Top 6 Tools for Cryptocurrency Developers

Beginner’s Guide / 25.07.2019

Back in its early days, the internet was slow and sluggish. One of the many reasons behind the mass adoption of the internet is the products and services built on top of it. The more the internet grew, the higher it developed the concentration of adequate developer tooling which helped build a great ecosystem for developers, resulting in high-value products and services for the end consumers.

The cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem is no different. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto laid the foundation of a decentralized payment system, ready to disrupt the world of finance as we know it. Moving on, we saw Turing complete and programmable blockchain platforms like Ethereum, where the developers can build decentralized applications, or commonly known as DApps.

Just like the initial days of the internet, the cryptocurrency ecosystem seriously lacked adequate developer tooling, and the development ecosystem was only limited to seasoned platform or protocol developers which are already in high shortage. However, as the cryptocurrency ecosystem is evolving at a very rapid pace, we are seeing many great tools and APIs for cryptocurrency developers which make it easier for them to get started and build amazing products!

In this article, we will explore the top 6 tools for cryptocurrency developers and enthusiasts!

Shrimpy API

Shrimpy offers the most powerful and versatile trading APIs available in the market today. With its ‘Universal Crypto Exchange API’, it helps facilitate crypto trading, real-time data collection, and exchange account management. All the 3rd party application developers can leverage the powerful Shrimpy’s trading engine and backend architecture using their Universal Crypto Exchange API.

Shrimpy APIs work and connect you to a network of the most popular crypto exchanges out there. With Shrimpy’s API, developers can provide:

  1. Low latency order execution — to execute trade across thousands of markets.
  2. Portfolio Management — to automate portfolio allocation, rebalancing and optimize trade execution.
  3. User Management — To manage all your users and free up development resources.
  4. Secure Exchange API Key Management — to secure users’ exchange API keys with FIPS 140-2 validated hardware security modules (HSMs).
  5. Live and Real-Time Data — Providing access to complete order book and live market data to take timely decisions.
  6. Unique Backtesting and Analytics — Backtesting to analyze various time-based rebalancing strategies

Shrimpy’s API can handle scalability exceptionally well, and its infrastructure scales as your application scales. It also offers a robust exchange management solution, keeping track of the regular updates made by exchanges and handling the faulty exchange endpoints. One of the best things about the Shrimpy API is it’s affordable, unlike other tools and APIs that can cost an arm and a leg. For just $0.99 a month per user, developers can provide access to real-time order execution, smart order routing, automated portfolio rebalancing, high fidelity backtesting, asset selection insights, real-time market data and much more!

Sign up for free here.

Coinbase API (SDKs and Client Libraries)

Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the most famous and widely used cryptocurrency exchange platforms available today. Coinbase has a powerful and versatile API, which makes it easier for the cryptocurrency developers to integrate bitcoin cash, bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin into their applications.

It is important to mention again that the Coinbase API only supports four cryptocurrencies, i.e. bitcoin cash, bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. The Coinbase API has a variety of capabilities, including:

  1. Generation of the wallets and addresses for supported cryptocurrencies.
  2. Buying and selling of supported cryptocurrencies.
  3. Send and receive the supported cryptocurrencies into your application.
  4. Secure storage for the supported cryptocurrencies.
  5. The retrieval of real-time information including historical price data etc.
  6. Instant notifications for payment arrival and updates.

Coinbase also offers mobile SDKs and client libraries for their API, to make it easier for the developers to use the Coinbase API in their applications. Aside from the regular API, Coinbase also offers the pro version of their API which lets you trade programmatically on the coinbase exchange platform and takes a variable commission on every successful trade.

Coinbase also offers the ‘Coinbase Commerce SDK’ which lets you easily integrate its API on the checkout pages, plugins, and embeddable widgets of your e-commerce platform. To help facilitate a variety of other applications, it also offers the ‘OAuth2 Coinbase Connect’ interface which makes it easier for developers to integrate Coinbase API in the platform of their choice.

Embark

Embark is a full-fledged framework for the development, testing, and deployment of decentralized applications (DApps). If you are an ethereum smart contract developer, you know the pains of developing and deploying your smart contract on the blockchain, integrating it with your normal web application, and performing regular debugging and testing. Well, Embark framework makes it all easy for you.

The tools provided by Embark framework make the DApp development process very sleek and productive. With Embark, you can make and deploy your smart contracts with simple JS code. It offers a variety of functionalities, including:

  1. Smart contract development, deployment, and management.
  2. Debugging and Testing environment for your DApp.
  3. End-to-End DApp development with services like IPFS and Whisper.
  4. Powerful CLI for service monitoring and control.
  5. A web-based dashboard and an explorer for better management.
  6. Code editor for ease of development.

