Are you looking for a quick, easy and stress-free way to exchange your cryptocurrencies without having to go through a cumbersome and lengthy sign-up process? If you are then Shapeshift could well be an exchange worth looking at.
If you Google Shapeshift you will get a range of different reviews and opinions, and it does seem that popular opinion is quite divided on the matter. So we decided to give an overview of it from our point of view so you can make your mind up for yourself. Let us read on to find out more!
- Cryptocurrency Offered
- Depositing Currency
- Withdrawing Currency
- Mobile Application
- Privacy and Security
- Customer Service
- Who’s The Platform for?
- How to Buy Your Currency Step By Step
- Overall Rating
Type: Cryptocurrency Exchange
Fiat Currency: None
Shapeshift is an online exchange forum that offers global trading on a range of digital assets.
Available on desktop and mobile, it is designed with millennial traders in mind and offers sleek and efficient around the clock solutions for those looking to buy, sell, and trade a range of assets including cryptocurrencies.
Shapeshift do not collect any of their client’s data, and it offers the facility to change one cryptocurrency for another without ever transferring the client’s funds into their accounts. This makes it one of the few platforms that offer this feature and it means that your details and your funds don’t end up in the hands of a third party.
The company was founded back in 2013 in Switzerland. By March 2015 it released its iOS platform which allowed its users to swap over 25 digital currencies and value tokens. By September of the same year, this had increased to over 40 different digital currencies and Shapeshift offered 940 trading pairs- more than any single exchange on the market.
Shapeshift doesn’t use any fiat currencies meaning that they don’t need to deposit with banks or financial institutions which in turn, allows them and their customers to conduct their business regardless of locations, borders, or regulatory restrictions placed on transactions.
Comprising of a web version and an API platform, it offers instant altcoin conversions without the need to create an account, deposit any funds, or provide any personal information. This means that users are safe and secure and are immune from any identity or financial theft through use of the platform.
It is ideally suited to those users that want to transfer between popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum without any hassle.
It is clear that Shapeshift wants to exist as an integral and essential part of the blockchain ecosystem and they want to allow their customers the ability to move seamlessly between different currencies.
If you are an investor who is looking to widen your portfolio, then this is the perfect platform for you.
If however, you are a newbie looking to purchase coins with fiat currency, then be warned, Shapeshift is not going to tick your box.
Shapeshift supports the conversion of many, many different cryptocurrencies.
More and more coins are being added so the chances are that if you cannot find the one you want, Shapeshift will be offering support for it in the future. Keep your eyes peeled!
You do not deposit currency into Shapeshift in the way that you would with some other exchanges.
Instead, you use Shapeshift as a third-party that exchanges it for another cryptocurrency- they do not hold your funds. These funds are taken from the wallet address that you provide when you fill in the details for each transaction.
Again, you do not precisely withdraw your currency from Shapeshift. Instead, the funds that you receive after the exchange has taken place are sent directly to your cryptocurrency wallet.
During the process of setting up the transaction, you will be asked to fill in the destination wallet address (this should be an address in a wallet that supports the currency you are trying to send to it). Within a few moments, after the transaction is complete, you will find your funds now present in that specific wallet.
There is nothing else that you need to do which makes it one of the most straightforward withdrawal processes out there.
Shapeshift is available for both Android and iOS platforms and it offers users the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies wherever they are and at any time of day. You can also access the platform via mobile browser, regardless of what device you are on.
The app is simple and straightforward, as we have come to expect with Shapeshift and it includes all of the functionality of the desktop version.
Privacy and Security
When it comes to safety and security, while generally good, there are a few concerns when it comes to the security of Shapeshift. On the user side of things, you don’t have to worry about signing up with a username or password, or even parting with any of your personal information. There are no verification documents to upload, and you do not need to worry about an unscrupulous hacker stealing your information.
The downside is that because you have no account with them, there is a bit of confusion around what happens to your funds after a failed transaction. Several users have reported that they have lost their funds and been unable to retrieve them.
Once your funds have been deposited into the Shapeshift system, you need to have full faith in their security protocol. There was a hack of Shapeshift back in 2016 where around $200k of various coins were stolen over a two-week period. As a result, the whole website was taken offline, and the security was revamped to help avoid another situation like that in the future.
