The new developer portal provides information and documentation for all of Coinbase's APIs. These include its Wallet API for storing bitcoins, Blockchain API for retrieving data about the blockchain and Merchant API for accepting bitcoin payments. The developer portal also introduces developers to Coinbase's newest API, Coinbase Exchange, which allows developers to build bitcoin trading applications that use Coinbase's U.S.-based exchange.
To help developers build bitcoin applications without having to use their real Coinbase accounts with real bitcoin, Coinbase has introduced a Developer Sandbox that gives them access to the Coinbase APIs in a development-appropriate environment. This environment uses testnet, an alternative bitcoin blockchain that, as the name suggests, is dedicated to testing.
Coinbase says that it is the largest Bitcoin platform in the world and has already seen more than 7,000 developer applications created using its APIs. In an effort to encourage developers to build even more apps, the company today announced its second-ever hackathon. Over the next six weeks, developers participating in BitHack V2 will have the ability to build apps using Coinbase's APIs. The winner of the top prize will receive $10,000 worth of bitcoins, and one of the top five finalists will be selected to participate in the BoostVC accelerator program for bitcoin startups. According to Coinbase, the value of the program's seed funding, housing and mentorship is $50,000.
BitHack V2 is a distributed hackathon and open to participants around the world. Submissions will be judged by a team of Coinbase staff and venture capitalists based on three criteria: creativity, usefulness and execution.
Coinbase, which raised a $75 million round of funding earlier this year, believes that bitcoin technology is in its infancy and has many potential use cases yet to be tapped. While much of the early attention paid to bitcoin has focused on payment applications, Coinbase is encouraging hackathon participants to innovate. "We're interested in seeing apps which highlight new use cases for bitcoin, and make it easier to use for wider audiences. Your app can be bitcoin-focused, or it can use bitcoin technology to power the user experience," the company says.