IntegrationWorks' Digital Futures
IntegrationWorks provides our clients with a strategic and award-winning approach to integration, which means we're focused on driving and supporting our clients' transformational journeys. Working in dynamic organisational and technological environments allows us (and often requires us) to push the boundaries of digital business with new ways of working with emerging technologies. We're able to stay ahead in the fast-evolving digital world because we encourage and support our team to stay ahead. Our crypto-payments for API monetisation proof of concept is a great example of how the combination of transformational clients and ahead-of-the curve IntegrationWorkers, expands horizons and accelerates understanding of new digital business opportunities.
The Rise of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are now a common feature of the mainstream news and increasingly utilised in both disruptive and traditional businesses. Cryptocurrency's success is proven with Bitcoin rising twentyfold in value last year, while Ethereum surged more than 11,200%, and Ripple, the emerging new coin, skyrocketed almost 10,000%. With the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, widespread Blockchain payment adoption may seem right around the corner, but with many cryptocurrency initiatives still in the early stages, enterprises aren't quite sure about the sustainability of this technology and are still deciding how to navigate their way around it.
Despite cryptocurrency volatility and genuine causes for enterprise concern, Gartner believes cryptocurrency will lead to a reformation of industries. Gartner's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in 2017 shows Blockchain to be at the peak of its inflated expectations with a plateau to be reached in 5-10 years.
One of Gartner's 10 predictions for 2018, believes that cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain will become legitimised in the near future. “By the year 2020, the banking industry will derive $1B of business value from the use of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies,” which, Gartner believes, is “the tacit endorsement of cryptocurrency as a legitimate option by the banking industry”.
APIs are a fundamental enabler of digital business and many companies not only leverage APIs to build and connect to new business ecosystems, they also utlise APIs as a source of revenue. This is known as API monetisation. There are many common models to charge, price, package, bill, and pay, as well as many enabling technologies. For instance, a bank could offer an income validation API, charge for its use, and automatically bill the consumers of the API. API Management products, like IBM API Connect are often used to securely expose and monetise APIs in this way.
Crypto-payments for API Monetisation
Many cryptocurrencies are designed with payments in mind. One of these payment-centric currencies is Litecoin. Litecoin was intended to be the silver to the Bitcoins' gold, however it takes approximately 10 minutes for a Bitcoin transaction whereas a Litecoin transaction only takes 2.5 minutes.
Our solution allows businesses that wish to monetise their APIs to accept Litecoin as payment. It works as follows:
- An API Consumer Developer will register and sign-in to to the IBM API Connect Developer Portal, create a new App, select a desired API Product, and subscribe the App to desired subscription plan.
- The API Consumer Developer is then prompted to pay a set amount of Litecoin (LTC) to a unique wallet address (for the bank's Litecoin wallet).
- At this stage, no payment has been made. So, if the API Consumer App calls the API the call will be rejected.
- The rejection comes in the form of an HTTP 402 (Payment Required).
- The API Consumer then sends the Litecoin to the bank's wallet address.
- Once the Litecoin payment has been made, if the API Consumer App calls the API the call will complete successfully.
How it works
Behind the scenes we have a couple of microservices, the key one being the API Payment Microservice which exposes the following endpoints and functions:
As we head further into a digital future, our businesses need to be ready for whatever comes our way. Whether it be ground-breaking technologies or simply preparing for digital transformation, IntegrationWorks Digital Futures can help you get where you want to be.
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