Cryptocurrencies are hot. So hot in fact that just about any app or website can be made more competitive if it is connected to a cryptocurrency exchange via the exchange’s API (Application Programming Interface).
APIs are sets of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools that make it easier for developers to use various pre-made building blocks or access and integrate the functionality of existing software. In 2018, there are many large cryptocurrency exchanges with API access for developers. These exchanges make it easy for developers to generate cryptocurrency wallets, enable cryptocurrency transactions, or retrieve real-time or historical price information.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges with API Access for Developers
One reason why Coinbase has become as popular as it is today is the free availability of its excellent API, which makes it effortless to integrate Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum into both new and existing applications. With Coinbase’s API, developers can generate Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum wallets and addresses; buy/sell and send/receive Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum; securely store Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum; retrieve real-time or historical price information; receive notifications when payments arrive; and accept and request bitcoin payments as a merchant.
Coinbase’s API is well-documented, and it extends even to GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange), which is a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange for professional traders. If you decide to use Coinbase’s API for your project, make sure to also follow Coinbase’s Developer Blog, you can find product updates, tutorials, and other helpful tips.
Binance is a rapidly growing crypto exchange that attracts customers with low fees, availability of rare coins, reliable support, and fast and easy transactions. It also attracts developers with its open API, which is documented on GitHub. Changes to Binance’s API are announced on this Telegram channel.
Binance is especially popular among those who follow ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), a fundraising tool by which startups can avoid costs of regulatory compliance and intermediary financial organizations, while increasing risk for investors. Binance’s API provides a number of ways how you can keep the users of your app coming back or make them choose your app over competing apps.
While some APIs give developers access to only a small subset of features, Bitfinex’s API is designed to allow access to all of the features of the Bitfinex platform, which is a Hong Kong-based crypto-currency exchange trading and currency-storage platform operated by iFinex Inc. According to Bitfinex, “The end goal is to allow people to potentially recreate the entire platform on their own.”
Bitfinex was founded in 2012, and, since 2014, it has been the largest Bitcoin exchange platform in the world. Despite several hacks and ongoing issues with banks, Bitfinex has managed to grow at a steady rate, in part thanks to its excellent API, which is explained in detail here.
Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011. Apart from the United States, Kraken also operates in Japan, and Canada, and in the EU, where it is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity.
The chances are that you’ve already seen Kraken’s API implemented in the wild because it is used to provide Bitcoin pricing to the Bloomberg Terminal. And if Kraken’s API is good enough for Bloomberg, we think it should be good enough for you.
What if you want or need data and features from more than one cryptocurrency exchange? Well, you have basically two options: you can either learn how to use multiple APIs, which is time-consuming, or you can take advantage of CoinAPI, which integrates all cryptocurrency exchanges under a single API to provide fast, reliable, and unified access to cryptocurrency markets.
CoinAPI has integrated 90 exchanges, which collectively produce 1,636 market data updates every second. CoinAPI has 31 TB of historical market data, which it delivers on-demand through well-documented and simple HTTP RESTful APIs in JSON, XML, and CSV formats. More demanding integrations with real-time market data streaming can be accomplished through WebSocket and FIX protocols.