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ShapeShift Alternatives – a look into the popular choices
With the popularity of cryptocurrency gaining momentum, one might have come across ShapeShift, an exchange service used for the swift buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.
Since it’s always a good idea to never rely only on a single solution to solve our problems, one must keep their options open and their knowledge up to date about what different alternatives of that solution are available.
In this article, we will be doing exactly that and will be discussing the different alternatives to ShapeShift available.
What is ShapeShift
ShapeShift is a cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading service that began in 2014. ShapeShift service allows people to exchange one cryptocurrency with the other, making it a good option for someone who wants to get altcoins.
Since it is crypto only, it cannot be used to buy fiat currencies like USD or Euro.
But in 2020 there is no longer just the easy trade crypto A for crypto B service from ShapeShift. No, they have also started a regular cryptocurrency exchange also.
And the previous ShapeShift is now called ShapeShift Classic. Here you can easily swap your cryptos for others in an easy fashion.
Benefits of using ShapeShift
ShapeShift brings a lot of benefits in with its service.
- Non-custodial – Instead of wallet addresses, users use their own personal wallets or those that are provided by other custodial exchanges like Coinbase.
- An unappealing target for hackers – Since none of the cryptocurrency is stored by the exchange, it is an unappealing target for theft by hackers.
- Obtain altcoins quickly – Altcoins (coins other than Bitcoin) can be obtained quickly without having to use fiat currency. Thus, it can be used in countries having strict regulations for exchanges or where certain exchanges have been banned.
Shapeshift does not have any exchange or service fees. The conversion charges that ShapeShift does impose is only the mining fees.
The transactions are not subject to slippage (the difference between the anticipated price of the sale and the price at which the trade is actually carried out).
Users have to use the exchange rates provided by them which are the same as coincap.io. If an external wallet is used like Coinbase, then the amount that should be transferred would be the Coinbase fee plus the amount of ShapeShift transaction.
It has a repository with ICOs and tokens that are also available for trading. Hard-forks are also supported by it, thus it includes Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic.
The quick availability of more than 50 cryptocurrencies and ICOs, some of which are also shown below, makes Shapeshift an enticing platform.
Best ShapeShift Alternatives
Although many cryptocurrency exchanges are custodial in nature, many good alternatives for ShapeShift exist. Let’s throw light upon 7 alternatives which are topmost contenders in my eyes.
CONTENDER # 1 – Changelly
Changelly, which is ShapeShift’s closest competitor, is also a cryptocurrency exchange service.
Out of these, seven cryptocurrencies, Ether, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Binance coin, Ripple, and Stellar can be bought using Euro or USD.
- An easy to use and understand user interface.
- Users are required to register using their email address only. However, this requirement can easily be bypassed using an alias email ID. No other personal information is required. Those who are more concerned about their privacy can opt for encrypted email providers like Tutanota.
- Only flat 0.25% exchange fee is charged.
- Ease of access is provided using a mobile app which is available on the playstore. You can sign in on Changelly here.
- Non-custodial like ShapeShift.
Some controversies are however also associated with Changelly. Many users have accused the exchanged service of withholding suspicious transactions, holding Monero, and enforcing KYC before releasing funds.
Changelly, however, denied these allegations and claimed to have no prejudice against Monero.
According to them, these changes were just a part of company policy to know their customers better, in lieu of the increasing number of money laundering incidences using Changelly.
CONTENDER # 2 – Godex
Godex is another cryptocurrency exchange service. There are about 210 cryptocurrencies listed on GODEX website.
- Users do not need to register or create an account. Thus, users can trade anonymously.
- Unlimited amount of currencies can be swapped with each other.
- Once the transaction is created, the exchange fees are fixed to protect the users from price fluctuations. The fixation will remain in case of funds arriving within 30 minutes of transaction creation.
- Cryptocurrencies cannot be bought using fiat currencies.
- The service is unable to return lost deposits e.g. If a user forgets or doesn’t add destinations tags or payment ID which is mandatory, the deposits are simply lost rendering a lot of users disgruntled.
CONTENDER # 3 – SimpleSwap
The third alternative to ShapeShift is SimpleSwap which, like its competitors, is a swap service for cryptocurrency exchanges of more than 300 cryptocurrencies.
- It offers two types of exchanges; floating and fixed rates. Floating, of course, moves with current market rates and could potentially get you a cheaper rate.
- An exact estimated amount is received under a fixed rate as it is independent of the market’s variance.
- When utilizing fixed exchange rate, the user has to send the deposit within 20 minutes, as the exchange service is exposed to risks due to market volatility.
- It seems to be a lot slower than ShapeShift. Customers often have to wait overnight or later in the day to get their coins.
