Over the last few years, the blockchain has suddenly become the hottest new technology in the space. Every single organization out there is looking to integrate the blockchain in its daily operations. However, this is where they face a significant hurdle. There are a lot of technical complexities and business integration challenges that come with the blockchain. Application Programming Interface or API can go a long way in addressing these issues and technological gaps.
What are APIs?
APIs are software intermediaries that simplify application-interaction. To best understand how API works, let’s give you the famous “restaurant” example. Imagine that you are in your favorite Indian restaurant. Now, how do you go and get your food? Do you go to the kitchen and start putting the ingredients together? (For your sake, we hope you don’t.)
Instead, you just interact with the menu card and give your waiter your order. The waiter then conveys your order to the kitchen and gets back your food.
It’s as simple as that. You can imagine the same workflow with an API. As a software developer, you can use the API (waiter) to gain the services of a particular software (kitchen). The API’s set of guidelines as it processes what you ordered and responds.
The importance of APIs for businesses
- They are significant time-savers. E.g. How many times have you simply logged into an account with Facebook instead of creating an account from scratch?
- Companies like Uber have built the foundation of their entire business model on APIs.
- APIs allow businesses to focus on their main offering without worrying about the technical voodoo going on behind the scenes.
The advantages of API blockchain solutions for enterprises
- As mentioned above, organizations are looking to integrate blockchain technology in their business plans and daily operations, but they have faced significant technological hurdles in their path. An example of this is data exploration and extraction. Since the blockchain is exceptionally bulky, data synchronization can become difficult. Usually, the process requires a tremendous amount of resources and personnel, which the organization may not be able to afford. However, a network of devices running a secure blockchain implementation could form a federated network of trusted devices with the resources required to take care of this for you.
- A major advantage of joining a blockchain network lies in the dynamic and transparent management of various operations. Having the ability to track each transaction to a specific user at a particular time and a specific environment helps create a massively powerful record of transactions that promote responsibility and provides a clear audit trail to resolve issues.
- The blockchain can be an effective method of distributing processing power and delivery. Integrating the blockchain can allow you to use a token-based system for renting computation and verifying the results. APIs can help you achieve this by pointing accepted transactions to the API, which has segmented the content into bite-sized pieces.
What are the best API solutions?
There are two companies that are the leaders in the space when it comes to developing APIs for querying and obtaining blockchain data – Covalent and The Graph.
- The Graph’s API stores and processes data for networks like Ethereum and IPFS. It’s focused on developing solutions for dApps and provides reliable data to facilitate the application creation process. The Graph has several open APIs, called subgraphs, that allows anyone to build and publish on the platform.
- Covalent’s API provides access to data obtained by the platform’s software that has indexed over 25 billion transactions, over 200,000 smart contracts, and 30,00 cryptocurrency price feeds. Its intelligent indexing and query technology supports a wide variety of use cases and is available for all. Covalent’s offering has been built for enterprises and provides multiple solutions. It does so by providing specifically designed data points to support organizational decision-making. Developers can use its deep API Suite to integrate solutions into their projects quickly.
APIs can help organizations to quickly integrate blockchain solutions and scale up exponentially. This will be a critical component in greatly accelerating blockchain adoption. Companies like The Graph and Covalent are providing API solutions to help generate information that supports decision-making, creates apps, and execute trades.