Editor's note: Be sure to check out our research on the overall growth of Web APIs since 2005. At the time of writing, this is the most recent data we have, but check the research page to see if we have a more updated article. We will be continually updating the overall growth chart with other charts getting updated on a less frequent basis.
Cryptocurrency has been around since 2009 when bitcoin was first open-sourced. As perhaps the most recognizable form of cryptocurrency, bitcoin is both its own currency as well as a decentralized payment system with no central bank controlling it. The system is driven by peer-to-peer transactions which are recorded in a public ledger called the blockchain. Since the system is decentralized, developers are free to create new services and applications, many of which are backed by an API, that utilize both bitcoin and blockchain. Recently the price of bitcoin has surged; CNBC reported that if you bought $100 worth of bitcoin in 2010, it would be worth $73 million today. The price rally got us wondering if there has been a similar surge in developer interest in bitcoin. This article uses our directory data to look at the growth of APIs in this space.
ProgrammableWeb first started seeing bitcoin APIs in 2011. The growth was initially slow but as bitcoin began to hit the mainstream we saw a big spike in the category's growth from the middle of 2013 to to mid-2014. The chart below shows the overall growth of the bitcoin category over the last six years.
Total Bitcoin APIs Count by Month
In 2013, we wrote about bitcoin APIs noting that there were 46 such APIs in the directory. That was just as the number of APIs added began to rise, peaking with 69 bitcoin APIs added in May of 2014.
Total Bitcoin APIs Since May 2013
If we look at the number of bitcoin APIs added by year, we see that 2013 and 2014 had the most growth with the last two years being more steady. It's worth noting that the category appears to be seeing an uptick this year with more than 50 new APIs added through May.
Bitcoin APIs Added by Year
Blockchain is a new API category so it isn't surprising to see fewer numbers of APIs that reference it. When we look at the growth of API submissions that have some mention of blockchain, we do see a similar pattern to the bitcoin APIs; slow initial growth, a spike in activity, followed by a steady increase.
Total Blockchain APIs Count by Month
The number of blockchain APIs broken out by year shows us that 2015 was the peak year to date with 2017 on pace to see 12 new APIs added.
Blockchain APIs Added by Year
If you are an API provider, or a developer who has created a new service that takes advantage of bitcoin, blockchain, or other cryptocurrency technologies, adding a listing to our directory is a great way to improve the discoverability of your APIs and raise awareness of your program. If you would like to include your APIs in our directory, you can use the link below.