ShapeShift cryptocurrency exchange review
Convert between cryptocurrency coins without needing to make a deposit first.
- Great for simple crypto-to-crypto trades
- Not so great for its changing fees
Check out our full list of pros and cons or read on.
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|Product Name||ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange|
|Cryptocurrencies||BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DASH, DCR, DGB, DNT, GAME & 29+ more|
|Trading Fee||Fees vary|
- 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
Learn more about ShapeShift
What fiat and cryptocurrencies are supported?
- Supported fiat currencies: None
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 51 cryptocurrencies
Which payment methods are accepted?
How to use ShapeShift
Fees and limits
Platform trading fees
|Platform fee type||Fee|
|Miner fee||Varies (usually less than US$1 equivalent)|
There are no fees other than the platform trading fees.
Deposits, withdrawals and transactions only take place as you make a trade. The cost for this is built into the platform trading fees.
How fast will my funds be available?
The average time to complete a trade will vary depending on the cryptocurrency, your chosen miner fees and the state of the network at the time.
The average processing time is shown on the ShapeShift site. It's often about 10 to 20 minutes. This is how long it will take to complete a trade end-to-end.
Is ShapeShift safe to use?
- Regulation. ShapeShift works to comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and to meet its legal obligations. It is a registered business with a transparent and well-known team behind it and a wide product range that crosses the crypto ecosystem. The KeepKey hardware wallet, for example, is a ShapeShift product.
- Verification. ShapeShift has traditionally been known as a destination for anonymous trading that doesn't require account creation, but at the end of 2018 it ended this practice to more proactively meet its legal obligations. Users are now required to create an account and to provide some personal information in order to trade on ShapeShift.
- Security features. ShapeShift regularly undergoes penetration testing and follows cryptocurrency security best practices. Most significantly, it does not hold customer funds except as needed to facilitate transactions. This means you don't have to make a deposit and then leave your crypto sitting around on the exchange where it might be at risk of theft. If ShapeShift gets hacked, your funds are likely to be safe.
The ShapeShift hack and its reputation
ShapeShift was hacked several times in 2016, losing the equivalent of a few hundred thousand US dollars at the time. It was alleged to have been an inside job.
No customer funds were lost, rather, all the stolen cryptocurrency was ShapeShift's own. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees later pointed at this as evidence that the non-custodial exchange design worked as it should.
It was an unconventional situation, and although there are criticisms of how CEO Erik Voorhees handled the situation, user funds were never at risk which demonstrates the extra security offered by ShapeShift's non-custodial system, where users don't have to deposit funds to make a trade.
ShapeShift has not been hacked since then.
How do I create an account at ShapeShift?
What else do I need to know about ShapeShift?
ShapeShift is a veteran cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded by Erik Voorhees in 2013, and is headquartered in Switzerland but based largely in Denver.
It was one of many crypto companies to withdraw from New York when the BitLicense was introduced and has a reputation for pushing back against what it perceives as regulatory overreach.
In a nutshell
- Non-custodial exchange. ShapeShift does not hold customer funds, which delivers tangible security benefits.
- Good rates. ShapeShift charges about 0.5% in spreads and a negligible flat miner fee. This is a competitive price relative to other exchanges that offer similar broker-style non-custodial crypto trading.
- Upcoming membership rewards. ShapeShift is gradually rolling out a membership reward scheme based on the FOX token.
- Slow trades. At the time of writing (February 2019), it takes an average of 25 minutes to process a trade, which is much slower than other exchanges.
- Varying fees and coins. The fees, liquidity and cryptocurrencies available on ShapeShift can vary considerably day to day.