Launching the Token Terminal APIv2
A new era in on-chain accounting has arrived
gm, fellow on-chain data enjoyooors ☕️📊
Tl;dr: we’re launching a new and improved version of the Token Terminal API.
How it started versus how it’s going
A few years ago, the vast majority of all on-chain applications could be described as follows:
A fixed set of immutable smart contracts deployed to Ethereum.
Today, these on-chain applications are more accurately described as follows:
An ever-growing set of smart contracts, some more accounting-friendly than others, some with more mutable parameters than others, some deployed across more chains than others, and some including more business logic than others.
That is, we’ve gone from simple, single-chain applications to more complex, tokenholder-governed multichain ones. As a result, publicly available DAO data today is highly fragmented, and more often than not outdated & non-standardized.
The TT API fixes this
The TT API is purpose-built to solve the issues that trouble on-chain accounting. It’s already the data feed that powers tokenterminal.com, a product whose entire reason for being is to capture all relevant on-chain (and eventually also off-chain) data in a standardized and easily-digestible manner.
Over the past six months, our team has built an internal data solution that allows us to seamlessly extract data from an ever-growing set of economically vibrant blockchains. At the same time, the crypto market itself has matured, with institutional capital allocators entering the space. Reliable access to on-chain data is an operational necessity for these new market entrants.
The same can be said for the DAOs themselves. As they’ve matured and started to generate revenue, tokenholders have realized the need for reliable financial and alternative data to support informed governance decisions regarding how to develop their respective protocols.
Working with on-chain data is a full-time job
You could argue that community-built data feeds could function as a cheaper substitute for the TT API. We thought so too, and initially relied on third-party data feeds to power the Token Terminal platform. However, the issue with these data feeds often becomes clear as time passes by: on-chain data maintenance is a b*tch.
As mentioned above, on-chain data sets, contrary to popular belief, are not static. It takes a significant amount of domain expertise and engineering resources to keep them up to date. To keep the data actionable, you need to constantly monitor for new deployments and contract changes, while applying a uniform methodology to different on-chain user actions and cash flows.
Which fee streams should count as revenue? What if the protocol collects the end user fees first, and subsequently pays its supply-side participants?
How do you determine whether an address counts as an active user? Do you only focus on revenue-generating function calls or also others?
How do you differentiate between token incentives and operating expenses? Some DAOs pay their salaries on-chain, while others pay them off-chain, how do you resolve this?
There’s no capped supply to these questions, neither are there any single right answers to them.
However, the odds of getting to actionable and useful solutions improve significantly when you have an organization like Token Terminal, whose sole mission is centered around solving them.
Our long-term ambition is to grow the reach of the Token Terminal platform to an extent where the TT API becomes the canonical accounting substrate for the Internet.
Getting started with the TT API
The first iteration of the TT API allows users to analyse DAOs based on protocol version, chain, and business line.
Our stated goal is to capture all relevant data for a DAO, no matter the stage it is at. For early-stage DAOs, this means that we’ll add metrics such as social media traction, developer activity, and active users. For more later-stage DAOs, the focus will be on revenue, token incentives, earnings, governance, treasury management, and so on.
To view the current version of the API, check out our API docs page here.
Initially, the TT API will be available to those that are already subscribers. Please note that we’re already planning on changing the pricing for the API, so the existing €325/month definitely counts as an early-bird bargain.
For more information, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you’re as excited about the TT API and the future of on-chain data as we are,