We’re pleased to announce that the Coinbase API is now live and ready for use. For non-technical readers, an API (or Application programming interface) is a way for other software applications to communicate with Coinbase and vice versus.
Authentication is based on OAuth2 (the same method used by Google and Facebook APIs) so there should be good client libraries out there for most languages. And it’s a full read/write API which means you can create users, send bitcoins, request bitcoins, generate receive addresses, etc. All via a simple, RESTful, JSON interface.
Bitcoin, at it’s lowest level, can be a pretty complex protocol (binary data, connection to many nodes, etc) so we feel like it’s important that simpler layers exist on top of it for adoption to increase. Simpler APIs will help spur the creation of new bitcoin apps and lower the barrier for developers to get started.