With Embark framework, you can easily manage the interaction of your front-end application with the deployed smart contract. To facilitate end-to-end development and deployment, Embark uses IPFS for decentralized storage along with communication platforms like ‘Whisper’ and ‘Orbit’. Embark currently integrates only with the Ethereum blockchain but plans to integrate with other leading smart contract platforms in the near future.

Embark also supports multiple chains which include livenet, private net, and testnet, so you could test out your smart contract quickly and easily. Embark also has the feature where it ‘listens’ to and track any changes in the deployed smart contract, and performs automatic redeployment if it detects any changes in the state of the smart contract.

Geth

The original Ethereum node is written in C/C++ which can become a little daunting to compile and run, especially for the developers who are coming from the world of Python and Go. This is where Geth comes to the rescue. Geth is an implementation of an Ethereum full node in ‘Go’ programming language. Just like a normal Ethereum full node, Geth can perform many of the core functions, including:

  1. Mining of the Ether tokens.
  2. Transfer different types of Ethereum based tokens between addresses.
  3. Creation and execution of smart contracts on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  4. Block history records and exploration.

Geth can minimize a lot of difficulties for those Ethereum developers with a background in Python and Go. It acts just like a regular full node where you can run different commands on the CLI interface, interact with the live net, private net, and test net, creating your own private blockchain testing environment and maintain a copy of the Ethereum blockchain.

With Geth, developers can also initialize their own private Ethereum blockchain based on the provided configuration. As Geth is a full node, it will start downloading the Ethereum blockchain automatically once it is connected to the mainnet, which can take a few hours or even days depending upon the size of the blockchain. Therefore, it is advisable to use an external hard drive instead of your local storage.

Geth is available on all the major platforms including Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is important to mention here that Geth is completely open-source and licensed under GNU LGPL v3. You can download the source code from this GitHub repository.

Ganache

Previously known as testrpc, Ganache is a local blockchain emulator built for the Ethereum blockchain. Executing and testing smart contracts on testnet is sometimes very slow, and this is where Ganache is very useful! With Ganache, you can launch a private Ethereum blockchain to run smart contracts, execute many different commands and inspect the state of the blockchain network. You can even define your own parameters and control how the chain operates.

Ganache also comes with a private blockchain explorer where you can quickly see the status of all the accounts, incoming and outgoing transactions, account balances with wallet addresses and more. It also includes continuous log outputs of Ganache’s internal blockchain network for important debugging information. You can also set up mining controls with a single click and configure custom block times for better execution, which ensures instant mining of the transactions and even zero transaction fees.

Ganache includes an easy to use and intuitive user interface, to visualize all the important information and events. Just like Geth, Ganache is open-source under the license GNU LGPL v3. The GitHub repository for Ganache can be found here.

Chainpoint

Chainpoint does a very simple job, and that is to create a timestamped proof of any data by linking its hash to the Bitcoin blockchain. In nearly every blockchain application, you need a fixed timestamped verification of the data without the need of a third party, and Chainpoint can come in handy in those situations.

Chainpoint takes the hash of the data, pushes it onto the Bitcoin blockchain and you get what they call a ‘Chainpoint Proof’ certificate. This chainpoint proof certificate contains all the information, which is necessary to verify that a hash of some data is actually anchored with the Bitcoin blockchain. Chainpoint offers a simple NodeJS API and a JS client to make things easier for the cryptocurrency developers.

With Chainpoint, you can anchor any kind of data in any format with the Bitcoin blockchain, and verify the integrity of the anchored data without relying on any third party. Chainpoint also offers a robust CLI interface for easier command execution and testing. For any developer who is looking to add this ‘permanent anchor and verification’ into its application, Chainpoint is the best tool for that!

Conclusion

With so many exciting developer tools available in the cryptocurrency ecosystem today, developers can easily save time and build powerful applications for consumers. Cryptocurrency trading is once again on the rise, and the developer tools like Shrimpy API makes it a lot easier for the developers to build applications for cryptocurrency trading, and explore the possibilities that no one ever imagined.

Try out these tools today and start building the future of cryptocurrency!

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Born in Bucharest, Marius is the founder of Crypto Adventure. Since his first contact with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, he never stopped believing that they are one of the most important innovations of our time, which will forever change the way business is done.