California-based bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase announced on Wednesday that it has launched an open source bitcoin node Toshi that was created for developers. The project most likely was named after bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
According to Coinbase, Toshi is an API toolkit to query blockchain data and was designed to simplify the process of building web applications. The software is written in Ruby and is backed by SQL database.
An access to blockchain data allows developers to read information about the latest network transactions, blocks and network addresses via its API endpoints. Moreover, the developers will be able to broadcast new transactions that you have generated to the network and receive blockchain statistics, including height and confirmation times.
Coinbase adds that Toshi is now in version 0.1 and is expected to be enhanced over time. In addition, Coinbase plans to include additional features, such as monitoring double spends.
There are currently a large number of bitcoin firms aimed at providing friendly APIs for developers, such as Chain and Gem, financed by Barry Silbert, and BlockCypher.
In an interview to Coindesk, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told that the latest offering is a boon for developers that will be able to build apps and businesses using free version of Toshi. He said: “[Toshi] essentially gives away the technology behind Chain, BlockCypher, etc for free.”
CEX.io, BlockCypher, Chain and Gem are offering similar free services to developers, although Chain and Gem admitted that they were going to charge enterprise customers for their products.
Digital currency startup sector has been actively increasing in recent days. Thus, Gem has just closed a $2 million seed round and CEX.io has launched the beta version of its PlugChain API.
In comparison with Bitcoin Core, Toshi requires more storage space as it runs richer queries.
Still, the website states that Toshi is not yet ready for use. GitHub reads: “It is currently in beta, and not recommended for production use until it has received sufficient testing from the bitcoin community.”
Coinbase investor Fred Wilson commented on his blog that Toshi is an important instrument for developers who have problems with Bitcoin Core.
Wilson added: “They are now making all of that technology available to developers who want to build bitcoin applications but don’t want to get knee deep in the Bitcoin Core.”
Wilson also noted that there is a growing activity in the bitcoin development sector. “I think making bitcoin easier for developers is a big thing and I’m pleased to see Coinbase doing exactly that,”he said.