Frequently Asked Questions
What does BlockCypher do?
Great, albeit very general, question! BlockCypher is an infrastructure provider for interacting with blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
What does BlockCypher REALLY do?
Okay, fair enough. In concrete terms, we provide a publicly accessible suite of RESTful APIs for blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which you can read more about in the reference documentation.
What sort of APIs does BlockCypher provide?
All kinds! You can see the full list on the reference docs, but to offer a general overview, it ranges from basic queries like address/block/transaction details to fully fledged transaction and contract creation tools and robust WebHook events.
Huh. Instead of using BlockCypher, why not use Bitcoin-Core, btcd, Geth, Parity, Ethereumj, etc.? Why use a third-party service to access a decentralized service?
Now that's a heavy hitter. First and foremost, using our APIs doesn't prevent one from redundancy/validating our APIs with reference implementations. Many of our customers do just that. But when it comes time to scale their service, it's typically simpler, more cost effective, and more reliable to use a third-party API. Especially one with BlockCypher's uptime.
What about other, non-public blockchains?
For enterprise customers, we do offer support for permissioned/private blockchains. If you're interested, please contact us.
How can I trust using BlockCypher?
As mentioned above, using our APIs doesn't prevent you from validating our APIs with reference implementations. The beauty of a distributed system is that you can check BlockCypher's claims; for example, you can easily verify other block explorers, or your own copy of the blockchain.
How is my BlockCypher account secured?
All the account passwords are salted/bcrypt-hashed, and even if someone were to access your account, the most they could do is steal token access (which can easily be fixed with a password reset and generating a new token). Since we don't store your private keys, there's not much to steal.
BlockCypher doesn't store private keys?
That's right. While we do use your private keys temporarily---in the Contract API, the Microtransaction API, and the Payment Forwarding API---we never store them, and discard them as soon as we're done using them. For large value transactions/operations, we require you to sign your transactions locally; it can be slightly more complicated, but it keeps you in control of your blockchain assets.
How much does it cost to use BlockCypher?
It's free to start, and you can see the latest plan information on our accounts page.
I need a bigger plan than appears to be available, and/or I want to run my own blockchain. How can I get one?
Reach out to us here, we can definitely help you there.