2021 has been a great year for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Nearly 10 years after the original bitcoin paper was published by Satoshi Nakamoto, the world has come to point of accepting cryptocurrencies into the financial ecosystem and promoting blockchain development by providing ecosystem support, grants, funds, etc. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are no more a buzzword or bubble, it is going to bring fundamental changes to our approach to the finance and economy, data management and privacy, and help build a global decentralized trustless ecosystem of future.
With the rise in the number of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the development of dApps is also becoming easier. If one had to start developing apps (dApps) for blockchain a few years ago, it uses to take a lot of effort in setting up the needed infrastructure and toolset for the same. But now, it is becoming easier day by day, and thanks to blockchain development platforms that help users to not worry about underlying infra and tool setup but rather focus on the business logic and customers.
In this article, we will discuss the top blockchain development platforms and what features and services they provide. One important thing to note before we get started, we are discussing blockchain development platforms often referred to as node service providers or Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms. We are not discussing blockchain platforms like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, EOS, Polkadot, etc. but rather blockchain development platforms that can help you build DApps on these blockchains.
Top blockchain development platforms and node service providers
When it comes to developing blockchain applications (dApp), one needs to have a complete copy of the distributed ledger. In other words, blockchain developers need to run a full node that stores a complete copy of the distributed ledger and is always connected to the main blockchain network for managing transactions.
When it comes to running a full blockchain node, hardware, software, and network connection must satisfy certain requirements. We need to have sound technical expertise in running the node and troubleshooting technical issues, it’s time-consuming, and also requires heavy expenses.
Blockchain development platforms or Node service providers are the best options in this case; they offer developer tools and infrastructure to set up and manage the nodes connected to the blockchain and offer APIs for developers to create automated workflows.
Also, read – Top blockchain analysis and surveillance tools
1. Alchemy blockchain development platform
Alchemy is the most popular and powerful development platform to build ethereum based dApps in no time. It was started by Joseph Lau, Nikil Viswanathan in 2017 and has raised more than 100M USD in just 3 years. Alchemy aims to become AWS for blockchain development.
Alchemy powers a range of transactions across nearly every blockchain vertical, including financial institutions, exchanges, billion-dollar decentralized finance projects, and multinational organizations such as UNICEF. It has also quickly become the technology behind every major NFT platform, including MakersPlace, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, and CryptoPunks.
Alchemy’s goal is to be the starting place for developers considering building a product on top of a blockchain or mainstream blockchain applications. Its developer platform aims to remove the complexity and costs of building infrastructure while improving applications through “necessary” developer tools.
At present, Alchemy only supports Ethereum blockchain and Polygon Layer 2 scalability for Ethereum blockchain.
2. GetBlock node service provider
GetBlock provides full nodes service for 40+ blockchains. The main goal of GetBlock is to facilitate the lives of startups and developers by providing them with the all-in-one tool for fast and easy integration of the decentralized network to their business projects.
GetBlock’s fast and easy API connects to full nodes from many leading blockchain platforms. It allows developers to fetch on-chain information using JSON-RPC, REST, or WebSockets from a node without the need to set up one manually.
Major blockchains supported by GetBlock are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Polkadot, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, Polygon, Kusuma, XEM, Tron, Stellar, etc.
Infura is another very popular blockchain development platform that currently supports Ethereum and IPFS blockchain networks. Using Infura, developers can connect to Ethereum Test or Main networks by exposing a URL and interact with the blockchain without downloading any of the blocks.
Infura was started just a year after Ethereum main net was launched and it is been used by some of the major players in the blockchain industry like MetaMask, Uniswap, etc.
Blockdaemon provides managed full node service and offers a variety of powerful options for developers building dApps that require the utmost data integrity, throughput, and latency. Blockdaemon is used by the majority of banks, investment funds, governments, and many other institutions who are looking for mission-critical connectivity for their application.
Blockdaemon supports 30+ cutting edge blockchain networks including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Dash, Dfinity, Dogecoin, Agroland, Ethereum Classic, Filecoin, Flow, Harmony, Helium, Hyoperledger, Kusuma, Litecoin, Polkadot, Solana, XRP, etc.
Quicknode is a Miami-based node service provider and fairly new in the market. Quicknode has recently raised funding from Y Combinator and Softbank to build an AWS-style Web3 cloud platform for blockchain developers that can help them create and scale applications. QuikNode allows app developers to rent access to nodes that let them operate on the blockchain network of their choice, enabling them to sidestep maintaining and monitoring their own node.
Apart from node management and maintenance, QuikNode’s product integrates developer tools and analytics to simplify running a decentralized app. The team currently operates over 1,000 nodes and has more than 500 customers on board. It currently supports 8 major blockchain networks including Ethereum, Bitcoin, xDai, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Solana, Optimism, etc., and has a plan to expand to more blockchain networks in near future.