The creators of the API Network set out two years ago to develop a decentralized, open-source platform where developers could grab APIs as needed, and the project got publicly underway on June 18 with the initial crowdsale of the network’s own cryptocurrency.

First, a primer on APIs: These are the protocols for how two or more applications interface and work together. These interfaces are the basis for how web apps integrate, allowing end users (that’s you and me) to do everything from exchange Bitcoin on a social network or share clickbait on your Facebook news feed.

Developers need these so that various apps can work together smoothly. Its easy to use a toolbox metaphor here: The APIs are the tools, and the API Network’s platform is the toolbox itself.

Take the Hive wallet, for example: It relies on the Kozeni API to allow developers to build in the wallet, which supports Bitcoin and Litecoin, to other applications. The Kozeni API is relevant because it will be included in the API Network’s Plug ‘n’ Play Marketplace.

"The Kozeni API by Hive and Humint provides basic send/receive/balance support for all crypto­tokens supported by the network, irrespective of whether they are metacoins or running on a unique blockchain,” Hive CEO Wendell Davis said in a release. “Our goal is to see that newly created tokens would be able to be added to the network and immediately be available for use in wallets and other apps."

The Crowdsale

To garner some publicity, and to reward participating developers, the API Network launched a crowdsale of its own cryptocoin, XAP. Through July 18, 3 million of the premined 10 million XAP will be available for purchase in Bitcoin.

The API Network developers said in a statement:

“The Bitcoins received go towards developing the protocol and taking proprietary code to open­ source,” API Network developers said in a statement. Holders of XAP coin will be among the first to access this future decentralized app store in the coming months.” 

Here is the price structure:

1 XAP = 1.6 mBTC through the first 500 BTC raised. The prices then jump to

  • 2.13 mBTC at the next 1000 BTC mark,
  • 2.66 mBTC at the next 2000 BTC mark, and
  • 3.2 mBTC at the next 4692 BTC mark.

“Web service owners connect their APIs to the API Network and receive API Coins in return based on number of calls,” API Network presentation slides read. “Developers plug web service APIs into their applications and pay API Coins in exchange for use of web services. End users play with web services plugged into applications they use, bringing the API Marketplace full circle.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the crowdsale can go to the BuyXAP page here.

If you would like more information about the API Network, check out the whitepaper published on GitHub.