Case Study: Why Cryptio chose Kaiko as their preferred API Platform

January 14, 2019

Case Study: Why Cryptio chose Kaiko as their preferred API Platform

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Cryptio is quietly preparing to solve two of the most pressing issues in the cryptocurrency space: accounting and compliance. In this case study, we spoke with Antoine Scalia and Emile Kratiroff of Cryptio, a Paris-based cryptocurrency accounting firm. They have been using the Kaiko API for a couple of months to power their suite of cryptocurrency accounting and compliance solutions. They explain how Kaiko’s proven record of consistency and quality has been integral to their business model along with our ‘round-the-clock integration support. 

What was your background prior to starting Cryptio?

I spent three years developing software for one of Cisco’s R&D departments, mostly focused on the media and IoT spaces. I was involved in a wide variety of projects from AR to simple mobile apps. Working with a great team at the company’s headquarters, I got comfortable with several layers of a tech stack.

After graduating from HEC Paris, Antoine worked for several tech companies including a major French flash sale website and a European VC fund.

We found ourselves in a good position to start this project together.

What problem does Cryptio propose to solve in the cryptocurrency space?

In a nutshell, we build accounting and compliance solutions for players of the digital assets space. We offer two products: One for individual investors to help them keep track of their portfolio and file their taxes, and another for organizations to keep their books, report their activity, and manage their crypto activity on a daily basis.

What problems did you have prior to using Kaiko’s API when collecting market data? How did you previously get your data?

The main problem that we had was valuing historical transactions. When a customer (either an individual or a company) onboards with our product, the first thing they need to do is to import their transaction history. On our side, the first task is to find the value, in fiat, of that transaction at its date. Which obviously means that we need access to the full historical market data for all exchanges and wallets.

Before partnering with Kaiko we couldn’t really solve that problem. APIs on the market (we won’t give names but you may guess them) are very opaque about the way they value coins, they don’t differentiate per exchange and they apply silly limits to your usage. We were sort of able to estimate transactions but even we couldn’t be sure of the accuracy, so if felt hopeless to expect serious customers to trust our system.

Valuation is a key aspect for a company or an investor as external auditors can challenge the reference prices that have been used. By providing the exact price and the metadata (timestamp, exchange, eventually fiat exchange rate..), we bring transparency to their activity.

What other data options did you consider before settling on Kaiko?

To be honest, we considered starting a data collection mechanism ourselves, but quicky backed out from that challenge. We also considered negotiating with the other services on the market to get discounted rates and unlimited access. At one point we even thought that the only way to be transparent with our users would be to let them choose their data provider so they would take responsibility if the valuation was questionned. Obviously we needed a better approach!

Why did you decide on Kaiko?

There are few providers out there able to provide an unlimited feed. If users have a history of a million transactions, we have a million data points to find. And that’s just one customer. All the APIs we tried out have limit quotas and even the most premium tier can’t handle that load.

Plus the Kaiko team is great, we have a direct channel with them and they provide answers in minutes.

How exactly are you using the Kaiko API? 

We have two use cases, both critical to our offer.

The first obvious one is real time valuation. Our users want to know how much their portfolio is worth now so we use the VWAP Market Data API endpoint for that.

The other use-case is finding historical rates, as mentioned above. Two scenarios can occur here:

1. The transaction is from an exchange, in which case the VWAP Market Data API will get the job done easily

2. The transaction is from a wallet, and that’s where things get interesting

Since there is no industry accepted standard to value wallet transactions (and websites who claim to be the reference won’t tell you how their rates are calculated), we had to come up with our own! So, for each coin, we use the Instruments API to list the exchanges on which that coin is listed and then calculate the weighted average price to come up with a rate. And we tell our users how we do it.

What has your experience been like using the API?

Just fantastic. The docs are nicely written but an example call would be enough. It’s an API written in plain English, no need to figure out what the engineers were thinking when they designed it, request parameters just go where they are supposed to go and the response body is crystal clear. Not to mention, we’ve been hitting it hard for the past month and it has always responded in a couple hundreds of milliseconds.