What happens when you combine OANDA’s freely-available API (application programming interface) with sugar- and caffeine-induced developers who are competing to create a new financial technology (FinTech) product or service in just 24-hours? The short answer is a winning “hack” that provides risk estimates and analytics for small to midsized businesses on their forex exposure.
OANDA continues to support community-driven FinTech hackathons in Toronto and New York City, like the biannual FinTech Hackathon NYCThere were a total of 18 APIs offered by this event’s sponsors that included the likes of Dow Jones and Bloomberg for developers to choose from. I’m delighted to note that of the 31 teams that competed at this hackathon, a handful of them chose to build their hacks on the OANDA API.
Hedging SolutionsKrishna Kumar (wearing the brown t-shirt in the photo to the left)
Solving FinTech Challenges
that accept payments for their goods and services in multiple currenciesplatform to hedge their forex risk exposure.
For example, Airbnb – a social networking service that provides an online platform for individuals to rent short-term lodgings to visitors – is exposed to fluctuating currency rates as they accept payment for their services in more than 180 countries. And according to an Airbnb-commissioned study of its business in the U.K., the company generated an estimated £502-million in economic activity between November, 2012, and October, 2013, alone. The San Francisco-headquartered company will likely want to hedge any revenue it earned in British pounds to avoid a forex loss.
A Simple, Powerful Launchpad
When Alan and I introduced the OANDA API to the developers in New York, what initially piqued their interest was that it is free and simple to use, and it has detailed technical documentation to help them get their projects up and running quickly.
Admittedly, it also helped that we included Bitcoin in our API’s sandbox prior to the event. We added bitcoin to OANDA’s Currency Converter in April, 2013. By adding it to the API’s sandbox, we knew it would stir interest at the event as this digital currency is garnering much interest with technologists and developers worldwide.
Regardless, the developers at the November edition of the FinTech Hackathon NYC praised our API since they can use it to get currency exchange rates, make trades, or do whatever it is they want to do on OANDA’s fxTrade platform because the API is so powerful.
For developers keen to build on the OANDA API, I encourage you to dig in to it and use it for building your next world-changing solution. Soon, we will open up the API’s private beta to the wider world. For our trusted third-party partners and independent developers that build their solutions off of it, the OANDA Marketplace will provide them with a prominent channel to market their creations directly to our clients.
Do you have a question about the OANDA API? Please leave it in the comments box below or tweet at us.