Need clarity regarding the terms of use

I was just going to start a weekend / hobby project. I wanted to follow all the rules and guidelines, so I went to look over the Terms of Use:

In particular:

  1. Restrictions and Responsibilities. Absent prior express written consent from Coinbase, you may not:
  1. Use Market Data or authorized Derived Works, directly or indirectly, to create any of the following Derived Works, whether for internal use or otherwise: (i) indexes, fixings, or other benchmarks; (ii) generic or fair value prices; or (iii) valuations of Digital Currencies, digital tokens, securities, or financial derivatives (whether for purposes of settlement or otherwise); or

More to the point, “[I] may not … use Market Data or … Derived Works … to create any of the following Derived Works … for internal use … (i) … benchmarks; (ii) generic or fair value prices; or (iii) valuations of [data the API provides]”. Specifically, I am barred from using the API data to perform any sort of analysis of the data, as far as I can tell.

My plan was to generate my own insights into data I get from the APIs to decide if I should buy or sell a specific crypto. The way this is phrased, even doing something rudimentary as checking the current price and then comparing that to a historical price could be seen as “benchmarking” the current price on a historical price. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic or argumentative; I honestly cannot wrap my head around how I’m supposed to use the data I get in any practical way that abides by the rules set out in the Terms of Use.

Would someone from Coinbase be able to give clarification or guidance on acceptable use of the APIs? Thanks!


Thanks for the question. As I understand it, you are working on a weekend / hobby project as an individual whereas the linked Terms of Use is referring to Coinbase Prime, which is an institutional product. I will get some clarification on the conditions, but I don’t think this applies to looking at historical prices for a hobbyist project.

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Thanks for the info. I’m not sure that that’s the case because:

  1. There must be some Terms of Service for the Exchange/Pro APIs, and I don’t see any other agreement.
  2. The Exchange/Pro page links to these Terms of Use: Getting started
  3. The Terms of Use link back to the Exchange/Pro page - see the “application programming interface(s)” link here:

I do agree/believe that hobby projects shouldn’t be under such rigid restrictions, but everything I’m seeing seems to disagree. I hope you bring back better news! :slight_smile:

Hi @jojenki - Apologies for the delay in getting you a clearer response here. We’re still working with the teams to ensure this is addressed accurately for you. Will follow up soon. Thanks!

No worries. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.

Hi @jojenki - Apologies for the delay here - The intent across our various terms and conditions is to prevent unauthorized commercial use of our data without our consent. Using the data in a hobby fashion in all likelihood does not fall under the behavior that the terms are trying to curtail. Regardless, we do consent to your use and you are fine to proceed. We want developers to be able to build the future of web3 and are here to help make that happen. Thank you for all you do!


Following up on a different uses case. I am working on an MVP project for a front-end web app for users to do charting using data from various sources. This is a hobby project until/if it actually gets users. Is this okay for me to build on top of the market API? Thanks!

@macrojoe - checking for clarity but you should be ok. Thanks!

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Thank you for getting back to me, and sorry it took so long to respond. That’s great to hear! I think it’s probably worth the company / legal team’s time to actually codify this, but I am happy to hear that I am covered. Thanks!

Awesome, any clarity you can add would be very helpful. Thanks!