The best crypto currency APIs of 2020

Explore a review of the best cryptocurrency APIs of 2020 including price, feature and documentation comparison. Get started with your crypto project or analysis.

Crypto currencies took the world by storm and its usage is now being deployed in several apps and services.

If you want to tap into a share of that explosion, either personally or as a developer of a new app, you’ll probably need to use a crypto currency API to make sure you’re getting the very best features and functionality. 

These API all translate the complicated world of crypto currency into readable, accessible, actionable data. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses though and may be targeted at a different kind of app or program. 

That's why we've put this review together, not only to present some of the best crypto currency API options but also to show the range of what this type of API can do.

What is a Crypto Currency API?

There are a few different things a crypto currency API can do and picking the right one is critical to getting the best features and benefits for your project. 

The biggest thing that all crypto currency API must do is to interface with crypto currencies. Most of the best will work with several different crypto currencies, while some of the more limited API will only work with one of the more mainstream currencies.

The absolute most limited versions will only work with one or two of the less common crypto currencies, though thankfully you won’t find any of those on this list. 

Some crypto currency API work similarly to a stock market or currency exchange API, providing lots of detail on market trends. They monitor the prices of multiple different crypto currencies, including fluctuations in pricing, and monitoring for overall market trends. 

These crypto currencies also generally provide some kind of historical data following each crypto currency, though the quality and length of the data depends greatly on how long each crypto currency has been around. 

These market monitoring and trade API also usually have some buy/sell abilities, which also come with a wallet for your crypto currency, much like a stock market portfolio. Some will also work with websites and stores that accept crypto currency for payment, although not all. 

Others are more limited and function mostly as a crypto currency wallet, though that is slightly rarer. Still, others are only market monitors, providing data on the current price of each covered currency, but without buy/sell options. 

Still, others work to help connect you to stores where you can use your crypto currency or else sell for a range of base currencies. 

You can also implement other API that complement your crypto currency API to help build a better project. Consider security features like email verification or phone verification a priority for many crypto currency based projects. 

How to Use a Crypto Currency API:

Crypto currency API need the same things to be fully implemented that any other API require. The first thing you'll need if you want to use one is the relevant API key. If you're using a free trial version of an API to test how it works for your project, you may need to get a second API key if you decide to subscribe.

All API consist of code that you insert into your program to access the features and functionality of the API. They serve as replacements for building the code functionality yourself, saving you not only the work of coding but also of sourcing the data needed for each feature.

Once you have an API key, you’ll use the documentation provided by the developer to make sure it’s properly implemented. 

From there, you can also often go into the coding to make slight modifications to tweak which features and functions are available to app users. You can also configure how often the API makes a call, and other backend information to make sure you’re matching use to the subscription level you’ve chosen. 

Even once these steps have been completed, you may need occasional troubleshooting to make sure you’re making the most of the API, and to solve any hiccups you encounter along the way. 

What Are The Best Crypto Currency API?

  1. Binance API
  2. CoinBase API
  3. Kucoin API
  4. Crypto Compare API
  5. Nomics API
  6. Coin Market Cap API

And here are our in-depth reviews of each API

1. Binance API

Binance trading API for marketpla

Binance is a free to use API that uses third-party platforms to allow users to access and trade on crypto currency markets. Binance, when you consider the sheer number of crypto currency trades, is one of the largest single market players out there. 

The API is easy to implement, with relatively few issues or bugs, and thus the low likelihood of requiring additional troubleshooting. 

This API gives you access to one of the biggest crypto markets, as well as helping to manage your trades, and has a relatively high-volume limit for requests. You can get up to 1,200 requests per minute through the free to use platform.

It uses a RESTful architecture, making this API relatively accessible to anyone who has used API before. 

This is a whole trading API. You can easily access a wide library of different currencies, as well as historical data and the most important information to make an informed decision.


https://www.binance.com/en/support/articles/360004492232-API-Frequently-Asked-Questions-FAQ-

Pros:

  • Access to one of the biggest markets
  • Able to buy and sell directly through the API
  • High volume limit, can make plenty of requests per minute to reach the data you need
  • Completely free to use
  • Can cancel transactions directly through the API

Cons:

  • Can’t scale for users who need more than 1,200 requests per minute. 
  • If you exceed call, order, or transaction limits your IP will be temporarily banned
  • Fixing coding problems that caused your use to exceed limits does not lift a temporary ban until the banning period has lapsed.

2. CoinBase API

Coinbase API for trading calls or price monitoring

CoinBase API is a little different, with the flexibility to act as an exchange API, a wallet, or any number of other crypto currency functions. It’s designed to be highly flexible and programmable, which means that this API can give you a lot of functionality to create something different from the competition. 

