Give some REST to cryptocurrencies
2017 is the year of the API economy according to Forbes. I truly believe in this. Not only because all my recent projects included integration with other third party providers, but also because of the need for rapid implementation of an idea into a product. Today it is more suitable and cost effective for the business to use services or products of other vendors instead of developing them in-house in order to achieve specific goal.
Other thing which will mark the current year is the blockchain and more specifically its tremendous adoption. According to some blockchain evangelists, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts are in their way of transforming how we are going to trade goods and services in the future. Still for the vast majority of people the whole thing is another bubble which sooner or later will burst. With the current price of the bitcoin which exceeds 7000$ I don’t blame them at all.
Since we are tech guys let’s focus on the technology. In my previous article related to blockchain I talked from the perspective of a Java developer. Now I want to be more language independent. The following list represents free REST APIs which can be used to get a grasp of how to manage cryptocurrencies transactions, manage wallets or retrieve market data. All of the following providers have similar functionality and it’s up to you which one will be part in your next project. From my point of view a good documentation in combination with growing community indicates scalability and good support which is definitely what you need in terms of developing robust applications.
Coinbase – https://developers.coinbase.com/
Coinmarketcap – https://coinmarketcap.com/api/
Need price information of more than 1000 digital currencies? If the answer is yes, then Coinmarketcap is your place. Converting various cryptocurrencies in the money equivalent we know such as EUR, USD or JPY is the core service of this provider. The REST APIs which they are sharing are pretty limited but very straight-forward to use and helpful if you want to build automated trading application. Managing wallets and transactions or even retrieving historical data are outside the scope of this platform, but still the information which the platform provides is definitely valuable and can be used in combination with Coinbase APIs to achieve trading automation.
Blockchain.info – https://blockchain.info/api
Their motto “Use Blockchain’s APIs at no cost to help you start building bitcoin apps.” instantly hooked me up to include this platform in my list. Blockchain.info covers most of the functionality which Coinbase provides in terms of managing transactions, wallets and exchange rates. If you are interested more in statistics and charts, then check out the Blockchain Charts & Statistics API. As addition to my statement of the preferences in terms of choosing the right provider I need to add availability. Blockchain.info covers 99.9% uptime of their services which is the decimal we are looking for. Sign up and request your API key now, not only because the provider covers all needs of the most picky client, but also if you want to add bitcoin as a payment method to your website.
Feel free to give your comments and extend the list based on your experience. Any suggestions will be highly appreciated.