other staking providers?
  • Would custody service provider also be considered as part of service layer (provided in a form of marketplace)?


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