JSON-RPC or REST: Factors to Consider for Your Project's Success

JSON-RPC or REST: Factors to Consider for Your Project's Success

Knowledge Nodes

Crypto APIs Team

Sep 1, 2023 • 6 min

Both JSON-RPC and REST are very popular protocols used for building APIs, web applications and a variety of micro services. If you are a technical person or have a background in the IT sector, you are most likely very familiar with both protocols. But when it comes to deciding which of the two should be used for your project, you need to be very clear on the abilities and advantages that both JSON-RPC and REST carry with them. 

Before we discuss the differences between the two protocols we will start with an overview of the two.


Starting from the “JSON” part, it stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It is important to note that JSON is not a programming language, despite the presence of JavaScript in its name. Instead, it is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language Standard. In essence, JSON uses conventions resembling the C-family languages (C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python and others) to enable structuring and transferring data in a very simple and straightforward way.   

RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call, allowing making a service request from one computer to another, without the need to be able to understand the network details. This is being done through a client, which in this case is the computer from which a request is made, and it requires the input of a server, which is the computer providing the “program”. Thus, the RPC is based on the client-service model.  

Execution of multiple RPCs at the same time is possible, despite the mechanics behind RPC, but only in specific cases. For example, when RPCs are sharing the same address space, this is possible. We are mentioning this, because RPC functions as a regular local procedure call, meaning that the requesting program must be ceased until the server returns the made request. 


Representational State Transfer (REST) is concerned with the style of web architecture that governs the behaviour of a client and a server. REST APIs enables communication between different software systems in the form of unique URLs or by using HTTP methods for different sets of actions, such as retrieving, creating, updating and deleting data. REST APIs are stateless, which means each request contains all necessary information and responses are often returned in JSON format or XML. 

Differences between the two protocols

Depending on the type of project that you are building, along with how complex the project is and at what scale you are building, you will be able to make your decision between the two protocols.

As we mentioned above, the REST APIs protocol is using HTTP methods. The HTTP is not particularly suitable for engineers who are building APIs for web3 projects which are decentralized and of high-complexity level. Therefore, you need to be aware of the HTTP limitations.

There are certain criteria which must be met for data that requires validation before saving it. This is in contrast with the way REST operates, as it deploys the CRUD basis (create, read, update and delete). Regardless, it is important to note that if you really want to use the REST for your project, there are ways to work around the issues without the need to consider the alternative protocol, but the process can be quite complex. 

If we take a closer look at the REST APIs that Crypto APIs is providing to its clients, we will find a wide range of benefits that must be mentioned. For instance, it is extremely easy to integrate different blockchain protocols, as we provide unified data. This means that you, as a developer, or your technical team will not have to be familiar with the specifics of each of the blockchains, which is a must if you were to rely on the JSON-RPC protocol. 

Needless to mention, the level of experience of the developers that are going to be implementing blockchain protocols` integrations could be limited, and even junior IT specialists are capable of completing the integrations. Here is what we mean by that - due to the unified data that we provide, there is just one, single parameter that needs to be changed when integrating another blockchain. Through the integration of our webhooks, the actual blockchain protocol integration becomes an easy task. 

Our REST APIs can save you time, it does not require any advanced technical skills or major input from your developers, it is great for low scale projects and quick results, and provides an amazing versatility when it comes to multiple blockchain network integrations or transactions` preparation and broadcasting. It is also the most cost-effective solution among the two protocols. 

Now to the downsides or REST APIS. In terms of passing parameters, using REST APIs can be difficult in certain scenarios. To pass arguments, users will have 4 options to do so - HTTP Headers, HTTP Body, URL path and URL query. A major limitation here is that it is not always clear which one to use, whereas JSON-RPC simplifies this procedure.  

The JSON-RPC provides ready-to-go APIs with just one method to send requests, such as POST for HTTP or SEND for Websockets. It also has just a single response code.

Another area in which JSON-RPC shines is the ability to perform batch requests. The advantages of JSON-RPC over REST are inclusive of simplicity, which eliminates confusing data sets or commands, and simplifies all processes to both users and machines. It has a Unicode protocol with a compact common line, which is a great option to engineers with limited experience. 

In addition, the need for brainstorming from the user`s side is taken down to a minimum, with particular attention paid to reducing development time and speeding the time-to-market. Moreover, the information exchange is quicker, more accurate and can be done through handling multiple calls at a time without the need to wait for responses before requesting additional calls. Of course due to its suitability for large scale projects, JSON-RPC remains as the slower option between the two protocols.

Last, but not least, the JSON-RPC is the only way to get access to nodes, regardless if you will need shared nodes or dedicated nodes. Through dedicated nodes, transactions can be prepared, which logically slightly affects the client's input. 

Not everything is perfect when it comes to JSON-RPC, as this protocol comes with its own disadvantages. For example, a JSON-RPC solution will cost more, as it is more complex. Due to its complexity, it requires more input from the client's side, which logically involves more technical staff with higher expertise than if they were to use REST APIs. It is time-consuming, despite some of the options that we provide in our solutions to make the developer`s job easier and quicker. 

In conclusion, both protocols have their own advantages and specific use cases, whilst both use the client-server model. It is not impossible to use both protocols at the same time if this is needed, although we strongly recommend choosing one of the two, depending on their suitability to your project.

For complex and large projects, JSON RPC is our undisputed leader due to its characteristics which are saving development time, market time and allows a variety of functions which are not present in REST such as dedicated and shared nodes. Crypto APIs suggestion would be for web content based projects which are of smaller scale and require quick and not-too-complex actions to choose REST APIs. REST APIs is also the best possible solution for quick integration of multiple blockchain networks without the need to allocate large resources.

Crypto APIs is providing both protocols and even if you are in doubt which of the two architectural styles is deemed more appropriate, we will assist with your choice and will help you make the right decision. 

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