sorry if the question is silly.... I am tying to build a simple app that checks ETH wallet addresses balances and transactions (for both ETH and Tokens).

As far as my knowledge goes, I think that I have two options:

  • web3.js -> for which I need access to a node (hosted myself or by third party like infura.io)
  • JSON RPC -> do I still need to access a node, or I can just "tap" into the network (a bit like ElectrumX nodes in Bitcoin?)

If I host a node (to be used with web3.js), does it need to be a "full node"? (that will be so big and so expensive (if i run in in AWS)

I have tried infura, but it does not seems to be reliable (requests time-out so frequently)

Any suggestion?

Thank you all

2 Answers 2


Underneath web3.js uses JSON-RPC so both options are the same.

One other option is to run a light node it will only sync the most recent blocks, and forward more complex queries to a full node. For a light node to work it needs good connectivity and be able to connect to several full nodes.

I didn't have problems with infura, I think the have some kind of protection if you send too many requests.

  • thank you for your suggestion... I will look into that.. but what I am trying to avoid is to install a "full node" in my infrastructure... (because in my case infura was not that great) My hypothesis was to try to interact to a "public node" like you can do with in Bitcoin (using Electrum nodes and JSON RPC calls)... Does Ethereum have a "public node infrastructure" or the only option is "infura"?
    – FiNaR
    Feb 18, 2020 at 10:08
  • 2
    Probably the closest thing is running a light node.
    – Ismael
    Feb 18, 2020 at 16:04
  • thank you @ismael, where can I find info for light node (installation/specks/ storage requirements/network requirements etc.)? I simply need to find addresses balances and relative transactions (both ETH, and tokens)... does a light node handle this type of requests?
    – FiNaR
    Feb 19, 2020 at 5:36

You need a node to connect to in any case. There are some alternatives to Infura like Chainstack or QuikNode that you can consider.

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