How APIS is Creating a Better Developer and End-User Experiences
User experience can, for the sake of simplicity, be distilled to two variables: ease of use and trust. No user will utilize a product that is difficult to use, and no user will utilize a product they do not trust. In the world of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), our users are developers. Thus, it is our job to deliver products to the developer community that are easy to use and easy to trust. However, developers are not the end-user; developers service end-users. The APIS seeks to work with developers who understand and delight end-users. Thus, at the APIS, we have to wear our developer and consumer hats. We must frequently decide which product basket is currently being underserved to consumers, and how we can enable developers to serve their users those experiences as easily as possible.
According to DappRadar, the total transaction volume of Ethereum DApps in Q4 2020 alone was over $41 billion. Moreover, in Q1 2021, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) netted more than $700 billion in transaction volume, with its growth driven by DeFi primitives similar to the Ethereum mainchain (i.e. trading, lending, payments, etc). With the ever-expanding DeFi landscape, the learning curve for developers can be quite exhausting. Exacerbating this problem, the supply of blockchain-native developers remains scarce, hindering the ability for exhausted teams to scale as quickly as they need to.
However, the demand for end-user DeFi experiences continues to grow at an exponential rate, causing developers to ship faster than they’ve usually done. Consequently, developers often struggle with poor documentation, complex internal and external APIs, and a never-ending worry of publicly securing millions of dollars of value. Our job is to allow these builders to sleep at night.
The existing class of Application Programming Interface tools are limited. The next generation of blockchain projects will require a framework providing read AND write functionality among different ledgers, both through the Ethereum mainchain and layer-two solutions. Our iterated approach, The APIS, is providing a solution to the poor user-end and developer experience that the public blockchain sphere is currently known for.
So, why use the APIS infrastructure?
Existing solutions, such as TheGraph, Alchemy, and others, are limited as read-only tools with a level of complexity out of frictionless reach for most builders. Additionally, these projects are largely centralized both in their architecture and ownership distribution. Thus, there is a need to create a decentralized and reliable toolset available not just to tech-savvy developers but developers at all levels. That is what The APIS protocol promises to achieve — to reduce the inherent complexity of developing in the public blockchain pace and fully eliminate the entry barrier to creation by connecting conventional backends as well, thereby empowering developers to build packages that serve all categories of blockchain applications.
The APIS is an open source, unified protocol for querying and transacting with public networks, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin and Binance Smart Chain. It provides a uniform API endpoint for common tasks, making development experience for different blockchains seamless, security by uptime guarantees and economic incentives only provided by true decentralization. More so, non-technical users will be able to build API packages that serve any category of blockchain applications — from DeFi to Oracles to NFTs to File Storage.
By indexing the blockchain using a decentralized free-market protocol, The APIS, yields approximately 10 times improvement in cost of deployment. Additionally, the APIS yields even greater improvement when including the time and money saved from hiring or training additional developers in Solidity or Vyper. Developers experience the power of simplicity by gaining instant access to existing blockchain infrastructure without the trouble of running nodes or expensive infrastructure as well as enjoying a single interface for multiple blockchains with The APIS Unified Interface.
In terms of technical details for the protocol’s inner-workings, the APIS’s decentralized query and index architecture is built on an unique publish-subscribe message propagation protocol, with an incentive-driven, decentralized organization powered by the Ethereum public blockchain and a customized layer-two system whose characteristics exhibit that of an optimistic rollup. Meanwhile, here are some of the ways The APIS uniquely distinguishes itself from other existing solutions.
- Message Propagation Protocol
The APIS network contains two actors: APIS Gateways and APIS Nodes. APIS Gateways responds to queries requested by decentralized applications (DApp) and their developers, while The APIS Nodes index and manage databases pertaining to one or a group of smart contracts.
- Message Formatting
Queries are sent by client-side applications directly to Gateways and returned by Gateways in industry standard GraphQL and REST formatting, thereby facilitating the adoption of The APIS by a global developer pool and consequently expanding the developer market of public blockchains.
- The APIS Core Contract
The APIS network is maintained by The APIS smart contract and layer-two rollup architecture, deployed on the Ethereum public blockchain.
The four primary contracts deployed on the Ethereum mainchain are:
- The governance contract: enables the configuration and upgrade of the rest of the architecture.
- The dispute resolution factory contract: ensures that APIS Gateways and Nodes are incentivized to only complete accurate responses. This set includes staking contracts by Gateways and Nodes, such that there is already API at stake when a dispute is entered.
- The optimistic rollup contract: allows the database of read and write receipts, as well as all details (i.e. API Node, API Gateway, API client account, fee paid, etc.) to scale significantly beyond the throughput of the current Ethereum public blockchain.
The APIS is creating a developer-friendly user interface that’s open and accessible to power a decentralized world. As everyone becomes a developer, it becomes up to us to abstract away the hardest parts of development, allowing builders to focus on everything else to make their customers happy: ideation, design, customer service, public relations, and marketing. This applies to all industries, with the public blockchain market clearly the most underserved today.
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