ShapeShift is a private cryptocurrency exchange supporting the world’s leading blockchain tokens, including bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero.
Swiss-based ShapeShift has emerged as one of the fastest growing brokers in the digital currency market. The platform was founded in 2013 and it has received multiple rounds of funding from major investors, such as Bitfinex.
ShapeShift, which is available globally, offers dozens of blockchain tokens on web and mobile platforms.
Exchanges like ShapeShift
What is ShapeShift?
ShapeShift is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers trading in a variety of digital assets. The platform prioritises quick, cost-effective ways to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
ShapeShift is often described as an “instant” cryptocurrency exchange. It provides access to the world’s leading cryptos without needing to register an email, password or login. In fact, it’s one of the few platforms that lets you trade cryptocurrency without an account.
The company recently acquired KeepKey, a leading hardware wallet that offers greater security against theft. That means you can expect strong privacy and security standards as you work through the platform.
Which cryptocurrencies can I trade?
ShapeShift has three types of transactions it supports:
- Bitcoin > altcoin
- Altcoin > bitcoin
- Altcoin > altcoin
The platform, which only permits crypto-to-crypto trades, supports dozens of tokens, including:
Is it available in Australia?
ShapeShift is available globally, including in Australia.
What payment methods are accepted?
ShapeShift only facilitates crypto-to-crypto exchanges. This means you can only exchange one token for the other because fiat currency is not enabled.
How much will it cost me to use ShapeShift?
ShapeShift doesn't charge any fees for using its service. Instead, the company's revenue comes from the exchange rate (in other words, through spreads on crypto-to-crypto trades).
All transactions are subject to a miner fee, which is set by the blockchain network.
How fast are processing times?
Although ShapeShift mentions “instant” transactions, it can take several hours for your trade to be fully processed. This appears to be the case because ShapeShift must process the transaction after the order has been received and verified by the blockchain network.
Each transaction is subject to a deposit limit set by ShapeShift. Your transaction won't be processed if you send more than the limit. (ShapeShift does not disclose the size of the limit.)
However, there is a way to increase your limit. To learn how, watch this short video on the ShapeShift Blog.
Is ShapeShift secure?
ShapeShift is regarded as one of the most private crypto exchanges on the market. No account setup is required. All you have to do is type in the address of your cryptocurrency wallet to exchange one token for another.
The platform is safe to use and has not reported any cyber breaches. The company's acquisition of the KeepKey hardware wallet greatly enhances security by giving users the ability to store their tokens offline. (In order to do this, you’ll have to go to the KeepKey website and purchase the hardware wallet.)
ShapeShift has a dedicated support team and comprehensive FAQ section to help users troubleshoot issues. To contact customer support, select the “Support” tab and go to “Submit a Request”.
Response times are generally slow due to the constant influx of new users on the site. While the team is committed to responding to inquiries within 48-72 hours, wait times often extend beyond that.
Pros and cons
- High privacy standards
- Large selection of altcoins
- Quick and easy transactions
- Lack of clarity around deposit limits and transaction speeds
- Users cannot trade fiat currency for cryptocurrency
If you've considered the features carefully, and understand the risks, getting started with ShapeShift is remarkably easy. Simply head over to its website, choose the tokens you would like to exchange and type in your wallet address. Your transaction will be processed immediately and without needing to register an account.
Frequently asked questions
Image source: ShapeShift