Blockchain Node Engine terminology

This page describes terms you may encounter when working with Blockchain Node Engine.

Blockchain theory

Term Definition
block An ordered collection of transactions in a cryptocurrency blockchain. Blocks are immutable, and once added to the blockchain they can only be removed in the case of a fork in the chain.
block height The number of blocks confirmed in the history of a blockchain. The current block height is the number of blocks in the blockchain minus one.
blockchain A public, shared database comprised of consecutive groups, or blocks. Each block references its parent block which results in chains of blocks. Data cannot be changed in one block without affecting other blocks.
client Software that runs on your computer that communicates with other computers in a distributed network.
endpoint The URL used to access nodes. For Blockchain Node Engine, JSON-RPC and WebSocket endpoints are supported.
JSON-RPC endpoint JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Remote Procedure Call (RPC). This is the primary way to interface with nodes. Through JSON-RPC endpoints, you can deploy smart contracts, interact with smart contracts (read and write data), relay transactions or pull block and transaction data.
latency The average time it takes a node to respond to requests.
node An instance of client software running on a computer in a distributed network of computers each running the same software. For example, each instance of an Ethereum client running on a computer in a network of other computers running Etherum client software is a node.
throughput How fast a blockchain processes transactions.
WebSocket endpoint If you want to subscribe to updates to the blockchain, a WebSocket connection can be used. This method allows you to avoid polling the node for updates and is suitable for real-time updates.


Term Definition
API key Blockchain Node Engine uses API keys for authentication to the blockchain nodes' APIs. These API keys have a string, an ID, and an optional display name. See Authenticate using API keys for more information.
location A specific geographical location where you can host your resources.

Node software


Term Definition
consensus client An Ethereum client that provides agreement based on validated data received from the execution client. See also: Ethereum, Consensus Clients
execution client An Ethereum client that is responsible for executing blockchain transactions and storing the blockchain node state and data. See also: Ethereum, Execution Clients
JSON-RPC namespace When using the Ethereum Geth execution client, there are JSON-RPC namespaces which define the available API. By default, Blockchain Node Engine disables the admin and debug namespaces as they contain functions which can potentially impact the operation of the node. These namespaces can be optionally enabled when creating a blockchain node.
Mainnet The primary public Ethereum production blockchain. See also: Ethereum Mainnet
network An Ethereum environment used for development, testing, or production. See also: Mainnet, Testnet, and Ethereum, Networks.
node type

Ethereum nodes can be full, archive or light, with different trade-offs in hardware requirements compared to available functionality:

  • Full: Stores sufficient blockchain data to fully validate new blocks, but prunes historical data. Full nodes require a significant amount of computer hardware and bandwidth resources.
  • Archive: Stores all of the information from the full node plus an archive of historical states. Archive nodes require substantially more disk storage than full nodes.
  • Light: Downloads only block headers which contain summary information about the block contents. Light nodes require less-powerful hardware and lower bandwidth than full or archive nodes. Please note that Blockchain Node Engine does not currently support light nodes.

See Node types for more details.

Testnet A public Ethereum network used for testing. See also: Ethereum Testnets


Term Definition
labels For Blockchain Node Engine, optional key/value pairs that can be used to group nodes.
status For Blockchain Node Engine, the current state of the blockchain node. For example, RUNNING.