Today in APIs: Chain API Gives Fingerprint Authorization to iOS Bitcoin Apps

Authorization for iOS Bitcoin Apps now just a fingerprint away. Google launches a cloud monitoring API for its cloud Platform. Plus: In-game equipment management API coming soon, and there is a women-only hackathon in Chennai, July 25.

Chain Makes Bitcoin Apps for iOS Secure via Fingerprint

Chain's new fingerprint API for iOS Bitcoin apps might have far-reaching implications: helping one of the first digital currencies challenge the monopoly of more conventional forms of lucre. Bitcoin is plagued by the standard questions that surround most innovations in their early stages: how do I use it, is it safe, who else is using it, and am I a fool to get involved here? An innovation wins because it offers something(s) new to overcome those hurdles. In Bitcoin's case it's: untraceable transactions, and a wise investment vehicle (maybe), for example. Now added to this is convenience: with Chain's fingerprint API, you can authorize a transaction in what could be the most convenient way in history.

chain bticoin

Nermin Hajdarbegovic at Coindesk explains how it works:

A person wanting to send bitcoin simply opens the Chain app, and clicks ‘send’. At this point they are prompted to touch the fingerprint sensor on the phone to authenticate the transaction. Once approved, the user can scan a QR code or paste in the receiver’s wallet address and complete the transaction.

Of course, you can't use the API or an App that features it without iOS 8, the first version to offer the Touch ID API that makes it all possible. And you have to transact from a device that recognizes your fingerprint. That may seem wise--added security that confines its use to a device that can truly be identified as belonging to the user. But as Hajdarbegovic points out, this means that the security is only as good as Apple's Touch ID security, which can in fact be hacked by creating fake fingerprints taken from the owner. Still, this beats a 4 digit pin and is likely as secure as transactions featuring nondigital currencies.

Google Releases Cloud Monitoring API

Google has released a cloud monitoring API for developers using its cloud service. This enables users to create visualizations and monitor alerts.

Google developers

Anna Ribeiro reports in Computer Technology Review what the API monitors:

Currently Cloud Monitoring Read API supports reading metric time series data from the following Cloud Platform services, including Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud SQL and Google Cloud Pub/Sub. The API will also alert operations engineers immediately when a problem is detected.

Information is measured every minute and stored. As the information ages, the archive spaces out the times saved, going to one measurement per 5 minutes for data older than one day, then down sampled to 1 per hour for data that are over two weeks old. More details on the Google Cloud Monitoring API are available directly from Google's developer site. Also, Check out ProgrammableWeb's full coverage

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Be sure to read the next Security article: Visibility Requirements for Enterprise Cloud Security