Adam Ludwin, Chain co-founder and CEO revealed the news in an email to users yesterday, saying that the company will be shutting down its free Bitcoin API service at the end of year 2015.
As said by Mr. Ludwin, the measure is part of Chain’s pivot from an API services provider for Bitcoin services to a digital asset issuance partner for enterprise financial incumbents such as First Data, Nasdaq and Visa.
The company is working to migrate its existing clients off of its API, besides, would not cut off services until all its customers were “taken care of”. He considers that former Chain customers will have no shortage of options for new providers.
Chain Inc. launched in 2014 with 15 employees and 3 founders, immediately working with banks and other leading institutions. The platform was created to enable banks, financial institutions to create, issue, store, and transfer digital assets on private networks purpose-built for a given market. These networks are based on the bitcoin blockchain and protocol, and can also be compatible with other open digital currency networks, including other Chain customers.
Blockchain startup secured a $30 million investment in a round of funding in September from some of the biggest names in the financial sector, including Visa, Nasdaq, Citi Ventures, CapitalOne, Fiserv and French telecom Orange.
In June 2015, NASDAQ announced that the company has chosen as a technology partner for its Private Market.
“Chain is collaborating closely with us to increase efficiency in the capital markets,” said Brad Peterson, Chief Information Officer of NASDAQ at that time. “We see their platform helping us accelerate our time-to-market across our various blockchain initiatives. We are excited to further our partnership with them through NASDAQ’s investment in the company.”
Credit giant Capital One’s venture capital arm supported startup as well. “Chain provides a developer-centric technology platform that is as intuitive as it is powerful,” stated Adam Boutin of Capital One Ventures.
Besides, Chain collaborated with Visa: “Visa’s investment in Chain underscores our long-standing commitment to explore technology, like the blockchain, that could have the potential to advance secure and convenient digital payments for our clients and their customers,” said Jim McCarthy, the executive Vice President of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa.
Citi, the largest bank grabbing a part of Chain, tested out the blockchain across a whole range of innovations. “We hope to leverage Chain’s platform to rapidly test and develop applications as part of Citi’s multi-faceted blockchain strategy which has the potential to greatly enhance our customers’ experience well beyond just currencies and payments,” said the bank’s spokesperson.