Coinbase Announces Bitcoin Sandbox Environment For Developers and Merchants

Accepting Bitcoin payments has become a painless and effortless task these days, taking no more than a few minutes before you are ready to go. Sign up zith BitPay or Coinbase, copy and paste a code snippet provided by one of the Bitcoin payment processors into your webpage, and that is all there is to it. But what if you wanted to test bitcoin functionality before adding the code snippet to your website? Coinbase may have the solution for you.

The Coinbase Developer Sandbox

Earlier today, Coinbase announced the Coinbase Sandbox, which will serve as a dedicated test environment for both developers and merchants to test bitcoin functionality. As you would come to expect from a sandbox environment, you won’t be playing around with actual bitcoins, but rather testnet Bitcoin values.

In fact, Coinbase Sandbox is running on a special dedicated alternate blockchain, designed with one purpose in mind : testing bitcoin functionality. This separate blockchain is referred to as “testnet3’, which does not require the developer or merchant using the sandbox environment to have an active Coinbase account, nor do you need to own any Bitcoin.

One of the main reasons why Coinbase Sandbox can be so valuable to both merchants and developers is because all the tools at your disposal will look and feel exactly the same as their ‘live” counterpart(s). This will give users a representative and accurate idea of what they can expect from using the Coinbase API.

While all of the above may give you an accurate representation of the Coinbase API, you have to keep in mind that not all of the Coinbase features are made available. Options such as verifications, bank account synchronization and the referral programs are all disabled when using Coinbase Sandbox, as these features are all “unnecessary” according to Coinbase.

Once you signed up for a Coinbase Sandbox account – which is mandatory in order to use the service – you will receive 0.1 testnet BTC in an issued wallet. Additional funds can be transferred from other sources, such as open testnet faucets or other users in the Coinbase Sandbox environment. As far as we can tell, there is no limit as to how many testnet bitcoin one person can hold at this point in time.

It will be interesting to see what kind of new tools Bitcoin developers can come up with it to further advance Bitcoin awareness and adoption. Not to mention the potential boost this sandbox environment can provide for Coinbase’s customer base, as the company really needs to come up with creative ways to take the fight to Bitpay.

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