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I am developing a REST API currently running off a node.js server. The API allows ethereum account creation, making a transaction etc.

The API interacts with a locally running ethereum node to execute these requests over RPC. I have set the provider to "127.0.0.1/8545" I use the web3.eth.personal RPC API for many of these requests. Is it safe to expose the personal API?

If not how could I unlock an account without web3.eth.personal.unlockAccount?

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127.0.0.1 is your localhost, inaccessible by default to the public Internet. The only way to expose the RPC API would be to intentionally setup a Reverse Proxy (using say Nginx) to forward the localhost to a publicly accessible IP & Port. If you're behind a NAT (say on your home network), this becomes even more difficult, so you should be safe to use the API unlocked.

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