This article is part four of ProgrammableWeb's series on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. In part three we looked at whether a market for businesses providing tools and services (such as APIs) to the blockchain world thrive.
Looking back on ProgrammableWeb's series on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies from the developer and API points of view, we now have a sense of the various components and business opportunities within the various cryptocurrency ecosystems. Now, let's take a look at a small handful of typical APIs across those ecosystems.
Before we start, it's worth noting that ProgrammableWeb maintains the worlds largest independent directory of public APIs and associated software development kits (SDKs). As ProgrammableWeb discovers new cryptocurrency APIs and SDKs, we'll be looking to keep the cryptocurrency and blockchain API categories within our directories as up to date as possible. Considering the pace of evolution in this space, with both successes and failures, these categories are anything but static.
CoindeskTrack this API
Coindesk is one of the most popular sources for information on the cryptocurrency market, providing up-to-date prices for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies. It's also a highly popular source of news in the cryptocurrency space.
The Coindesk API provides easy access to the latest prices of cryptocurrencies.
Coinranking provides a simple list of popular cryptocurrencies and their latest prices and a simple yet powerful means of tracking prices. Likewise, it provides a simple API to access this basic functionality programmatically.
Exchanges And Wallets
KrakenTrack this API
Kraken is one of the more popular exchanges and as of the writing of this article, it is currently the largest in Europe. It provides a good API to interact with Kraken's most common tasks programmatically, allowing applications to obtain market data, perform trades on behalf of users, and obtain an authenticated user's data such as account balances and past trades.
CoinbaseTrack this API
Coinbase is arguably the most popular cryptocurrency wallet, enabling people to easily buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The company has made significant investments into its API. If you're a developer that wants to get involved in cryptocurrency trading, Coinbase should be on your shortlist of APIs to work with.
Blockchain.comTrack this API
Blockhain.com is another popular and trusted cryptocurrency wallet involving a company that has made significant investments into its API to perform common transactions programmatically.
This is the API for Bitcoin itself. Remember that Bitcoin is one example of a cryptocurrency. Although it exists on a distributed ledger (one of the chief selling propositions of cryptocurrencies), there is only one API for Bitcoin and the API is for accessing that ledger. Other services that work with Bitcoin, such as the wallets and exchanges, use this API to work with Bitcoin.
As already mentioned in this series (see ""), Ethereum is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform that enables companies to launch their own blockchain-based cryptocurrency. You can almost think of it as the white-labeling of blockchain. For example, if ProgrammableWeb were to launch its own cryptocurrency called PW Coin (don't worry, we're not), we might choose to implement the Ethereum platform to do it. Regardless of who has launched an implementation of Ethereum to offer a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, those implementation of Ethereum all rely on an identically designed API; the Ethereum API. However, just like the independent implementations of Ethereum, the implementations of the Ethereum API are independent as well which means their API endpoints are hosted at completely different web URIs.
Blockchain companies with APIs
Ripple (see "Banking on Speed, Ripple Makes a Name For Itself Among Cryptocurrency Developers") is one of the more popular success stories in the world of blockchain. It provides a high-speed blockchain-based cryptocurrency technology called XRP on which banks can perform financial operations more efficiently. Ripple's developer program and associated API is fundamental to its ability to offer banks a way to build in their own XRP-driven apps.
Kaleido, a company under the Consensys organization offers enterprise-grade solutions to build blockchain technologies more easily. It has an extensive and frequently upgraded API to handle just about any feature that's enabled in its interface.