ShapeShift is a Swiss exchange offering instant swap services between various cryptocurrencies. It was launched in 2014. According to its own data, in the last 24 hours it processed 31 207 transactions, with a bitcoin volume equivalent of 2,715.841 BTC and an average trade time of 616 seconds.
It does not require registration, e-mails or verification and the exchange process is really straightforward. ShapeShift’s portfolio includes more than 400 crypto pairs with alt-coins including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ether Classic, Monero, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, Darkcoin, Namecoin, Feathercoin, Blackcoin and other cryptocurrencies – a total of over 50.
– Accounts & Verification. ShapeShift does not require the creation of a customer account, no ID verification and not even a customer e-mail. This is very convenient, especially for those seeking anonymity.
– Speed. ShapeShift offers an almost instantaneous swap. Depending on the blockchain network, that is. The smaller transactions do not require a network verification and the larger ones need just one.
– Location. ShapeShift is based in Switzerland, but accepts clients worldwide, including the US.
– Price. There is no “price slippage” with ShapeShift. This means clients get a specific exchange rate (market rate of several exchanges that updates every 30 seconds) for their order, which does not change based on the size of the order. The fees story, however, is different, as you’re about to read further below.
– Mobile app. ShapeShift offers a mobile application for Android and iOS devices that allows cryptocurrency conversion on the go. Judging by the customer reviews, it does what it’s supposed to do and is fast and very easy to use.
Additionally, ShapeShift offers another mobile app: CoinCap, which provides real time market data, price alerts and, once again, exchange services through ShapeShift integration.
– Platform. ShapeShift does not have a trading platform in the true sense of the word, so it is not very convenient for serious traders. However, for the occasional user who just needs to convert one cryptocurrency to another, it is very easy and intuitive to use.
There are two types of orders that can be placed: precise and quick. The difference is that with the precise order one can set a desired price, while with the quick the transaction is done at current price.
– Coins. ShapeShift accepts client suggestions for the addition of more alt-coins. A form needs to be filled in.
– Fees. ShapeShift says it does not charge trading or other fees, except miner fees. They vary depending on the coin. The major inconvenience here is that each coin has a different fee and one has to check beforehand, even though the fee is actually included in the price quoted by ShapeShift.
Well-hidden in the FAQ section, however, we find the information that ShapeShift includes in the price a profit of around 0.5%. This is in the average, compared to other exchanges, but added to the miner fee, can amount to quite a bit. Besides, according to very recent customer reviews, in reality the commission charged by ShapeShift is much higher and amounts to anywhere between 3 and 10%.
– Price & Rates. Unlike most exchanges, ShapeShift does not display clearly the current prices of the largest (by market cap) cryptocurrencies.
– Leverage. Like the vast majority of crypto exchanges, ShapeShift does not offer leveraged trading, but it is to be expected, as the idea of its service is entirely different. For those seeking leveraged trading, there are platforms like Kraken, Quoinex, CexIo who offer such services. Magnr, on the other hand is a portal offering leveraged trading on several major crypto exchanges, with one account.
There are also “traditional” forex brokers who offer CFDs on some of the major cryptocurrency exchanges for trading on margin.
– Fiat. Due to the nature of its service, ShapeShift does not accept payments in fiat currencies. Logically, the exchange does not work with any “traditional” payment options like bank transfers, credit cards, etc. This is inconvenient for those who actually want to use the coins for something different than trading.
– Security. Not the lack of such, but the lack of information about it. There is just some general info about two-factor authentication, but this is such a standard feature, not only for crypto exchanges these days, that it is not really worth mentioning. The fact that it offers instant exchange, suggests that the funds are kept in hot wallets. This is quite risky, at least for the exchange itself, as the client funds are in and out of the system fast.
ShapeShift is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges offering instant swapping of one coin into another. The major conveniences of the platform is the ease of use and the fast service. The fact that it does not require registration and verification is also a major plus. We also like the mobile application and the possibility to swap coins on the go.
On the other hand, however, ShapeShift is not without its disadvantages and inconveniences. For example the fees. Despite its claims that it does not charge fees besides the mining fee, it actually does, but they are calculated in the price. There is nothing wrong with that, as many forex brokers who do not charge commissions, calculate their profits within the spreads. But some ShapeShift clients complain that the fees are pretty high.
ShapeShift Review Conclusion
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