BlockCypher is an IT company established in 2014 and specialising in blockchain web services and middleware. Its founders are Catheryne Nicholson and Matthieu Riou, and the company’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley, California.
As an infrastructure provider, the company is highly versatile and can operate as peer-to-peer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business payments – making it perfect for online shopping, quick and secure transacting, or even playing at the best crypto casino.
The web services provider is also great for identity management, know-your-customer solutions, and effortless cross-border payments. The platform has excellent scalability and stability due to its cloud-optimisation infrastructure and multiple data centres.
In case you didn’t know, BlockCypher’s explorer supports the most popular blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash. Its most popular product is JSON API.
It also provides a publicly accessible suite of RESTful APIs for popular blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin. These include APIs like basic queries such as an address, block, and transaction details to fully-fledged transactions, contract creation tools, and robust WebHook events.
Dynamics Of BlockCypher
BlockCypher’s architecture enables it to operate multiple data centres, contributing to its redundancy and low latency. It offers effortless web APIs allowing developers to create blockchain applications swiftly and confidently.
The platform’s cloud-optimised architecture is classified as enterprise-grade, which is pivotal for the platform’s reliability, performance, and scalability.
If that wasn’t enough, BlockCypher effectively maintains a distributed database cluster comprising all transactional data for the entire blockchain. The platform also hosts complete node blockchains that are particularly helpful for optimising security regarding the validation and relaying of transactions.
The driving force of the service is to enable all users to become successful as they create the next generation of blockchain applications.
It has an explorer function, which is open source, and this helps developers use their version of the site without any compromise to the platform. This functionality supports various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Grin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Dash blockchains.
On the company’s blockchain page, developers can view recent blocks, the latest transactions, and block height, amongst other information.
Users can also view current fee estimates divided into three categories, i.e., High Priority, Medium Priority, and Low Priority blocks.
If that wasn’t enough, the platform also offers transaction confirmation predictions that enable users to view the likelihood that the blockchain will confirm a transaction. This is represented as a percentage predicted of a double-spend transaction attempt being a success.
It also indicates the miner’s preference for the transaction while claiming to receive transactions quicker than other comparable blockchain explorers.
Users have access to many great features that help with the development of BlockCypher. These include requesting multiple signatures, retrieving blocks and transactions, and getting notifications on blockchain events. We discuss some of the key features below:
Multiple Data Centres
BlockCypher’s architecture enables it to operate in multiple data centres for redundancy and low latency.
BlockCypher’s easy and straightforward APIs (REST) allow developers to create blockchain applications quickly and confidently.
BlockCypher’s modular, cloud-optimised architecture is enterprise-grade that facilitates reliability, performance and scalability.
Robust Data Stores
BlockCypher maintains a distributed database collection comprising all transactional data for the whole blockchain.
Hosted Full Blockchain Nodes
BlockCypher hosts full-node blockchains that contribute towards optimal security in the validation and relaying of transactions
BlockCypher is fully focused on the success of its users in its quest to create next-generation blockchain applications.
Using BlockCypher’s APIs does not prevent users from validating its APIs with reference implementations. In fact, the great thing about engaging with a distributed system like this one is that users can confirm claims on the platform, such as quickly verifying other block explorers or their copy of the blockchain.
All account passwords are salted/bcrypt-hashed, which means that the damage would be very limited even if a hacker had gained access to your account.
The most damaging aspect would be that the hacker could steal token access. But this can be seamlessly fixed through a password reset or by generating a new token.
BlockCypher does not store any user’s private keys, which gives users confidence that nothing much can be stolen if their account is infiltrated.
The platform uses private keys temporarily in the Contract API, Microtransaction API, and the Payment Forwarding API and does not store them.
Moreover, it discards these temporary private keys the second there is no longer any use for them.
BlockCypher also requires users to sign their transactions locally, especially for large-value transactions or operations. While this process can be a little more complicated, it is much more secure and helps users to keep their blockchain assets under control.
While there are many incredible ways to use BlockCypher’s platforms, users are subject to restrictions on their use. Users or third parties of users will not be permitted to reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or make any attempts to discover its source code, object code, or the underlying structure, ideas, or algorithms.
BlockCypher users may not modify, translate, or create derivative works based on the platform. Moreover, they may neither copy, rent, lease, distribute, pledge, assign, transfer, or encumber rights to it.
Users are also prohibited from using the service for timesharing or service bureau purposes or for the benefit of a third party. In addition, users cannot remove or alter labels or proprietary notices from BlockCypher. They can only use the service in compliance with its terms and conditions and the applicable regulations and laws.
Despite these restrictions, which are extremely fair to users, BlockCypher is undoubtedly a platform that encourages its customers to exercise their creativity to aid in its development.
For those who are starting with the platform, it is free, to begin with. If you realise that you need a bigger plan, however, you will need to get in touch with BlockCypher to arrange a suitable one for your needs. There are a few things to consider when it comes to the fees.
Customers who use BlockCypher and exceed the usage capacity based on their plan tier will not be able to access the platform until they settle their account. It’s that, or wait until the new month kicks in.
