As a company headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New Zealand, it’s been an extremely busy summer (and winter) for Stronghold.
In July, we announced a funding round from our partners at Freestyle Capital, followed by the news that Stronghold would become the first venture-backed USD anchor on the Stellar network. In August, we began accepting select customers for the Stronghold USD private beta, and earlier this month, we launched a market-making program to boost liquidity on our platform.
Today, we’re announcing the release of Stronghold’s platform APIs, a set of endpoints for managing integrations with our asset-agnostic global payment and trade ecosystem. These APIs offer retail-level access to an open network where customers can transact with multiple cryptocurrencies, easily making deposits and withdrawals to convert funds back into fiat currencies.
As more institutional players begin exploring applications for stable tokens, Stronghold’s APIs will allow them to begin integrating cryptocurrency without making significant investments in infrastructure or development. As a result, companies can immediately begin exploring use cases for ecommerce, investments, remittances and other transactions.
Stronghold CTO and co-founder Sean Bennett said the API documentation is the latest step in the company’s mission of putting a digital wallet in every pocket.
“Using our APIs, you don’t need to understand crypto to accept crypto payments,” said Bennett. “Previously, if you took cryptocurrency, you’d have to figure out a way to exchange it back to traditional currencies. People who access our API, however, can set prices in dollars and accept any crypto token on the Stellar platform.”
Because the APIs accept any Stellar token that has liquidity to Stronghold USD, transactions are truly asset-agnostic. To boost liquidity, Stronghold’s market-making program offers incentives to customers who agree to buy and sell assets at publicly-quoted prices.
Bennett said many players in the crypto industry can benefit from Stronghold’s newly-released platform tools, particularly companies that don’t have strong brick-and-mortar connections.
“Having them linked in and out of the U.S. dollar allows them to introduce products and services to users who like their offerings but don’t necessarily understand how to buy or sell whatever token they need,” he explained.
Now, crypto companies can invite customers to use dollars to buy into new products, “and behind the scenes, the ICO token can move around, but the users don’t need to learn the very heavy crypto behavior,” said Bennett. ”They still see the U.S. dollar on the front end.”
Similarly, companies that have problems offering customers traditional payments and banking exits may use Stronghold APIs to provide a wide variety of payment instruments, completely bypassing bottlenecks created by many banks. “I think that’s quite a big market,” said Bennett.
The APIs were initially developed internally for Stronghold’s trading platform, “and then we realized that it made a lot more sense to polish them an extra 20 percent and make them public,” Bennett said. “Most of the core functionality is basically set, but we’re developing new pieces, such as new features that will focus on compliance.”
As Stronghold further fleshes out the APIs, Bennett said he’s enthusiastic about the real-world applications developers will create with the tools provided.
“People can pay with more currencies, bonds, or whatever Stellar might have on it, as long as it can be exchanged for Stronghold USD,” he said. “The combination of the open network and expanded retail-level access is really exciting.”