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Detailed overview of ShapeShift as a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

 

WHAT IS SHAPESHIFT?

Established in 2015, ShapeShift is a Swiss-founded company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, that offers global trading across a variety of digital assets.

ShapeShift released initially on the iOS platform in June 2015, allowing users to swap 25 digital currencies and value tokens.

As of September 2015, there were over 40 different digital currencies available for trade, providing 940 trading pairs, greater than any single exchange on the market.

Today, ShapeShift is a cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchange service that remains at the forefront of providing fast exchange services across dozens of cryptocurrency pairs.

It also adheres to the basic operational layout of the blockchain, which is to support decentralized, anonymous peer-to-peer transactions.

 

HOW DOES SHAPESHIFT WORK?

ShapeShift essentially operates as a crypto swapping service, meaning that users cannot purchase cryptocurrency with fiat on the platform.

Through the company’s API, wallets like JAXX are used to integrate crypto-to-crypto exchange into their services.

ShapeShift has also added new features to its offering, and now operates its own platform for real-time trading, as well as a complete crypto management system that includes crypto asset swapping, real-time trading and hardware wallet digital asset storage on KeepKey.

The KeepKey hardware wallet integrates cold storage asset management into the system, and Cryptocurrencies can also be swapped in ShapeShift from the hardware interface.

 

IS SHAPESHIFT REGULATED AND SAFE?

When joining a cryptocurrency exchange, traders need to ensure that the platform is safe and secure, by reading up on reviews and testing the platform, traders will be able to see what security measures are in place to protect client funds.

Cryptocurrency platforms often do not have a detailed history of keeping client funds safe and no Cryptocurrency exchange is immune to this. Cybersecurity issues exist and there are several regulatory issues when trading on such exchanges.

It is imperative to evaluate the security measures that these exchanges have in place so as to ensure that sensitive information such as personal details and banking details along with funds are not compromised.

The safety surrounding Cryptocurrency exchange cannot be endorsed, the funds of traders are potentially at risk on future hacks.

ShapeShift is not regulated, and a few hiccups in its interface in the past have caused the company to include some new security measures, such as ID verification, which allows the company to operate in more jurisdictions and raise its limits.

This is a significant step for a non-custodial exchange, which typically does not require ID verification. The company has also added further security measures, so that today the company:

  • Conducts know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verifications on Level 2-5 accounts
  • Offers KeepKey cold storage wallet with PIN protection and password phrase protection
  • Uses two-factor identification (2FA)
  • Employs system to identify bad wallet addresses and other fraudulent activity
  • Encrypts all data with an air-gapped (offline) key

WHAT COUNTRIES DOES SHAPESHIFT SUPPORT?

As an unregulated cryptoexchange, ShapeShift can accept users from any country and jurisdiction.

SHAPESHIFT FEATURES

SHAPESHIFT PLATFORM DASHBOARD

The ShapeShift dashboard is easy to navigate and supports a wide range of currencies. Traders of all levels and trading styles will enjoy the range of tools and charting capabilities presented in a streamlined and highly navigable interface.

IS SHAPESHIFT EASY TO USE?

Yes, sending and receiving of Cryptocurrencies from ShapeShift to different wallets is easy and instant.

They only charge a mining fee for the conversions. They have a well-developed mobile app that is supported by Android and iOS which is very easy and convenient to use.

SHAPESHIFT WALLET

Even though ShapeShift operates as a non-custodial exchange, the company recently introduced a cold hardware wallet to keep customer’s digital assets secure.

The KeepKey wallet integrates with the ShapeShift crypto exchange service though a web interface, and allows for unlimited addresses to be stored in one place.

Private keys can be managed offline, while backup and restore are supported by a private key recovery.

Added to this, the KeepKey wallet provides PIN protection, password phrase protection and customizable transaction speed, while manual approval through a confirmation button ensures control over transactions.

 

SHAPESHIFT MOBILE APP

Already available for iPhone, ShapeShift’s app is now also available for Android.

The app allows users to trade Bitcoin with other assets from the convenience of their mobile device without requiring an account, username, password, or email address, unlike any other exchange service.

This model provides superior consumer protection as it doesn’t warehouse sensitive private information.

“Shifting” coins is a no-hassle process, with users selecting their desired digital asset, specifying the payout address, and experiencing the conversion only moments after their deposit is received.

Added to this, ShapeShift recently saw integrations with leading digital currency companies CoinKite and BitQuick, and released its “Skeleton” tool allowing any website to become a cryptocurrency exchange.

LEVERAGE

Leverage is a tool provided to traders which allows them to open larger positions despite the initial capital in their trading account, or the current account balance of the trading account.

Leverage is a useful tool, when used correctly as it increases the chance of great gains but in retrospect, it also increases the chance of loss that may exceed the initial deposit of the trader.

