Dogecoin has been around for well over 1 year since its inception back in Dec 8th, 2013. Today, the peculiar cryptocurrency that started off as a fun witty currency has a market capitalization of about $16,000,000 (at time of writing). Dogecoin has already made countless of headlines with Josh Wise’s Dogecoin NASCAR will race in the Sprint Cup at Sonoma, Jamaican Bobsledders Ride Dogecoin Into Olympics, and Dogecoin Foundation to Raise $50k for Kenya's Water Crisis. As a result of the rapid adoption, more and more development effort has been poured into Dogecoin’s infrastructure.
Back in the old days, the only way to interact with the Dogecoin blockchain (send transaction, get address balance, etc.) would be to run the Dogecoin daemon in your own server. Today, it is the best of time for developers looking to add a taste of “much wow” to your app.
These 3 blockchain API services allow you to start interacting with the Dogecoin blockchain at close to zero setup. Here we go!
1. BlockStrap (http://blockstrap.com/)
BlockStrap is a full stack HTML5 development framework. The framework consists of a built-in wallet and a well worth of helper functions to query API endpoints that would definitely get you up to speed in setting up a blockchain app.
Using the framework however, is optional. You can choose to do away with the framework and call the API directly as stated in this documentation.
BlockStrap API supports TestNet if you are unwilling to spend real coins when testing your application.
An example of a “Get Transaction” Dogecoin API for BlockStrap
* BlockStrap returns a summarized information by default. To get more detail about the transaction, pass ?showtxn=1 or showtxnio=1 to the API endpoint.
2. SoChain (https://chain.so)
SoChain is one of the earlier blockchain services which has support for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. It has an API service for transaction data, block data, prices, network information, and send transaction.
If you would like to asynchronously look out for new blocks, transactions, check an address balance, or the latest price, SoChain has support for that via Websocket.
SoChain has a feature called “Network Confidence ”. This endpoint returns the unlikelihood of a transaction being a double spend. This is especially useful for coins with longer confirmation time (eg. Bitcoin, Litecoin) and when you want to accept a transaction ahead of its confirmation time. How this work as SoChain puts it is that their servers are connected to a large number of the blockchain network; thus being able to detect if there are more than one transaction with the same spending output. Generally, the rule of thumb is to always wait for as much confirmation possible depending on your risk appetite and business nature.
I find it surprising though that numbers and decimals are typically returned in String format. Just be sure to convert the String to the correct data type before working with it.
SoChain also has support for the Dogecoin TestNet.
An example of a “Get Transaction” Dogecoin API for SoChain
3. DogeChain (https://dogechain.info)
DogeChain is the most popular blockchain explorer for Dogecoin. It is to Dogecoin what Blockchain.info is to Bitcoin. DogeChain and SoChain both share the same backend since DogeChain’s acquisition by Block.io (the company that also operates SoChain).
If you are not looking for anything too fancy, DogeChain’s Simple Query API returns API responses in single line text. For instance, calling https://dogechain.info/chain/Dogecoin/q/totalbc easily gives you the total number of Dogecoin circulated.
An example of a “Get Transaction” Dogecoin API for DogeChain
As Dogecoin continues to grow, i won’t be surprised when other popular heavyweight blockchain API services like BlockCypher or Chain start supporting it.
Which of these are your favorite? Is there any features that you wish they should have supported? Are there any other Dogecoin API services that i did not cover? Let me know in the comments below :)
Updated 10 Feb 2015: BlockCypher, a Boost VC backed company has recently announced support for Dogecoin blockchain API. /u/pembo210 created a Dogecoin fork out of BitPay's BitCore which can be used to run the blockchain internally in your server.
Image Source: http://i.imgur.com/fPid2uG.png
TM Lee is the co-founder of CoinGecko. Purdue University CS 2012 Follow the author on Twitter @tmlee