Pros and Cons of JSON-RPC and REST APIs Protocols

Pros and Cons of JSON-RPC and REST APIs Protocols


Crypto APIs Team

Oct 16, 2023 • 6 min

In previous articles we discussed the purpose and use cases of two of the most popular protocols - the JSON-RPC and REST API. To refresh your memory, these two protocols are widely used for the creation of different web or mobile applications, аnd they also find their application in many other cases. What sets them apart are their features, suitability (this greatly depends on why you are planning to use them), and of course - their advantages and disadvantages, especially when compared head to head.

Underlying factors which may play an important role in selecting the right protocol for you can be inclusive of the level of the protocols` complexity, scalability, efficiency, and organizational goals. Regardless, both JSON-RPC and REST API are part of the sophisticated blockchain infrastructure that we, at Crypto APIs, offer to our clients. 


The JavaScript Object Notation Remote Procedure Call (JSON-RPC) protocol uses the JSON format to create procedure calls. It is important to note that JSON is not a programming language, despite the “JavaScript” in its name. With the use of this protocol different requests performing functions such as data processing can be made. In essence, this works in the following way - a client sends a request to a server; in turn, the server returns a response that is easy for humans and computers to read and understand.   

Due to its specifics, this protocol is widely used by companies operating within the crypto and blockchain sector for  requesting information from blockchain nodes. There are also specific actions that can be performed such as get address balance, next available nonce, broadcasting transactions to the networks and others. 

REST stands for “representational state transfer” architecture style and provides a great degree of flexibility. Nearly all programming languages can be used for the REST creation. Different unified data formats are supported by the REST protocol. 

The REST, similar to its alternative, is based on the client-service model, requiring communication between the both. REST APIs does not require the client to have any information about the server and it must provide the information that the client requires in order to interact with a particular service. 

REST APIs facilitate interaction between diverse software systems through the utilization of distinct URLs and HTTP methods to perform various actions, including data retrieval, creation, modification, and deletion. These APIs adhere to a stateless architecture, implying that each request comprehensively encapsulates all requisite details, and commonly, responses are returned in JSON.

Pros & Cons Of REST & JSON-RPC

Both JSON-RPC and REST have their own strengths and weaknesses. As we mentioned above, choosing the right protocol varies on several key factors such as your specific use case, requirements, and the development team`s knowledge and experience with the protocols. To help you make an informed choice and understand better what you can get out of both protocols, we will discuss in details the benefits and drawbacks of each protocol. 

REST Advantages

  • Best for smaller scale projects: Our recommendation is to use REST for web content based projects or projects requiring quick and not too complex work. However, Crypto APIs all-in-one solutions are enabling you to use REST even for larger projects and in cases when the client prefers not to rely on multiple API providers.
  • Quicker than JSON-RPC: Due to its suitability for smaller projects, the REST APIs is much quicker than its alternative protocol
  • Easier for integration: It is based on standard HTTP models and the CRUD model which stands for create, read, update and delete. Because this method is widely used, this is making it very easy for integrations by developers
  • Versatile & Unified: Crypto APIs REST APIs are making the integration of different blockchain protocols extremely easy with our unification of data. This means we return data in the same format for all blockchain networks, regardless of the blockchains` specifics. Moreover, it is the ideal solution for multiple transaction preparations and broadcasting.
  • Basic IT skills: Junior developers can work on the integration, without the need to have in-depth knowledge for each blockchain protocol. With our webhooks, only one parameter must be changed by your IT team to complete an integration with another blockchain, saving you time and resources.  
  • Cost-effective: This is the cheapest option between the two protocols due to its smaller scale suitability and incredible simplicity. You save from the need of having more in both number and skills IT specialists. 

REST Disadvantages

  • Not optimal for large projects: Despite that this protocol can be adapted to projects with larger scale thanks to our solutions, we advise using JSON-RPC for projects that are complex and require a more thoughtful and exhaustive approach. This also covers the majority of web3 projects.
  • Difficult to pass arguments: In certain scenarios it is difficult to pass arguments as there are only 4 options available to users allowing changing them - HTTP headers, HTTP body, URL path and URL query. Very often, it is unclear which of the options must be changed to. This is simplified in JSON-RPC. 

JSON-RPC Advantages

  • Quick development time: Through JSON-RPC organizations can drastically reduce their project`s development time and their go to market time
  • Multiple calls: Quick and more accurate information can be exchanged by handling batch requests at the same time. There is no need to wait to return responses on already made calls in order to request new calls. 
  • Unicode protocol: By integrating our JSON-RPC protocol, you get a simplified one line code allowing quicker and simpler work with the protocol, requiring basic IT skills and knowledge. 
  • Better performance: High performance and flexibility of APIs, as it is possible to replace for example HTTP with TCP. This results in higher control, minimization on overheads and more options and scope for the development team 
  • Nodes: You can get access to shared and dedicated nodes with JSON-RPC, allowing preparing and broadcasting transactions. Access to nodes is not available through REST APIs.
  • Single method for requests: There is only one method for sending requests, which simplifies the work with the protocol, such as POST for HTTP and SEND for Websockets.

JSON-RPC Disadvantages

  • Complexity: Unlike REST APIs where all requested returned data is unified, this is not the case with JSON-RPC. Technical staff/teams must be familiar with the specifics for each blockchain that they are integrating or operating with.
  • More demanding: What we mean here is that because of its suitability for larger projects, JSON-RPC requires more IT staff with higher technical knowledge when compared to REST. It is also more expensive.
  • Slower than REST: Considering that JSON-RPC is more suitable for large projects, it is logical to be the slowest protocol among the two, despite the benefit.
  • Client manages nodes: Client`s nodes are hosted on the server of the clientThis is in contrast with REST API in which Crypto APIs takes care of the management and support of the nodes through our unified endpoints, which results in less work and committed resources by the client.    

Each of these two protocols has its distinct areas of expertise, often compensating for the limitations of the other. For clients, the decision-making process can be challenging, even with a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of REST and JSON-RPC. That's why we strongly recommend reaching out to our team for expert guidance that can be customized to your unique requirements and organizational objectives. 

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