Hopefully, they have learned from their mistakes, and such discrepancies will be avoided in the future.
When it comes to fees, Shapeshift are pretty straightforward and upfront about the fees that they charge.
They generally tend to vary depending on what currency you are buying or selling so be sure to check out the rate you will be paying on each transaction as they can vary greatly depending on the miner fees applicable to each blockchain.
You also need to pay particular attention to the exchange rate that they offer between pairs as it is likely that they will take a margin of profit on this as well. Of course, you do not have to worry about deposit and withdrawal fees so as long as everything is running smoothly, it should just feel like you are sending cryptocurrency from wallet to another.
Customer service can be a bit mixed, much in the way that it is with many other exchanges. When things are going well, there are many glowing reviews, but when things are not going as well, it appears to be a bit difficult to get a response out of the company.
This can be pretty annoying, especially if you are one of those unlucky customers whose money has disappeared! There is a contact page on the website although this could be vastly improved. As there is no address or telephone number listed, you are at the mercy of someone replying to your email which does little to encourage trust from their clients or prospective clients.
That said, there is a lot of information that can be found in their FAQ section and on various online communities. The chances are that if you have a problem, someone before you has had it already.
Shapeshift interface is great. For me, it is as precise as an exchange should be – easy to navigate, easy on the eye, and easy to use. I love the colours and the branding, and when you land on the home page, it is easy to see what you need to do and how you need to do it.
There are no confusing charts or annoying popups here, everything is simple and user-friendly, which particularly if you are a beginner, means transferring currency is a pretty pain-free process.
Who’s The Platform for?
Shapeshift is for anyone that wants to exchange one cryptocurrency for another. Beginners will find it easy to get to grips with, yet it still has the right level of functionality for more advanced users to find useful.
It has been a go-to favourite for many cryptocurrency fanatics and community members for many years, and its popularity is a testament to the fact that it is suitable for every level of the user.
How to Buy Your Currency Step By Step
Exchanging your currency on Shapeshift could not be more simple:
- Step 1: Select the currency you want to exchange, for example, Bitcoin.
- Step 2: Select the currency you want to be the output, for example, Ether.
- Step 3: Provide your Ether address from your Ether wallet in the destination address box, and the Bitcoin address in the applicable box.
- Step 4: Click “I Agree to Terms”
- Step 5: Click the Start Transaction Button
- Step 6: Shapeshift will then generate a Bitcoin deposit address for you which is the address you will send your Bitcoin from your Bitcoin wallet to. Please send your Bitcoin to this generated address, being sure to not send an amount over the “Deposit Max” or under the “Deposit Min”.
That is pretty much it, and within just a few moments, your Ether (or currency of choice) will be sent to you. There are no emails or passwords, no lengthy signup processes, no accounts, no bid or ask orders, no friction, and no sending your funds to be held on a centralised exchange.
When it comes to getting your currency quickly and privately, Shapeshift is one of the best options and offers a very competitive exchange rate.
When it comes to the court of public opinion, the jury is a little divided on Shapeshift. Like any company that comes into contact with your funds, trust is a crucial thing and the fact that you do not need an account to log in to Shapeshift means that there is little chance to interact with or build trust with the company before you hand over your funds.
The great thing about Shapeshift is that you can wave a magic wand and change your Bitcoin to Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency for that matter. The fees are pretty low in comparison to some other exchanges, and there are many 5-star reviews online that confirm how simple and effective the service is.
There are however some negative reviews – some users appear to have had some rather horrific experiences with some saying that they lost their funds entirely or were stung by hidden fees and bad exchange rates.
Every exchange out there has its good and bad points; you just need to be aware of the bad before you start making transactions. I am sure that over time, these various kinks will be worked out and the levels of customer service will improve.
This exchange does precisely what it is designed to do, and for that, we are giving it a 6/10.
Once the issues of some customers losing their currency, and the response times for assistance improve, it will receive a much, much higher rating – something nearer a 9/10.
So if anyone from Shapeshift is reading this, sort it out! In other words- give it a go as when it works, it is a great platform, but be aware of the issues that are currently ongoing.