Overview of CoinAPI

Get an overview of CoinAPI and its different services.

What’s an API?

Before delving into how CoinAPI works, it’s important to know what an API is and understand some of its protocols.

An APIApplication Programming Interface is an intermediary that passes information back and forth between two applications. APIs pass a request for information from one application to another and then deliver the information as a response back to the original requestor.

Market Data API of CoinAPI

The Market Data API is the primary API of CoinAPI, which provides high-quality data on the cryptocurrency market. CoinAPI not only provides reliable data, though, but also standardizes it across different exchanges.

The Market Data API follows the REST API architecture to deliver most of the market data stored on the CoinAPI database. For more complex integrations which require streaming real-time market data, we need to use the WebSocket and FIX architectures for the API.

We need to use the HTTP GET method to send requests to CoinAPI’s Market Data API. Here are the endpoints available on the Market Data API to make API calls to CoinAPI:

Endpoint environment


Endpoint URL













The sandbox environment

CoinAPI also provides a sandbox environment, a testing environment generally used for exploration or development purposes. To use this sandbox, we’ll need an API key (we will cover how to acquire an API key in the next chapter). The key can be the same one we use for the production environment, even if it’s free. CoinAPI sandbox environment is different from its production environment in a few ways:

  • CoinAPI doesn’t provide active support for the sandbox environment. It doesn’t handle any issues on priority, unlike the production environment.
  • Data on the sandbox environment is limited to only a few market data sources—COINBASE, ECB (European Central Bank), GEMINI, testnets, and UAT environments.
  • Changes and updates to the Market Data API will be available on the sandbox environment before any of the production environments, which means that it will be less stable compared to the production environment.
  • There’s a possibility that the data available in the sandbox could be outdated, incorrect, or even entirely fake.