Margin trading is currently not available with ShapeShift.

FEES

ShapeShift uniquely offers free trading and a powerful platform to manage your crypto. Free means ShapeShift adds zero commission or transaction fees to its competitive trade rates.

ShapeShift provides their full fee structure on the website, but some of the popular ones include the following:

  • Bitcoin – 0.0006 BTC
  • Bitcoin Cash – 0.0002
  • BCH Ethereum – 0.002
  • ETH Ethereum Classic – 0.01 ETC
  • Ripple – 0.5 XRP
  • Monero – 0.02 XMR

These are the miner’s fee, instead of ShapeShift’s own transaction charges. Unlike other exchanges, that charge the users a fix amount on their transactions, ShapeShift charges different amounts, depending upon the currency you are trading in.

DEPOSIT AND WITHDRAWAL

Since ShapeShift does not allow Fiat currency deposits, nor does it allow users to buy cryptocurrency from Fiat currency, this eliminates the need for debit cards or credit cards, and even PayPal.

Deposits, withdrawals and transactions only take place as you make a trade. The cost for this is built into the platform trading fees, and can only be made with cryptocurrencies.

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT AND START TRADING

The process to start trading with ShapeShift consists of setting up the ability to swap currencies on the platform, and consists of the following steps:

  1. Register an account: On the Sign Up screen, enter your email address. Confirm your registration in the email sent to you.
  2. Verify your account: You will now be prompted to fill out basic personal information. Next submit the requested ID for verification. ShapeShift remains a non-custodial exchange. There is no ShapeShift account to fund.
  3. Choose your asset: Choose the asset you want to send and that you want to receive in the swap. Next, choose whether you want a Quick or Precise exchange.

Quick Deposit – Make a deposit between the minimum and maximum allowed. The exchange will be made instantly. The deposit address can be reused.

Precise – Specify the amount you want to receive. You will then be provided with a deposit address. If your price is not filled within five minutes, the order expires. This option provides the opportunity to get a higher rate.

  1. Swap Currency: fill in the following addresses on the order form:
  • Destination – This is the address your new coins will be sent to.
  • Refund – In the exchange fails, your deposited coins will be returned to this address.
  • To reuse the Deposit address, click on the Reusable Address toggle.
  1. Click Start Transaction
  2. Send the deposit coin: A status page will appear. Enter the Deposit address. Once the Receive coin has also been sent, a Block Explorer page is displayed. Here, you can see your transaction being processed and completed.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES

WHAT CRYPTOCURRENCIES DOES SHAPESHIFT SUPPORT?

ShapeShift is known for the variety of cryptocurrencies available on the platform, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Dash, DogeCoin, ZCash etc.

The company has a hub of ICOs and tokens, also available for trading. It supports hard-forks, hence the inclusion of – Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BCG) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).

The easy availability of over 50 cryptocurrencies and ICOs, makes ShapeShift an attractive platform for users to convert their currencies into alt-coins.

ShapeShift offers 45 cryptocurrencies, including the majors like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic etc., to many altcoins like BlackCoin, ReddCoin, Augur, Gnosis, Golem, Potcoin etc.

You are free to convert bitcoin into an altcoin, an altcoin back to Bitcoin, or altcoin to altcoin.

The instant rates that ShapeShift provides are the small charges levied from users for using their conversion services. These small charges are a miner-fee. The company does not charge anything outside the miner’s fee.

CAN YOU ‘SHORT’ CRYPTOCURRENCIES AT SHAPESHIFT?

No, you can only go long with ShapeShift.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

ShapeShift offers reliable customer support with a professional and expert support team that responds to queries quickly and efficiently.

The support team can be contacted via an emailed query submission. The team is available 24/7 and all queries are answered within 24 hours.

SHAPESHIFT SUMMARY

ShapeShift is an excellent platform for those seeking to execute fast trades at competitive rates. The company provides a wide selection of cryptos, available on an extremely efficient and streamlined platform which works seamlessly for both web and app versions.

The company has had some security issues in the past, but these are largely being resolved through the inclusion of added security measures.

SHAPESHIFT AT A GLANCE

Crypto Trading Platform Name ShapeShift
Headquartered Denver, Colorado
Year Founded 2015
Regulating Authority None – self-regulatory
Contact Number Not provided
E-Mail Address Query submission only
Website https://shapeshift.com/
Maximum Leverage Not available
Minimum Deposit Dependent on the currency
Deposit Options Cryptocurrency
Withdrawal Options Cryptocurrency
Platform Type Cryptocurrency exchange
Platform Languages English, German, French, Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish
OS Compatibility Web browsers, Android, and iOS
Customer Support Languages English, German, French, Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish
Customer Service Hours 24 hours, seven days per week

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  1. Instantly swap crypto-to-crypto on a fast exchange
  2. No fee, other than mining fees
  3. Real-time trading coming
  4. Integrated KeepKey hardware wallet

 

CONS

  1. Unregulated
  2. No crypto-to-fiat exchange
  3. Registration now required
  4. New ID proof requirements
  5. New FOX token details undisclosed
  6. Full membership details undisclosed

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING SHAPESHIFT?

