Technical writer at CryptoGlobe covering all things data and crypto, HMU at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this article, we break down the top 5 crypto APIs for 2020.
We assess the five APIs according to 11 criteria, so you can decide which API is best for your use case and highlight some standout features and drawbacks of those on offer.
The table below summarizes how we assess the APIs:
Founded in 2014, CryptoCompare is one of the most established data providers in the space, with several high profile clients including BT, Coinbase and Refinitiv. Offering four tiers of plan - Free, Professional, Corporate and Enterprise, their pricing ranges from $79.99 up to $199 for the Corporate plan, with custom pricing for Enterprise clients.
Featuring 273 exchanges, the CryptoCompare API stands out for the widest array of endpoints - standing at over 80 - including streaming, minute and blockchain data from partner IntoTheBlock.
Its Free tier offers all 80 endpoints, but is restricted to 1 day for its minute data and 3 months for hourly. However, it offers a generous 100,000 monthly calls as well as access to all 80 endpoints.
Offering REST, Websocket, and FIX connections, it has the best connectivity options in the group, as well as additional features including SLAs and Private Servers.
Good for Enterprise and power users such as traders, it provides granular tick data and real-time update frequency and a high level of customer support with a dedicated slack channel for clients.
Boasting clients such as Samsung and Coinbase, one of the most recognized names in the cryptocurrency space, CoinMarktetCap is the first port of call for many checking cryptoasset prices.
Its API comes in six tiers - Basic, Hobbyist, Startup, Standard, Professional and Enterprise - and ranges from free to $699 per month for its Professional plan and custom pricing for its Enterprise plan at the highest end. It features a wide range of cryptoassets, and offers from 9 endpoints (free plan) all the way up to 22 at the higher end of its price plans, as well as some partner integrations such as FCAS crypto ratings.
Free users get 10,000 calls a month, which would likely be enough for most casual users, but it does not offer access to historical data. Integrated with 319 exchanges, the second-highest in the group, CoinMarketCap offers a good service for those looking to find data on smaller niche exchanges.
With only 1 minute update frequency and 22 endpoints, if you are after real-time pricing and tick data as a trader or enterprise client, or a wide range of data endpoints, this may not be the API for you. CoinMarketCap’s support only extends to email at the highest level. - a point worth noting for power enterprise users.
Founded more recently than the others in this group in 2017, Nomics features partners such as Coinbase, the Digital Currency Group and Polymath and offers a price ranking on their website. The Nomics API comes in two tiers, Free and Business (with no pricing featured on the site) and features a respectable 242 exchanges.
The API is a good choice for enterprise customers and traders with SLAs on offer, both REST and Websocket, granular tick data with real-time updates, and no rate limits - although at only 17 endpoints - it offers the fewest endpoints to paid customers, and has no mention of pricing at this level.
For free users, the options are very limited with only a few endpoints available, and no historical data.
A data provider which began operations in 2014, unlike the other 4 API providers we examine here, Kaiko has no coin listing section on their site, focusing only on data provision. With clients including ChainLink and Ledger, Kaiko’s API caters only to paying users - with a 1 week free trial and offers two paid tiers Pro and Enterprise (with no pricing featured).
Offering no real free plan, and a limited number of exchanges, it is not really appropriate for free or hobbyist users.
Offering a high level of customer support at its top end - with a dedicated slack channel for its Enterprise clients, it also offers data in both REST and Websocket connection. With granular tick data, and real-time update frequency, it offers fast data connections - making it a good choice for enterprise and trading clients, but currently only supports 12 endpoints. It is limited to 85 exchanges, so will cater to those interested only in the top bracket of exchanges.
A very popular site for checking crypto prices, CoinGecko’s API is completely free - with no paid pricing plans. Integrated with the highest number of exchanges at 471, and with a huge 4 million free calls, CoinGecko stands out from the pack for free users - particularly for researchers or data scientists who have large data requirements or want to include data from smaller niche exchanges.
Offering 21 endpoints, it does not offer the granularity of some of the other APIs considered here, however - with only snapshot data and an estimated 30s update frequency.
For enterprise users or traders, it is not a great choice as with no support offered, only REST connections, and less granular data it is unlikely to meet the demands of more exacting users.
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