What is an Atomic Swap?
Atomic swaps are a way to exchange cryptocurrencies from different blockchains without a third party or intermediary such as an exchange – for example from Bitcoin to Ethereum. It is a new technology in its infant stages, and while some projects are making good progress in fully realizing the concept of atomic swaps, there are still risks involved. In early 2018 there have been some successful atomic swaps, but typically an exchange is still needed to make a change between cryptocurrencies on different blockchains. The downside of using an exchange is that there are fees realized in this method. Atomic swaps negate nearly all the fees associated with exchanging cryptocurrencies, making them preferable and worth pursuing. Bitcoin promises to solve the atomic swap issue once its Lightening Network is a reality.