  • ShapeShift has a dedicated mobile app for their users, available on both Android and iOS. Having a mobile app increases the user base and welcomes those who find mobile devices easier to use than desktops.
  • The interface of ShapeShift is easy and beginner friendly. The user-friendly design and layout makes it easier for new-comers and first-timers to buy cryptocurrency.
  • For those seeking anonymity, ShapeShift can tick that box because it does not require any verification, nor does it ask the user to create an account!
  • Sending and receiving cryptocurrency from ShapeShift to other wallets is pretty much instant and easy at that.
  • ShapeShift is not only a cryptocurrency exchange, but one of the most popular cryptocurrency conversion platforms. Many wallets have integrated ShapeShift on-board to make it easier for their users to convert one cryptocurrencies into another.
  • The conversion is quick and hassle-free. If you want to buy an ICO that requires you to deposit Ether (ETH), but you have Bitcoin (BTC), it’ll take you just a few seconds to convert your BTC into ETH and immediately buy the token.
  • The conversion fees that ShapeShift charges is only the mining fee, nothing else.
  • The transactions are quick and instant. Users have rarely found any issues converting cryptocurrency through ShapeShift.
  • ShapeShift has limited cryptocurrency stored online, or in hot wallets linked to their platform for quick exchanges. The majority of their cryptocurrencies are stored in cold wallets, away from hackers (offline).
  • The website can be accessed in 14 major languages, including – English, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, Hindi, Japanese, etc.
  • ShapeShift is a great place to diversify your crypto-portfolio, due to their variety of cryptocurrencies available. They’re an exchange that has also got involved early with some of the famous altcoins as well as introducing ICOs to their platform early.
  • ShapeShift has always been transparent and upfront about the fees they charge. They only charge the mining-fees from users, nothing more. They have a clear list on the website with transaction charges for every single cryptocurrency they have. You can have a look at it here –
  • Users must be aware of a few things regarding these charges. Every cryptocurrency has its own charge, so there is no fix transaction fees like other exchanges, for instance Binance (0.1%), or Bittrex (0.25%). Users have to do their own research before they convert their cryptocurrency.
  • ShapeShift also offers real-time market data for its users, under the name of CoinCap.io, which is available online and they also have an app for mobile devices (for both iOS and Android devices).

FAQ

Fees

What is ShapeShift’s costs?

ShapeShift uniquely offers free trading and a powerful platform to manage your crypto. Free means ShapeShift adds zero commission, or transaction fees to its competitive trade rates.

Trade rates for popular coins include:

  • Bitcoin – 0.0006 BTC
  • Bitcoin Cash – 0.0002
  • BCH Ethereum – 0.002
  • ETH Ethereum Classic – 0.01 ETC
  • Ripple – 0.5 XRP
  • Monero – 0.02 XMR

What is ShapeShift’s Maximum Trades/Orders?

ShapeShift offers limitless trades

What is the minimum deposit amount on ShapeShift?

The minimum deposit will depend on the currency/coin

What mediums can be used for deposits into a live account?

Cryptocurrency, since ShapeShift does not allow Fiat currency deposits, nor does it allow users to buy cryptocurrency from Fiat currency, this eliminates the need for debit cards or credit cards, and even PayPal.

What are the withdrawal fees on ShapeShift?

Deposits, withdrawals and transactions only take place as you make a trade. The cost for this is built into the platform trading fees, and can only be made with cryptocurrencies

Minimum Deposits

What is the minimum deposit for ShapeShift?

The minimum deposit depends on the currency/coin

How do I make a deposit in ShapeShift?

  1. Locate your private key. Your private key is not the same as your public key, though it can be easy to confuse the two. These two alphanumeric strings differ in length. The private key will be quite a bit longer than your public key, which is short and oftentimes looks similar to an address.
  2. Import your private key. You can import your private key into any wallet that you desire. Keep in mind that you must import everything that was on the paper wallet. There is no way to import a portion of the digital assets belonging to your private key.
  3. Make your deposit. Send your deposit to ShapeShift, and then the system will do the rest of the work to send you the outgoing coin.

What deposit methods/options are available at ShapeShift?

Cryptocurrency only

What documents are required to deposit money into a ShapeShift account?

ID for verification

How long does it take to make a withdrawal?

Withdrawals to your wallet should be processed in under ten minutes. Withdrawals from your wallet to your account will depend on your banking institution.

 

Author Details

Louis Schoeman

Louis Schoeman

Featured Forex and Stocks writer

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