How to Start Using Our API
iCE3X offers an API which let developers create apps and programs to interact with our exchange. In this article, we are going to explain what an API is exactly and give you some steps to start using our API.
What is an API?
The term API stands for “Application Programming Interface”. This acronym may sound like something from the Matrix when we just say it like that. However, APIs are really an easy tool that allows programs to talk to websites or applications easier.
You can think of an API like a menu at a restaurant. The menu will provide a list of dishes you can order, along with a description of each dish. There are some customisations you can make as well on the menu to your own liking. When you order from the menu, the restaurant’s kitchen will make your meal and provide the dish that you wanted. You don’t get to see how they make it in the back, but you will get the results you want from the menu.
Similarly, an API will provide a list of actions and requests that a developer can use in their program. The documentation will also supply a description of what these actions and requests will do. A developer does not know how exactly these work but they now have these available as tools in their app or program to use.
APIs allow developers to save time by not having to build software to do the small necessary tasks handled by the APIs. You can start building on a higher level and start to do more complex things with these building blocks. The API also helps to control access to the data on the platform and makes it secure while allowing apps to run through authentication.
Public vs Private requests?
APIs allow the users to produce two kinds of calls to the exchange; public and private.
Public calls are available for anyone with access to the website to be able to receive. For our API, this includes getting a list of the trading pairs and getting some information about orders among orders. This is free and accessible information that you could obtain from visiting the exchange on the web. The API allows users to use programs or bots to be able to access this information without the need to load up the site every single time.
The private calls are in need of more involvement from the developer than public calls. Private requests require the user to supply a unique API key and private key which will be for your specific account. You generate this for your account to verify that it is actually you using the API for these private calls. Do not share your private keys or API keys with anyone, and be sure to hash and encrypt the keys in your application or program as well.
The private calls are really where you can do some serious stuff. As you have authentication, using a private call can allow you to do things like place a buy order, check your balance or place an order once certain conditions happen. The documentation for the API will list all the public and private calls you can make. It takes a little creativity but you can use the API to do some intricate and complex things without you doing much more than start running your program.
How Do I Find My API Keys?
On the main page of the iCE3 Exchange, after you log in, click on the Accounts icon (person) on the top-right menu. This is shown below:
When you reach the accounts dashboard page, click on “API Keys” in the left-most menu. This is shown below:
You can create a new API key along with the private key here. Give a name for the app in question (for easier identification) along with your two-factor authentication code. You can see all the API keys you have generated for your account here along with their private keys.
There is also a link here straight to the API itself so you can check the documentation.
A little side note about APIs. Here is a tweet that shows the power of them. Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency coin “Libra” (you can read more about Facebook’s Libra here) and how they suggest you to use their API to be one step in front of the rest of the people.
Can you recognise now the power of using APIs?
Don't wait until 2020 to start developing for #Facebook #Libra ! use @strongholdxchg Libra #API today to create custom code and minimize risk. #SHx #payments #blockchain #fintech #crypto #cryptocurrencyhttps://t.co/dwc6PFgu9H pic.twitter.com/Ts7FKi0i21
— Marc Slaats (@MarcSlaats47) August 18, 2019
How this can help you?
The API can allow you to build very robust programs to do complex tasks for you on the Exchange. Or it could just send an alert when the price goes to a certain value. Whatever you need, you could use the API to create something to save you time and start making more profits.
In a future article, we will go over some programming languages and help you decide which may be the best one for you to start with to use our API.
What has your experience been with APIs and have you built anything for your iCE3X account. Let us know and we can share it!