A Simple API Case Study

Sometimes we need to hear old value propositions wrapped in current news. Here's an old use case in a crypto story to help you understand the power of APIs and the meaning of delivering a delightful customer experience.

A Simple API Case Study

Celsius is about earning yield by rehypothecating assets. Which is a fancy way of saying, they take your stuff, loan it to others, and earn money for you while doing it. It's an established area of finance often used by wealthy investors, now available to people of any wealth class.

Pivoting to Customer Experience

I think one of the important things about the "experience economy" is that instead of making customers come to you, you bring your service to your customers.

A simple example of this is a financial company that provides payment plans. The old way of doing things... go to the bank to get a loan. In fact, this is usually accoplished through a store credit card decided by the vendor. Therefore it becomes less about your relationship with the bank, than the vendor's relationship with the bank.

A company focused on experience is Affirm. I can use Affirm to get a payment plan for most any purchase. It's my relationship with the bank, and they're integrated with the payment flow so no new "credit card" application just to get a loan.

Celsius now does the same thing with the Liquid Exchange through their API. As you can see, this is now live. The Celsius API is a key offering for the company to take their product (earning yield) and their process (managing risk-return) on assets to where new customers keep their crypto.

Another way to think about this sort of API that's common is that it provides "headless" yield management on crypto. Any company can design their own experience using the Celsius yield offering as a pillar of an offering. Imagine Fold providing interest on holdings as they manage crypto rewards for credit card companies.

Or a game company that uses sats as the in-game currency providing yield as part of the game mechanics.

A final example. I believe that Celsius doesn't work directly in Germany for regulatory reasons. Using their API they partner with a crypto exchange that is approved to work in Germany, opening up a whole market that Celsius can't access directly (without perhaps a compliance effort that could be better "spent" accomplishing other Celsius goals).

The opportunities are endless because you can imagine many different communities of users that Celsius can go meet on the community's terms, instead of making users come to them.

That's the opportunity of APIs.

I wouldn't think something like this needs to be shared, but then I see a current headline that says "API security is becoming a top priority for enterprise players" and realize that a lot of people need to hear these old messages inside of new stories.