The developer even suggests that you might be able to create entirely new functionalities in your program, using their API. 

It offers direct connections to other CoinBase wallets, letting you handle transactions directly with another user without having to first go to a crypto marketplace. 

It works with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and Ethereum, giving you access to some of the best and most reliable forms of crypto currency. 

You also have access to real-time price information. In addition, you get access to historical data that can help you make an informed decision about the currencies you want to invest in, and when to buy or sell your existing crypto currency. 

Real-time notifications will also keep you up to date the moment something happens in your crypto wallet, whether you receive a payment, or made one, depending on your settings and the status of each trade. 

https://developers.coinbase.com/

Pros:

  • Real-time notifications
  • Easy market monitoring
  • Connection to 4 different currencies
  • Free historical data provided
  • Direct wallet connection between users
  • Developers provide helpful tutorials for user

Cons:

  • Only offers 4 currencies


3. Kucoin API

Kucoin extensive price API

Kucoin is a transaction API designed to make accessing and trading on the crypto market much easier. 

They give you access to a wide range of different crypto currencies. They also help users by listing the more reputable and easy to use currencies before lesser-known or less valuable forms of crypto currency.

The exchange rate remains relatively stable, which also helps protect your users from some of the volatility that can plague the crypto market. It’s also a relatively easy to use API, working well with both web and mobile applications. 

In addition to the wider currency library, you’ll also be able to access crypto currency histories, letting you track your chosen currencies and see how stable each one is. Since they include such a wide variety of currencies, it’s especially important to do your research, and helpful that the API provides the data to make research easier. 

However, this API does have some performance issues surrounding payments and trades getting held up. The system includes a referral bonus for users, but bonuses and other internal payments can take too long to process. 

The interface is relatively simple though, which can help to streamline things for your users. 

https://rapidapi.com/blog/directory/kucoin/

Pros:

  • Streamlined interface
  • Huge market with many different currencies
  • Prioritizes more reliable currencies and puts less reliable options further down the list
  • Stable rates
  • Rates are fair compared to global averages

Cons:

  • Cannot deposit money from credit cards
  • Still has occasional service outages


4. Crypto Compare API

Cryptocurrency tracking API with up to 4,100 different coins

Crypto Compare is one of the best crypto API if you're looking to create something that could be used by a large corporation or an enterprise-sized organization. It's also a good choice if you're looking to create a high-use app.

They combine an exchange API with a news gathering and historical data hub, so you can ensure that your program’s users always have access to the information they need to make the best possible decisions. 

Since there is so much data provided within this API, it’s also a good idea to look into screenshot API so that your users can preserve some of the data before it changes, for their own records. 

The API as a whole is currently handling more than 800 trades per second, 40,000 calls per second, and sourcing news from 50 different reliable providers. 

That kind of volume means that you don’t have to worry about slowdowns or not being able to get the information your users need through the system. Everything is streamlined and optimized so that, even in the most feature-rich applications, you’ll be able to rely on getting fast and consistent results. 

The API is also robust, with scalable endpoints that help you match the demands of your project to the resources used. Every transaction is secure, as are user connections to the API. 

They provide a free version of the API for individual use. If you’re creating a larger app or webpage, the scaling subscriptions start at $79.99 per month. 

https://min-api.cryptocompare.com/

Pros:

  • Robust design rarely has errors or outages
  • Capacity for high volume demand
  • Many crypto currencies represented in the market, with many exchange options
  • Great for larger corporations or larger project designs


Cons:

  • Subscriptions past the free level become expensive relatively quickly
  • Additional data display options only become accessible as you increase your subscription level


5. Nomics API

Nomics cryptocurrency API

Nomics is another very large API with access to over 66,000 different markets your users can access to complete their trades and to find the best possible prices for each currency. 

The average response time of this API is only 51 ms, fast enough that your users will probably note the speed of the functions provided by this API. 

The API also allows to create a variety of additional functions beyond a simple exchange currency. It’s fantastic for mobile apps as well as pricing websites. Like a stock exchange app, the API also provides portfolio valuation tools to help your users know whether their portfolio is moving in the right direction. 

More importantly, you’ll also have the ability to create trading bots and strategy backtests in order to ensure the best possible results. If you choose and are looking to create a publicly available crypto currency app, you can also make this functions available to users. 

Nomics also has an extensive library of historical data on each of their currencies, which are easily made available to you and your project’s eventual users. 

There is very little latency with this API, allowing for near-real-time trading. There are also no rate time limits, and the developer provides uptime guarantees for developers and users. 

