What is an API Key & What Role Does It Play in Crypto Space?

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An application programming interface (API) key is a crucial tool in using APIs. The key is a unique identifier string of different characters that permits you to access the web services offered by an API. It is a form of user authorization that confirms you’re allowed to place requests to the API. An API key provides the first step for cloud API security. 

The API key procedure applies to mobile devices and web application user authentication. The API call begins with one API calling the other and then passing the API key to earn access.

Read on if you’re looking forward to sufficient and dependable information about API keys and their use as tools in the crypto trading industry

In this guide, you’ll learn what an Application Programming Interface key is, the different API keys, their examples, how to get one, how an API key works, when to use it, and the role they play in crypto.

What is an API key in crypto?

An Application Programming Interface key is a bunch of rules clarifying how different applications interact. In crypto, an Application Programming Interface key lets you link to your exchange, allowing you to trade and get timely market data.

If your client’s application doesn’t take up the OAuth 2.0, it must include an Application Programming Interface key when it calls a Google Cloud Platform project-enabled API. As a result, the application enacts this key into all Application Programming Interface proposals as a key=API_key parameter.

The Different Types of API Keys

Application Programming Interface keys exist in two main types.

Public API keys 

These are keys developed by the application owners and provided to users or developers. They authorize users to access the application’s features.

Private API keys 

Private keys are utilized in communications between servers. They also allow requests or access to non-publicly available data. Private keys should only be known to the owners.

API Keys Examples

An API key looks like this, GET /something? api_key=abcdef12345 or key=API_key parameter.

Algorithmic crypto traders with customized programs offer many ways to interact through API keys. The keys include CoinGecko, CoinAPI-REST, WebSocket, and Coinbase.

How to Get an API Key

Here is how you can create your application’s API key:

  • Head to the Application Programming Interface Console.
  • Select an existing project or develop a new one from the projects list.
  • Open the menu on the left and click on the APIs & services, in case the Application Programming Interfaces & services page is not already open.
  • Select Credentials on the left side.
  • Open Create credentials and then choose the API key.

How does an API Key work?

As stated above, an Application Programming Interface key helps a server to recognize any request or creator trying to access its services. The keys also specify a batch of access rights. 

The access rights permit the requestor to take explicit actions and stop it from taking different steps. You utilize an Application Programming Interface key to link the usage information with the application by identifying the requestor. 

When to use API keys

Application Programming Interface keys are used for mobile and web applications without attached back-end servers. Where there isn’t a back-end server, the web or mobile apps depend on obtaining their data by connecting to Application Programming Interfaces. An Application Programming Interface key finds the connection and can trace access rates for billing according to the Application Programming Interface owner’s rules.

Here are some of the instances when you can use API keys:

1. Block Unidentified Traffic

Unknown traffic can be a sign of possible malicious action. Application Programming Interface keys can determine application traffic, which can be utilized to debug problems or examine the use of an application.

2. Manage the Number of Calls Directed to Your API

They are restraining the calls directed to an API, aiding in governing API intake, regulating usage, and ensuring that the Application Programming Interfaces are only accessed by legitimate traffic.

3. Your API’s Usage Patterns Specification

Determining usage patterns is essential to detecting malicious activity and problems in the Application Programming Interface.

4. Filter Logs

A unique Application Programming Interface key can filter activities logged on the API server as a sequel of events. 

The Role of API Keys in Crypto Space 

Crypto exchanges could only provide their customers with in-depth services with AP trading. With APIs, running crypto projects on AI strategies is possible.

API Keys in the Crypto World

To ensure security in the crypto sector, Application Programming Interface keys are created by cryptocurrency exchanges. The keys are then shared with third-party crypto-holding service providers, their portfolio management, trading, rebalancing, etc.

All the above applications require varied levels of access. There are three primary levels of direct access authorizations provided on exchanges. They include using Application Programming Interface keys, writing or trading entries, and transferring accounts.

The Application Programming Interface keys access level is arguably the safest of the three because it’s a read-only cess. If the API keys get into the hackers’ hands, they can only view your information but can’t transfer or steal your funds.

Given the information, you should carefully assess the need for an Application Programming Interface key and the level of access a third-party application requires and then choose suitable privileges. Approval of more than necessary claims can lead to unnecessary trouble.


Here are the frequently asked questions about API Keys:

Is an API key a password?

No! An Application Programming Interface key isn’t a password. Although, However, similar manna er as a password by letting the API verify your identity.

What happens if someone steals an API key?

A hacker utilizing a MitM attack to rob an Application Programming Interface key can cause enormous financial damage to a company. They can misuse the Application Programming Interface resources held by the owner of the API key. Or the exploit of the data the Application Programming Interface exposes.

Can I get an API key for free?

API Keys are now free of charge. If you are using Cloud Endpoints to operate your Application Programming Interface, you incur costs at high traffic volumes.

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