Customers must pay their fees in advance, and the platform only accepts US dollars.
Then those who take longer than 30 days to settle their accounts incur finance charges of around 1.5% per month together with the expenses for collection – if applicable.
Additionally, customers are liable for all taxes associated with their account, and BlockCypher fees are non-refundable.
BlockCypher Case Studies
BlinkTrade used BlockCypher and incorporated the Confidence Factor API, Webhooks API, and Transaction API. The challenges were high transaction fees, slow processing times, and the need to identify fraud quickly.
In this instance, BlinkTrade provided the platform for instant transactions on blockchains, while BlockCypher quickly identified fraud and confirm transactions. Users received credit to trade instantly and benefitted with faster deposits, savings due to automation, and quick fraud identification.
ABRA used BlockCypher and incorporated the BlockCypher Test Chain and Webhooks API. The challenges were:
- High transaction fees.
- No dedicated peer-to-peer platform.
- A lack of a proper testing environment.
In this instance, ABRA facilitated global peer-to-peer payments while BlockCypher provided the notifications for these payments and the test environment.
Users benefitted by getting protection from market volatility and quicker deposits. They also enjoyed development cost savings of 33% through BlockCypher’s test environment and notifications.
ShoCard used BlockCypher and incorporated Transaction API and BlockCypher Test Chain. The challenges were the high cost of fraud, lack of privacy, and difficulty in use.
In this instance, the ShoCard mobile app was used to manage the user’s identity, while BlockCypher published the user’s identity on the blockchain. Users benefitted by saving six months in ramp-up time, almost 35% cost savings in development, improved code maintenance, and enhanced reliability and scalability.
Faster Payments and Rewards
In this study, various leading global payment processors used and incorporated Transaction API and Address API. The challenges were the legal infrastructure, anti-fraud catch-up, a lack of preventative monitoring systems, and slow and expensive onboarding processes.
In this instance, there were more secure and quicker digital payments, while BlockCypher’s Ethereum APIs were responsible for fraud checks and processing payments. The key benefits were more than $5 million in fraud prevention, over $2 million in salary savings, more than a third faster time to market, and enhanced code maintenance.
The US Department of Homeland Security used BlockCypher and incorporated the Analytics API this time. The challenges were that hackers were taking over desktop and mobile devices with increasing regularity and that ransomware crime had shot up to over $1 billion in 2016.
In this instance, the platform provided real-time analytics to prevent fraud and detect fraud patterns while providing advanced visualisations for analysts. The users benefitted from fraud prevention, a reduction of false positives, and successful identifying the sources of fraud.
In this case study, BitWage used BlockCypher and incorporated Address API and Transaction API. The challenges were that the wait times were exceptionally long, with over 15 days on average, while the transaction fees were very high, with an average of over 10%.
In this instance, BitWage provided the platform for payroll and invoicing while BlockCypher validated the addresses and identified transactions that were likely to confirm. The users benefitted with faster times to market. Payment times were reduced to two days, approximately 30% cost savings were seen due to automation, and quicker clearing and settlements.
FX and Mobile Money Accounts
Here, BitPesa used BlockCypher and incorporated Transaction API and BlockCypher Test Chain. The challenges were high FX costs for African currencies, and only mobile money accounts could be used for payments.
In this instance, BitPesa converted a company’s currency into local currency through the mobile device, while BlockCypher provided payment confirmations on the blockchain. These benefits were reduced development time, enhanced reliability and scalability, and improved code maintenance.
Fighting New Types of Fraud
To tackle new fraud, many leading global payment processors used BlockCypher and incorporated Analytics API. The challenges were that new account fraud increased by 20%, and more than 70% of loyalty program managers experienced fraudulent issues.
In this instance, fraud was prevented, there was a reduction of false positives, the company’s reputation was protected, and there was a better understanding of buying patterns. The benefits of this were that real-time analytics prevented fraud, proper monitoring detected fraudulent patterns, and the platform provided advanced visualisations for analysts.
Know-Your-Customer and Onboarding
The platform incorporated Transaction API and Data Endpoint to address the challenges of duplicate onboarding efforts and the manual reconciliation of false positives.
In this instance, duplicate onboarding processes were eliminated, leading to changes to the internal system that originally cost millions. The benefits of this were a 40% reduction in penalties, a 110% reduction in onboarding costs, and a 20% reduction in transaction monitoring.
Trade Clearing and Settlement
In this case study, BlockCypher was used and incorporated Asset API and Contract API to address the challenges of multiple versions of trade, lengthy settlement times, and operational risks.
The results were reduced trade errors, the back office functions became more streamlined, and a shortened settlement time was recorded. The benefits of this were a drastic reduction in expenses, capital savings, and savings in operational and development costs.
Regarding blockchain web services, BlockCypher certainly ticks most of the boxes customers are looking for to serve their needs.
Whether you are a developer, a business, or a miner, it is the perfect infrastructure fabric for blockchain applications. With impressive reliability, performance and scalability, there’s no reason to look past BlockCypher for your blockchain web service requirements. Good luck!