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Using the Commerce API

Accepting cryptocurrency payments with the Coinbase Commerce API is fast and easy. After you've signed up and created an API key, which only takes a few minutes, you just need to create a charge to receive a payment.

Create a charge

Use the Coinbase Commerce API to dynamically create charges. When you create a charge, we generate payment addresses on your behalf for each cryptocurrency that’s enabled and provide you with a hosted page you can send to customers to complete the payment. Here’s an example of dynamically creating a charge:

curl -X POST https://api.commerce.coinbase.com/charges/ \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "X-CC-Api-Key: YOUR_API_KEY" \
-H "X-CC-Version: 2018-03-22" \
-d "@data.json"

Where data.json is simply a JSON object:

{
  "name":"The Human Fund",
  "description":"Money For People",
  "pricing_type":"no_price"
}

A charge object is returned with payment addresses for each currency as well as a URL to a hosted page where a customer can complete their payment. Since we didn’t specify a price in our example, the customer is able to send any amount.

Receive a payment

Unlike credit cards where merchants must obtain payment credentials in order to charge a customer, cryptocurrencies are more like digital cash and rely on the customer explicitly sending money to the merchant.

After creating a charge, Coinbase Commerce will continuously monitor each blockchain network for a payment. Since cryptocurrencies are push payments, we set an expiration time for the charge which is currently 1 hour after the creation date. If the customer does not make a payment within that timeframe, we consider the charge to be expired.

Once a payment has been sent, we will update your Dashboard with the payment information. To get more information about the payment, simply retrieve the charge by supplying the unique charge code that was returned when the charge was created. Here’s an example of retrieving a charge:

curl https://api.commerce.coinbase.com/charges/2E8YCQWQ \
-H "X-CC-Version: 2018-03-22"

A charge object is returned with specific information about the payment including, but not limited to, the transaction hash and the number of confirmations that have been received. Learn more