What Is API3 (API3)?
Smart contracts often struggle to access dependable data, but application programming interfaces (APIs) have been touted as a solution to this problem.
API3’s stated goal is to allow decentralized versions of APIs to be built, managed and monetized at scales. As blockchain technology plays an ever bigger role in the economy — from decentralized finance to supply chain management — the team behind this project says it has never been more important for smart contracts to provide “timely, reliable real-world data.”
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The whitepaper for API3 was unveiled in September 2020 and set out the main problem that’s associated with APIs at present: connectivity. At present, there’s no way for smart contracts to establish a direct connection with APIs for the latest data — and this has led to an explosion in the popularity of oracles.
Although this has helped solve the problem to some extent, the industry has since been grappling with the “Blockchain Oracle Problem.” Oracles are a form of middleware that sit in between APIs and smart contracts — increasing costs and centralization. API3 intends to get around this problem by enabling API providers to operate their very own nodes.
API3’s token went live at the start of December following on from a token sale that generated tens of millions of dollars.
Who Are the Founders of API3?
Three people have come together to bring API3 to life. The first is Heikki Vanttinen, who has written extensively about the project and what it hopes to achieve. He previously worked as founder and CEO at CLC Group, a blockchain lab “developing real-world connected smart contract solutions for a more trustless, efficient and secure future.” Vanttinen also served as chief marketing officer at Zippie, a mobile operating system that aims to help blockchain technology achieve mainstream adoption.
Vanttinen has been joined by Burak Benligiray. He also worked at CLC Group, serving as CTO. Benligiray has previously written posts highlighting the merits of ChainAPI, which serves as the integration platform for API3. This has been described as the “spiritual successor” to Honeycomb, which was one of the innovations that had been pursued by CLC Group.
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And last but by no means least, the third co-founder at API3 is Saša Milić. As well as serving as a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto, where she taught core curriculum courses to computer science students, she’s also worked as a software engineer for Facebook, and as a simulation data scientist for Gauntlet.
What Makes API3 Unique?
In the world of blockchain and crypto, we all too often hear about projects that are aiming to bring this technology to established industries such as real estate and finance. One of the most compelling attributes of API3 is how it’s aiming to fix some of the problems that have emerged within the blockchain space itself.
APIs are crucial because of how they supply blockchains with off-chain data — without it, these decentralized ledgers wouldn’t have a clue about how much coins should be worth.
In setting out why API3 is unique, Vanttinen explained how decentralized APIs can “provide superior data transparency all the way to the factual data source level, compared to existing decentralized oracles, which do not consider the data source API to be within the scope of their solution.”
Light and robust middleware called Airnode has been created to make API3 a reality — and the distinctive qualities of this tool concern how it can be deployed in minutes, enhancing transparency and substantially reducing transaction fees in the process.
Read about Chainlink, one of API3’s main competitors.
Learn about how oracles work in this tech deep dive.
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Discover the definitions of APIs and smart contracts in our glossary.
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How Many API3 (API3) Coins Are There in Circulation?
As of January 2020, CoinMarketCap data suggests that there are 13,847,549 API3 in circulation — out of a maximum supply of 100 million tokens.
While 15 million tokens have been distributed among pre-seed and seed investors, a further 20 million tokens were reserved for a public token distribution event that took place over the first two weeks of December. The founding team was allocated 30 million tokens, with 10 million going to partners and contributors. And finally, 25 million went to an ecosystem fund.
Tokens sold during a public sale are unlocked, but seed investors and founders are subject to a vesting period of between two and three years.
How Is the API3 Network Secured?
API3 is an ERC-20 token, meaning that it’s based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Where Can You Buy API3 (API3)?
One of the most popular exchanges where API3 can be purchased include Uniswap, where it is paired with Wrapped ETH. It’s also available against UDST on Huobi Global and KuCoin, and paired with ETH on OKEx and 1inch. Learn more about how to convert fiat currencies to crypto in our handy guide.