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What is the Difference Between libp2p, devp2p and RLPx?

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The article focuses on discussing the difference between lipp2p, devp2p, and RLPx. The following topics will be discussed here:

  • What is libp2p?
  • What is devp2p?
  • What us RPLx?
  • libp2p vs devp2p vs RLPx.

Let’s start discussing each of these topics in detail.

What is libp2p?

Decentralized peer-to-peer applications can be built with the help of the network framework Libp2p. Protocol Labs developed it, and Ethereum was later utilized in their blockchain’s network layer. The Golang implementation of libp2p is used to create both. Unlike traditional networks, distributed peer-to-peer networks face unique challenges. To enable developers to use plug-and-play networking with their distributed applications, Libp2p is a generalized toolkit.

  • libp2p provides tools to deal with NAT traversal.
  • Peer discovery and handshake protocols are also handled by Libp2p. 
  • Web3 design relies on encryption and security, and libp2p automatically supports both unencrypted protocols (such as TCP and UDP) and encrypted protocols (such as TLS and Noise).
  • As security flaws are discovered, more and more patches are added to web protocols that are stuck in the 1990s. The modularity of libp2p comes into play here. The design of Libp2p allows upgrading any component while remaining backward compatible.

Features of libp2p:

There are some features of libp2p are :

  1. libp2p uses several means of transport, newer transports like WebRTC, and QUIC, and at the same time uses well-established transports like TCP. 
  2. It supports multiple hosts and connectivity conditions.
  3. It is also used in native roaming which means that the app can migrate between the machines or the networks without any configuration steps.
  4. It is capable of discovering other peers without resourcing to centralized registries, enabling applications to work in offline mode.
  5. It provides encrypted connections.

What is devp2p?

The Ethereum Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network is composed of a group of network protocols called devp2p. The term “Ethereum network” is used in a broad sense, which means that devp2p should be able to meet the needs of any networked application under the Ethereum brand. Given only the specification, the devp2p network protocols must function within the limitations of a consumer-grade Internet connection and should be simple to implement from scratch. Typically, we design protocols using a “specification first” approach (see Application Programming Interface (API) and Interface), but any proposed specification must include a functioning prototype or be implementable within a reasonable amount of time.
Assembling a peer-to-peer network from modular components is the goal of the libp2p project, which was launched around the same time as devp2p. It’s common for people to wonder how devp2p and libp2p are related.
As a result of their different scopes and intended purposes, the two projects are difficult to compare. Libp2p is a collection of programming library pieces serving various applications, whereas devp2p is an integrated system definition that aims to serve Ethereum’s needs well (although it may also be a good fit for other applications).

Features of devp2p:

  1. It aids in fulfilling the requirements of any networked application.
  2. It assists in removing the restrictions associated with a consumer-grade internet connection.
  3. It has a working prototype that can be put into use quickly.
  4. A connection is simple to create from scratch.
  5. Depending on their needs, it supplies them with Ethereum.
  6. It has a collection of protocols that are all part of the network.

 What is RLPx?

The RLPx transport protocol is a TCP-based transport protocol used to communicate between Ethereum nodes. During connection establishment, encrypted messages belonging to one or more “capabilities” are negotiated by the protocol.

  • The RLP serialization format is the inspiration for RLPx. The name has no special significance and is not an acronym. 
  • RLPx is a suite of protocols rather than a single protocol.
  • It uses a modified version of the kademlia node discovery protocol to keep the p2p overlay network running (using UDP messages).
  • RLPx messages are therefore authenticated and encrypted. You can communicate with them using various protocols on top of them. 

Devp2p and its subprotocols are merely application-level protocols. RLPx is used by the Vp2p nodes to send messages to one another (this time using TCP messages). 

Features of RLPx:

  1. It is not a single protocol, RLPx is a protocol suit.
  2. When two peers first meet, they shake the hands in two different phases.
  3. Every RLPx message is either encrypted or authenticated.
  4. It uses the transport type layer protocol to function.
  5. Communication can be done in RLPx by using different types of protocols.
  6. The protocol in this case negotiates encrypted messages that belong to one or more “capabilities”.

libp2p vs devp2p vs RLPx

Below are the differences between libp2p, devp2p, and RLPx:

S No.libp2pdevp2pRLPx
1.libp2p creates software for various P2P networks and scenarios.devp2p connect various protocol, and they create the same thing as libp2p RLPx are also the same as devp2p, they also connect various protocols, and they create the same thing as libp2p 
2.Libp2p is employed by numerous transports.devp2p is not employed by numerous transports.RLPx is also not employed by numerous transports.
3.It does not help to meet the needs of any networked application.It helps to meet the needs of any networked application.It also helps to meet the needs of any networked application.
4.libp2p messages are  not either encrypted or authenticateddevp2p messages are  only encrypted RLPx messages are  both encrypted or authenticated
5.libp2p Automate on any workflowit is not Automate on any workflowit is also not Automate on any workflow

Last Updated : 26 Nov, 2022
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