ShapeShift Exchange Review
ShapeShift is an established cryptocurrency exchange platform that has been in operation since 2015. It aims to make switching between digital assets quick and simple.
The exchange suits regular users of cryptocurrencies that need to transfer money between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins. While the service is easy to use, first-time buyers are not able to use ShapeShift with fiat currency. It is simply a way to move funds between different cryptocurrencies. For example, you may want to use Bitcoin to buy some Litecoin, so you can visit ShapeShift and seamlessly exchange the two.
ShapeShift Review: Key Information
|Site Type||Cryptocurrency Exchange|
|Available Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and 50+ altcoins|
ShapeShift offers a highly convenient service without the need to create an account or even provide an email. This is really useful if you want to quickly and anonymously exchange your crypto. There are still some problems facing the company with reports of unhappy customers who have either lost money or been unexpectedly charged high fees.
ShapeShift wants to exist as an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem allowing people and applications to move seamlessly between various cryptocurrencies. If you are an investor looking to widen your portfolio of altcoins, then it is a quick hassle-free way to buy virtually any altcoin from Litecoin to Zcash.
If you’re looking to take part in an upcoming ICO but you need Ether rather than Bitcoin, you can use ShapeShift to change up your funds. Or maybe you want to break up your Bitcoin into a different currency like Litecoin?
ShapeShift is a Swiss-based company that provides exchange services for users across the globe. They don’t use any fiat currencies meaning they don’t need banks or deposits in particular countries, this allows users to conduct their exchanges regardless of borders or location.
If you’re trading in cryptocurrency then you’re good to go. The service is one of the more anonymous options, with no need to create accounts, get verified or even leave an email address.
ShapeShift also offers its API to allow users to create custom software to access and use their exchange.
There seem to be varying thoughts from the actual users of ShapeShift. Like any company holding your funds, trust is important especially with large amounts. You don’t need an account or log in which makes it quick and easy. It can also feel like you have little interaction to build trust with ShapeShift before depositing money. This makes relying on another positive public opinion very important.
The Positive: As mentioned above, you can almost instantaneously wave a magic wand and turn your Bitcoin to Litecoin, handy for whatever reason you should have to do this. If you are exchanging the right way, then fees can be quite low. There are many 5 star reviews stating how the service is simple and effective.
The Negative: The web is littered with condemnation of the ShapeShift exchange. A simple Google search will leave you a little horrified at some users experiences. Many claim to have lost funds completely or be stung by hidden exchange rates. Unfortunately, users report having coins disappear after failed transactions with little or no response from ShapeShift.
For all of ShapeShift’s simple offerings, it is quite unnerving to read so many bad experiences.
Is ShapeShift Safe?
Although many people have used ShapeShift, the lack of security might raise a few concerns. On the user’s side, there is no security to be bothered with, no passwords or verification.
While there is the security bonus of not holding accounts and hot wallets on the exchange for hackers to raid, there seems to be plenty of confusion about where funds go once deposited with ShapeShift, especially during a failed transaction.
Once deposited ShapeShift controls your funds through the exchange and you must trust their security protocol. As a ‘quick’ exchange this will mean no offline storage, just hot wallets.
There was also a notorious hack of ShapeShift in 2016 where funds totaling around $200K were whipped away over a two week period. As you would expect the website was taken offline and security rebuilt, while I hope this means they have learned from their mistakes and made security their top priority, it’s still hard to ignore the facts.
CEO Erik Voorhees appears to try and offer an honest explanation to what happened. The attack was put down to an unnamed employee who betrayed the company and set about emptying a Bitcoin wallet. The losses were fairly substantial although ShapeShift maintains that no customer funds were ever touched.
ShapeShift Trading Fees
The company is completely upfront about their charging fees which vary depending on what currency you are buying. Be sure to check out the rate you will be paying on chosen currencies as they can differ depending on miner fees for each blockchain.
Here is a break of how some of the fees look:
|BCH||Bitcoin Cash Miner Fee: 0.0002 BCH|
|BTC||Bitcoin Miner Fee: 0.0025 BTC|
|DOGE||Dogecoin Miner Fee: 2.0 DOGE|
|ETH||Ether Miner Fee: 0.001 ETH|
|ETC||Ether Classic Miner Fee: 0.01 ETC|
|LTC||Litecoin Miner Fee: 0.001 LTC|
|XMR||Monero Miner Fee: 0.02 XMR|
|XRP||Ripple Miner Fee: 0.5 XRP|
|ZEC||Zcash Miner Fee: 0.0001 ZEC|
To see the full breakdown of their trading fees, check this out.
Like fiat currency, it is important to take note of the exchange rate offered as the exchange will likely have a margin here. Of course, there is no deposit and withdraw fee, if the service runs smoothly you should feel like you are simply sending cryptocurrency from one wallet to another.
Customer support can be a mixed bag on ShapeShift, like many exchanges. When things go well there are glowing reviews and niggles are sorted out very quickly. On the other hand, when things are not going well is can seem very hard to get an answer out of the company. This can be quite infuriating, especially when you’re trying to find your money!
The contact page on the website leaves a lot to be desired, lacking an address or telephone number to pin ShapeShift down.
If you navigate your way around the support area of the website then you’ll still be left without answers to some simple questions too.
Final Thoughts – ShapeShift Exchange Review Summary
ShapeShift looks to provide you with a seamless way to transfer between virtually any cryptocurrency. And on the face of it, it can be quick and efficient when you find yourself in the wrong currency but there is still plenty of frustration for the user.
The support of well over 50 altcoins is very attractive for those looking to really broaden their digital portfolio with ease. There is no need to integrate any localized banking as everything is crypto-based keeping you completely in decentralized blockchains.
Anonymity is kept when using the service which is fine when there are no hitches.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eliot is an experienced freelance copywriter who specialises online. After discovering Bitcoin he quickly became fascinated with cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry. He is excited to work towards a future that includes digital currencies in the wider world.