Conjur Enterprise: Questions about self-hosted instance API usage

Hey everyone,

Question about a self hosted instance of conjur enterprise. From the docs; it seems like we need to include the public key cert if we want to make use of the rest APIs:

If you self-host Conjur, use the public key certificate you obtained when running conjur init for SSL verification when talking to your Conjur endpoint. This certificate is not a secret, so you can check it into source control if needed.

For example, with curl you can use the cert like so: curl --cacert <certfile> ...

However, I’ve got a PoC conjur server instance running on a VM and we didn’t need to include the cacert when making API calls - is this an optional setting that won’t affect authentication?

When would it typically be needed when authenticating? Thank you!