We want to create a token ERC20 on Ethereum and build our PHP payment gateway for our customers to pay us with our new ERC20 token.

Some questions:

  1. Is there a way to verify the transactions without running our own node?
  2. If we do require our own node, can we install this on our dedicated Linux box?
  3. If the node is required, I assume we can check our node for the transactions. Is that how it works?
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    – Andrew T.
    Aug 7 '17 at 3:32
  1. Yes: Etherscan.io's API allows you to check ERC20 balances, so you can have users send tokens to unique addresses and monitor their balances.
  2. Yes. I have Ethereum nodes running in Debian, Ubuntu, and probably one or two other distributions. Normally, Debian is my Linux distribution of choice, but library support for Ethereum-related stuff seems to be a bit better (because it's more bleeding-edge) in Ubuntu, at least out of the box.
  3. Yes. You can query your node software of choice to get the ERC20 balances of whichever account you like.

As alluded to by @ThomasClowes, whether you can process payments using a third party node and whether you should are different questions. For low valued transactions (like if you're getting payment for coffee or Internet cafe usage) or in an embedded application where you can't run a node, a third-party source (or several) may be acceptable. You can also run a single Parity node or two (for redundancy) at a central point and query them via RPC if you're attempting to have many low cost devices supporting your ERC20 token. There is no need to keep any private keys on the central node(s) for checking ERC20 balances.

  • Thank you for the answer! Are you saying that we don't need a node to check that our tokens are being sent/received?
    – presimify
    Aug 7 '17 at 3:49
  • 1
    That's right: you don't need to run your own node if you have access to the data from another node. Etherscan runs a node (or many nodes) and provides public access to some of its data. You do, however, need to trust Etherscan. You can, of course, mitigate the risk of a malicious service by querying multiple services.
    – lungj
    Aug 7 '17 at 4:39

In my opinion you DO need to run your own nodes to verify transactions on the chain. After all.. you are proposing a payment processor - your customers are trusting you with their financial transactions yet you are looking to essentially outsource the security of your whole project to a third party. That is completely bemusing to me..

So, to answer your questions..

  1. Yes, but for your use case you should not.
  2. Yes. I run all my nodes on Ubuntu.
  3. Yes.

Edit. The most popular programs for running your own node are Geth and Parity. Both work on Ubuntu.

  • We don't want to outsource the security of the project, we just don't want to setup a node unless we have to. Hence why we want to check transactions on the blockchain through someone else's node but if we must have our own node to check them can you recommend a good node component for LInux? Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it.
    – presimify
    Aug 7 '17 at 13:57
  • 1
    You have misunderstood my point. If you use someone elses node, they can spoof the responses and tell you whatever they want. So yes, you have to setup your own node. I have added more info about common programs for running your own node. Aug 7 '17 at 17:17

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