Is the Alchemy Scale Tier "The cheapest way to build in web3"?

The truth about Alchemy

Alchemy recently made an announcement about their new "Scale Tier" (see screenshot below).

We will get into details on how the Scale plan compares to Alchemy's other plans and if they really made a big leap from being the most expensive to being the cheapest RPC provider.

Alchemy claims Scale Tier to be the cheapest way to build in Web3

As you can see in one of our blog posts, a pricing comparison of popular RPC providers, Alchemy has traditionally been the most expensive RPC provider by far. Without getting into too much detail, you can typically calculate with a price difference of up to 3x compared to Quicknode, up to 80x compared to Infura and up to 250x compared to Chainnodes.

What is the Scale tier?

The Scale tier is a new pricing plan recently introduced by Alchemy. You can read the details of the plan below:

Plan Price per month Compute Units per month Overage pricing
Free $0 300 million n/a
Growth $49 400 million $1.2 per million CUs
Scale (monthly) $289 1.5 billion $1 per million CUs
Scale (yearly) $199 1.5 billion $1 per million CUs ($0.70 if prepaid)

On top of the normal monthly plan, the Scale plan also offers yearly pre-payments, with a discount of about 20%.

If you know you will use more compute units than available on the Scale plan, you can prepay more in the yearly plan, to get a discount of 30% on overages (0.70$ per million instead of 1$ per million).

Is this the cheapest RPC on the market?

The Scale plan's pricing is even more expensive than Alchemy's own Growth tier. It's already obvious when you compare the per million compute unit pricing of the Growth tier (0.12$ per million CUs) with the Scale (monthly) tier (0.19$ per million CUs).
But even compared to the Scale (yearly) plan, the Growth tier stays the cheaper option. The Scale (yearly) plan comes at a hefty 0.13$ per million CUs.

If you compare overage pricing, the Scale tier wins against the Growth plan. While the Growth plan comes at 1.20$ per million CUs, the Scale plan starts at 1$ and can even get down to 0.70$ if paid in advance for the full year.

That being said, Alchemy's Scale plan, even its cheapest option (yearly prepayment) is still significantly more expensive than most competitors. Especially the overage pricing, even if prepaid for the year, comes at a 250x higher price than Chainnodes.

If you compare base plans, Alchemy themselves quote "60 million request equivalents" for the Scale plan (see below).

Alchemy's Scale tier supposedly supports 60M requests per month

While the 60M request equivalent is inaccurate in most use cases, even then the Chainnodes Team plan comes with 125M requests per month at 250$ per month if paid monthly, which is less than half the price per request compared to Alchemy's Scale plan.

If you go beyond, Chainnodes' pricing scales linearly, providing you with a transparent pricing experience, no matter your size. Whereas Alchemy gets more expensive the larger your project is, with overage pricing reaching nearly 10x the price of the base plan.

What do they mean by "The cheapest way to build in web3"?

Honestly? Only their marketing department can know whether there was an actual meaning behind this phrase, or they simply wanted to deceive their customers into thinking they are actually the cheapest RPC provider.

Our best guess is that they mean they are the cheapest way to empty your pockets. But as always, make up your own mind about this latest insanity.