Personal use of this API is free, but if you need a larger subscription, Nomics doesn’t publicly disclose their subscription prices. 

https://p.nomics.com/cryptocurrency-bitcoin-api

Pros:

  • Uptime guarantees mean fewer upset users
  • Extensive library of historical data
  • Quick response time
  • Access to tens of thousands of markets
  • Many different currencies supported
  • Portfolio valuation tools help track your progress

Cons:

  • If you’re accessing this API for more than personal use, the price is not disclosed
  • Historical data and custom features not available on the free plan

6. Coin Market Cap API

Coinmarketcap API is now the most popular cryptocurrency API

Coin Market Cap API might be the single most well-known crypto currency API out there. There is a reason it gets consistently good results and high reviews. 

They provide a variety of different ways to view and interpret market information and currency trends, as well as a running count of the current supply of each currency type. You can also access currency valuation at a glance, making it easier to see where each currency stands, regardless of the additional tools. 

This API uses the RESTful structure and is built with a system of robust endpoints that ensure high-quality performance and uptime.  

They also provide the complete historical market data for crypto currency since 2013. 

This API is probably one of the biggest aggregate sources of crypto data. However, it does work as an exchange platform as well, though less effectively than some of the other API that are designed specifically for exchange purposes. 

This API is used by Samsung and Investors Business Daily, which also inspires confidence in the security of the platform. 

https://coinmarketcap.com/

Pros:

  • Provides a nearly complete historical tracking of the crypto market since 2013
  • Collects the data on all crypto currencies currently available
  • Multiple different ways to access and assess market trends
  • Works as an exchange program as well

Cons:

  • More specialized as a data aggregate than as an exchange platform

What to Look For in a Crypto Currency API

Whether you’re looking for a mini crypto API or need one of the most powerful options that is designed for the largest volume users, there are a few things you should look for to be sure that you’re getting the best possible API for your project. 

Number of Features

One of the first things you should examine when you're looking at an API is how feature-rich that API is. The best crypto currency APIs offer multiple different ways to access the information, as well as different representations of that information. 

They can also serve as crypto wallets and interaction managers. 

The absolute best also have customizable features that allow you, or your project’s users, to create custom settings for interacting with the crypto markets. 

On the other hand, there are some API that are incredibly specialized into only a single function. These are usually better than crypto currency API that only have two or three features since single function API do the one thing they do particularly well.

Volume of Trades Per Day

The volume of trades usually doesn't matter for individual users, since almost no individual user will be able to overwhelm the capacity of an API. However, API that can manage a larger volume of trades are usually more reliable than smaller capacity API. 

Not to mention that those high-volume trade API also have to optimized for more up-time and to be more consistent in their overall performance or they would have a lot of frustrated users. 

Ease of Use

Ease of use tells you how much effort you’re likely to need to put in when you try to implement the API in your system. Ease of use can also be a reflection of how much troubleshooting you’ll have to do, or how much coding skill you need to implement the features you want and need for your project. 

Fortunately, crypto currency API are generally well optimized for even inexperienced users, so most are fairly easy to implement. If an API in this niche is consistently getting bad reviews for being difficult to use, steer clear. 

Pricing

Pricing for crypto currency API is less about the price itself, and more about matching the price to the needs and resources of your project. These API come in a wide range of different price points, from common free API like many of the one’s we’ve discussed in this guide, through to API with hundred-dollar subscriptions, and even more expensive alternatives. 

Since this market is full of a wide variety of tools and different API, chances are you’ll be able to find the features you need in an API that matches the resources of your project. 

It’s also important to look for scalable options, even if that means paying more down the road, without paying more than your project can afford in the now. 

Update Frequency

Since crypto markets are relatively volatile, you’ll want to look for API that update frequently, and that offer relatively high call volume. That way, you and your project’s users will be able to stay on top of the changes in the markets without exceeding your subscription’s data limits. 

Historical Data

Historical Data is one of the single most important features for a market exchange API. It’s important because of the volatility in the market, and because it can sometimes be difficult to tell newer and less consistent crypto currencies from the most established and consistent currencies available now. 

The further back the historical data provided goes, the more likely it is to be a reliable source. Unfortunately, crypto markets are new enough that it’s likely you won’t be able to get information going back past 2013 or so. 

Conclusion

Crypto currency API are powerful and flexible tools that are designed to make it not only possible but easy to access the crypto market.

The best crypto currency API isn’t just about finding the right combinations of features and functionality. Instead, it’s important to make sure you can match the API to the needs of your project. Pay more attention to the functions you need instead of just the best rated or the most versatile options. 

Of course, you should also keep an eye out for highly scalable options in caser the scope of your project grows. Scalable API let you meet the needs of the project over time, without having to change to a different program and potentially lose clients in the process. 


You should also consider looking into additional features, like IP Geolocation, that can add greater versatility to your project.