The increasingly stringent requirements by most popular cryptocurrency exchanges that require users to go through weeks of verification processes before they can properly use the provided services make the trading experience too daunting, at least initially.
That is why, whenever there’s a solution that promises to eradicate those issues in an established manner, it is no wonder that users lean towards it in order to benefit from its services.
ShapeShift.io is one such solution which has recently gained significant traction due to the services that it provides and how popular it has proved to be among the cryptocurrency community.
Providing instant trading with no account verification and no trading fees, ShapeShift revolutionizes the way that cryptocurrency exchange takes place, and it doesn’t simply do that for one or two cryptocurrencies, but offers its services for over 50 of them.
Today, we are going to learn more about ShapeShift and its provided services in order to determine whether it is a viable option for traders to use for their everyday needs.
History of ShapeShift
Based out of Switzerland, ShapeShift was founded in 2013 with an aim to make cryptocurrency trading easier for its users. The team at the exchange sought to do so by providing a simple graphics UI without users having to go through traditional exchange processes or technicalities.
While it took some time to establish itself as a credible source, the idea was received positively by those users who wanted to trade cryptocurrencies without having to understand the most conventional trading jargon.
The ShapeShift project received seed funding in 2015 by individual investors such as Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver, as well as popular financial institutions such as the Digital Currency Group and Bitfinex as well as Bitcoin Capital and Mardal Investments.
ShapeShift launched its operations in 2015, in the midst of these investments, and was readily welcomed by a large section of the cryptocurrency community due to its unique services.
ShapeShift Review: What Does ShapeShift Do?
ShapeShift provides cryptocurrency exchange services that focus on instant trading without any fees. It also ensures user privacy to the extent that it doesn’t require them to share personal information at any given time.
In late 2017, ShapeShift also acquired Keepkey, a popular hardware wallet company. The acquisition allowed ShapeShift to integrate its exchange services into the hardware wallet so Keepkey users could exchange funds right from its interface – extending ShapeShift’s reach to a larger user base.
ShapeShift offers trading capabilities in the following cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin – BTC
- Ethereum – ETH
- Monero – XMR
- Litecoin – LTC
- Neo – NEO
- Ripple – XRP
- Zcash – ZEC
- Dash – DASH
- Dogecoin – DOGE
- Bitcoin Cash – BCH
- 0x – ZRX
- FirstBlood – 1ST
- Aragon – ANT
- Bancor – BNT
- Bitcoin Gold – BTG
- Blackcoin – BLK
- Civic – CVC
- Clams – CLAM
- Decred – DCR
- DigiByte – DGB
- district0x – DNT
- Ethereum – Classic ETC
- Factoids – FCT
- GameCredits – GAME
- Gnosis – GNO
- Golem – GNT
- Matchpool – GUP
- Komodo – KMD
- LBRY Credits – LBC
- Monacoin – MONA
- Namecoin – NMC
- NEM – XEM
- Numeraire – NMR
- Novacoin – NVC
- Nxt – NXT
- OmiseGo – OMG
- Potcoin – POT
- Peercoin – PPC
- Qtum – QTUM
- Augur – REP
- Reddcoin – RDD
- RCN – RCN
- iExec – RLC
- Salt – SALT
- Siacoin – SC
- Status – SNT
- Storj – STORJ
- Swarm City – SWT
- WeTrust – TRST
- Voxels – VOX
- Vericoin – VRC
- Vertcoin – VTC
- Wings – WINGS
All that users have to do to start trading on the platform is to either go to its website or open the installed app on their phone, and from the given options, they can start trading instantly without having to register for an account with the exchange.
It also means that users do not have to go through any verification procedures before they can start trading on the exchange. Trading on ShapeShift is instant and with a complete sense of anonymity.
However, this sense of anonymity has caused the States of New York and Washington to make ShapeShift unavailable within their jurisdictions, but the service is available within other States of the U.S.
ShapeShift Review: How Does Trading on ShapeShift Work?
ShapeShift breaks down the process of trading cryptocurrencies to its simplest form. Users can select the cryptocurrency that they want to deposit and exchange with another available cryptocurrency right from the start, without having to go through any subscription process.
Once the desired cryptocurrencies are specified, users can select either the Quick or Precise option from the interface to start the trade accordingly.
The Quick option lets users swiftly provide their receiving address for the cryptocurrency of their choice, and they are also presented with a deposit address by ShapeShift right away. Users can then deposit an amount of their choice in their starting cryptocurrency and receive its equivalent in their desired cryptocurrency.
While this option lives up to its name in being fast, it has fluctuating exchange rates that get updated every 10 seconds until the transaction is completed. Users also get a lower deposit limit of the two options, with the limit being specified with the deposit address.
Whereas, in the Precise option, users do not only need to provide a receiving address right away but also have to inform ShapeShift of the amount that they want to deposit before the exchange provides them with a deposit address. With the deposit amount already specified, ShapeShift is also able to tell the user the specific amount they will receive in their desired cryptocurrency. Once the user has all these details, they can transfer the amount and have the transaction executed.
The catch with this option is that users have to go through a few extra steps with the provided addresses not being reusable either. However, the benefits they receive are in the form of a better exchange rate that remains stagnant until the transaction is completed (up to 5 minutes of wait time), as well as being provided with a higher deposit limit that is specified with ShapeShift’s deposit address.
Transactions are put in motion instantly, with their confirmation being subject to the network’s speed at the time of execution.
ShapeShift Review: Fees
ShapeShift does not have any trading, deposit or withdrawal fees and only the miner/network fee is charged for the transfers which go directly to each respective network.
The exchange makes its profits through the spread of the trading taking place through its platform.
In October 2017, ShapeShift also became one of the early adopters of Segregated Witness (SegWit) for Bitcoin, which means that it offers lower miner fees for users trading Bitcoin through the platform as well as demanding lesser requirements from the scaling capabilities of the Bitcoin network for each transaction.
Furthermore, even though there is no transaction fee, there is a minimum deposit limit that has to be met in order for the transaction to go through properly. This limit is shown for each cryptocurrency at the time of executing a deposit.
ShapeShift Review: Security
Due to the way that it is built, ShapeShift does not hold users’ funds in its storage and does not keep any personal information on record either.
This mechanism of only acting as an intermediary makes ShapeShift the “burner phone” of cryptocurrency exchanges, where transactions happen in the most secure manner without being traceable due to no provision of personal data.
The association with Keepkey has also established ShapeShift as a secure exchange service due to the exchange having the security capabilities of a hardware wallet at its disposal.
ShapeShift Review: Customer Service
ShapeShift has a dedicated support page with a live chat option available on its site where its team replies to questions instantly, which in itself sets it apart from its counterparts. Their customer service will respond to your inquiry and either provide an article or help guide you through your issue or concern.
Other than that, users can also send in detailed questions through a contact form on the site, which typically gets responded to within a few hours.
Should ShapeShift be Selected as a Primary Trading Platform?
If you have signed up with a wallet service or have a hardware wallet where you can keep the information of your digital assets safe and secure, then going with ShapeShift is a viable option. The transactions can take place with no trading fees while also being completed as soon as the respective network confirms them, which usually happens within hours.
The main drawback with ShapeShift is its lack of trading with fiat, with another issue being its different deposit limits for each cryptocurrency that tends to be lower than conventional exchanges.
But when you consider the fact that ShapeShift bases charges on a spread basis, these may seem like a justified stipulation. If users can look past these main issues, then the anonymity and the ability to use the exchange’s services without having to register an account make up for them.