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Coinbase Unveils its Open Source Bitcoin API, Toshi


What is Toshi? And how might it put smiles on the faces of developers working to build Bitcoin-related web apps?

Toshi is the result of Coinbase’s exploration into building web applications using Bitcoin Core. A full Bitcoin node, Toshi gives developers access to raw blockchain data, and is 100% compatible with Bitcoin Core. The open source API is written in Ruby and is backed by PostgreSQL.

As explained on the Coinbase Blog, the problem with Bitcoin Core is that while it works well as a reference implementation, Bitcoin Core has its limitations. Specifically, developer struggled to query blockchain data through SQL databases, as well as when trying to scale projects toward the million-user mark over multiple (as in dozens) of servers.
So what can developers do with Toshi?
  • Read information about blocks, transactions, and addresses
  • Broadcast new transactions
  • Receive height and confirmation time stats on the block chain
Coinbase makes a point to say that Toshi is still a v0.1 release, and that developers can expect updates and enhancements to the API in the coming months. More information on Toshi is available here.
Coinbase recently announced that it was now available to European customers in 14 countries. In August, the company acquired blockchain explorer, And in July, Coinbase launched Coinbase Vault to make it easier for bitcoin owners to securely store their digital currency.
A few Coinbase metrics:
  • 14 countries fully supported
  • 1.6 million consumer wallets
  • 36,000 merchants
  • 6,000 developer apps
Headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase was founded in July 2012. Brian Armstrong is CEO and co-founded the company with Fred Ehrsam, who serves as President. The company demoed its technology as part of the FinovateSpring 2014 conference in San Jose. See a video of the company in action here.
And if you’re a developer, software architect, or engineer, then visit our FinDEVr page for more information about our upcoming event designed specifically for builders.