- Unlike Changelly and ShapeShift, SimpleSwap users do not know the exact amount they would be receiving after the deduction of network fee.
- Some collaborating partners of SimpleSwap may request a picture of a valid ID card along with the origin information of coins by virtue of their risk assessments and Europe’s AML instructions.
CONTENDER # 4 – CoinSwitch
CoinSwitch is a different type of ShapeShift alternative to the rest.
In that it is not a cryptocurrency exchange service, but an exchange aggregator.
- The CoinSwitch marketplace removes the need for users keeping multiple or even account across multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.
- One can compare rates of multiple exchanges and find the best one in a single place thus saving time and hassle.
- Currencies can be bought using fiat currencies. Currently USD, JPY, RUB and EUR can be used to purchase 100+ cryptocurrencies.
- The fee charged by CoinSwitch does not include the network fee, neither does the exchange charge any amount itself. A conversion fee of only 0% – 0.49% is charged depending upon the exchange service selected by the user.
- The service does not communicate what kind of information it collects from its users.
CONTENDER # 5 – Bisq
In contrast to other contenders on this list, Bisq (Bitsquare) is not a web exchange service but rather a desktop application available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.
Offer makers are charged 0.1% trading fee whereas offer takers are charged 0.3%.
The minimum fee in either of these cases is 0.00005 BTC. Also, it is one of the few “decentralized” exchanges. This means that Bisq is not limited to one country and this paves the way for many advantages and well as disadvantages.
You can download Bisq for your OS here.
- Since Bisq is decentralized in nature, it does not have direct control over its platform making it a very secure option for peer to peer trading.
- Allows anonymous trading.
- No personal information is required to be submitted before doing the trade.
- The exchange itself does not have access to the user’s funds.
- Trading of fiat currencies is allowed, which can be deposited to a user’s bank account by bank transfers.
- Most Bisq trades complete successfully because of its security deposit policy.
- By virtue of its decentralized nature, the exchange service is slow and has a low trading volume.
- Credit cards are not acceptable as a form of payment, so this can deter users who prefer credit cards for making payments.
- Many users have complained its user interface of lacking efficiency, smoothness of functions and being too simple overall.
- Limits on trading amounts are imposed to demotivate fraud in fiat trade.
- A critical security vulnerability in Bisq software resulted in a hacker stealing $250,000 worth of cryptocurrency, which means that the decentralized exchanged isn’t 100% exploit proof.
CONTENDER # 6 – Switchain
Just like CoinSwitch Switchain is also an exchange aggregator that offers anonymous trading. It mainly trades between Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin, Tether 0x and ERC20 tokens listed under Binance.
- Only fixed exchange rate is provided, which means users will get the exact amount they confirmed regardless of how much time it takes.
- No extra fees. Switchain receives 0.5% commission fee on every trade from its partners.
- No account is needed to exchange cryptocurrencies.
- A large variety of cryptocurrencies is not offered for trading.
CONTENDER # 7 – Flypme
Flypme is the last contender on our list of ShapeShift alternatives.
It is an instant crypto exchange service that is non-custodial in nature like ShapeShift and Changelly.
Here you can trade cryptocurrencies anonymously. No need to sign up with KYC and AML checks.
- Supports anonymous trading.
- No need of creating accounts.
- Does not collect personal information.
- Exchange fee is only 0.5%.
- The user is always in control of his/her funds.
- Users have an option to become FYP token holder and then earn 50% of profit sharing.
- The exchange rate is fixed.
- In case of wrong amount of cryptocurrency sent, the amount can be refunded.
- No fiat currency support.
- Less variety of cryptocurrencies, around 30+.
- Gathering enough liquidity is still a challenge.
- There is a limit on the maximum amount for each exchange.
So, concluding our discussion we see that there are many alternatives to ShapeShift that you could use.
Many may be better than ShapeShift depending upon one’s requirement; the tokens that we want to exchange, trading fees, privacy concerns, or the need for anonymity.
For example, if I want an exchange service that is non-custodial, available easily on the go in the form of an app, has a vast variety of cryptocurrencies, and has a fixed fee, probably I would opt for Changelly.
Similarly, if decentralization is my topmost priority, I should give Bisq a try.
It’s always a good idea to keep oneself with the latest updates or services that these exchanges bring with themselves so that we can shift to and opt for the one that best suits our needs.
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Find other guides:
- Best way to invest in crypto
- Bitcoin investing guide
- Best Ethereum wallets
- Where to buy Ripple with a credit card
- The best crypto tax tools
Per Englund – Founder of Go CryptoWise a cryptocurrency and tech fan that want to see better and smarter products and services that make our lives better and easier