According to a recent mail to clients, Chain's Bitcoin API service will be sunsetting on December 31, 2015.
“As most of you know, over the last year Chain's focus has shifted to enabling financial institutions to issue and manage digital assets on blockchain networks. As we move into 2016, we will be folding our bitcoin capabilities into this enterprise platform. We will no longer support free projects on the bitcoin network.”
token_dave from Reddit notes:
“Friends of Chain, We're going to start charging banks for the same thing we were giving away for free. Because it's blockchain tech.”
IMO very unprofessional to shutdown the service on such a short notice. People who build apps on top of chain now need to spend their December porting their code to an alternative instead of spending time with their family or working on the other things that were actually on their roadmap.
I'm not effected, but at least now I know I wouldn't use any service of that company for the future.
etherscan wrapped up general feeling with:
The timing of the shutdown could have been better. Spending Xmas and the holidays porting over would not be fun.
Having whined a bit, the fact is Chain is willing and ready to give a hand:
Our first priority is ensuring your applications continue running uninterrupted. If you would like technical assistance to migrate your bitcoin app to another vendor's free or low-cost bitcoin API service, our CTO is available to support you and ensure your application has a seamless transition. We have helped many projects do this already.