ShapeShift is one of the most popular instant exchanges, it provides users the ability to buy or sell any cryptocurrency (including many altcoins), as well as exchanging between coins. The instantaneous nature of the exchange has increased its popularity and put it on the map of cryptocurrency exchanges. This ShapeShift review aims to provide you with a complete overview of the exchange, its advantages to its disadvantages.
Before starting with ShapeShift review, lets begin with a bit of background -
Shapeshift.io was founded by Erik Tristan Voorhees in 2013, who also serves as its current CEO. Located in Switzerland, Shapeshift was launched as a quick medium to buy and convert cryptocurrencies without hassle. The platform became so popular that many hard-wallets, like Jaxx, brought Shapeshift on-board, meaning that users can convert on their platform without going elsewhere. It not only saved a lot in fees, but the conversion was quick and instant.
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. Offering 45 coins is good, but it does mean there is a huge amount it does not account more, some of the popular coins it does not offer include - BitcoinDark, EmerCoin, FunFair, Metal, MonaCoin, Omni etc. They not only sell these cryptocurrencies, but they also give users an option to convert one currency into another.
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. They do not charge anything outside the miner's fee.
There are many advantages of Shapeshift, these include -
There are also disadvantages to Shapeshift. A review would be incomplete without an honest focus on its down-sides, and some of them are -
Due to being a hugely popular exchanges, Shapeshift draws huge amount of users from across the globe. As per data from similarweb.com, Shapeshift pulled a crowd of almost 5.4 million in the last six months, while the traffic passed 6.5 million in December (when Bitcoin price soared).
The USA has the highest amount of visitors to the exchange, with 28%. USA is followed by the United Kingdom (6.7%), Germany (5%), Netherlands (3.8%) and Canada (3.7%).
While social media greatly influences a website's success and views, Shapeshift is doing well and has a good following. Reddit draws over 49.5% of the crowd to Shapeshift, while YouTube contributes by pushing 23.3% views towards the website. Facebook contributes by 12%, while Twitter (10%) and Quora (2.4%) also have contributing shares.
There is no sign-up requirement on Shapeshift. Shapeshift does not retain data of its users, meaning you can be completely anonymous on this platform. You do not need to create an account or get it verified. You will receive an address to send your cryptocurrencies and you must provide the address of your wallet.
As Shapeshift was hacked in 2016, concerns regarding its security have been higher. Users are worried about storing their coins online, and they prefer to have them stored either in cold-wallets, or hardware/offline wallets. Shapeshift otherwise has no security concerns, since it does not deal with user information at all. It does not need to conceal the information or protect it, because there isn't any to begin with!
Shapeshift is known for the variety of cryptocurrencies available on the platform. From Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Dash, DogeCoin, ZCash etc. It 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 fees have been a controversial topic in the past, many users on online forums blamed Shapeshift for charging huge amounts for conversions. Shapeshift sticks to its version of the story, that they only charge the miner's fees, and nothing outside that, but users continue to remain dissatisfied despite regular clearance from Shapeshift. As every cryptocurrency mining happens using different algorithms, and different hash-rates, so the charges also differ.
To simplify the process, Shapeshift has given the entire list of the charges that they charge from the users, and some of the popular ones are - 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. And this is why some users are unhappy because depending on the price of the coin, these can be seen as very expensive.
Since Shapeshift does not allow Fiat currency deposits, nor does it allow users to buy cryptocurrency from Fiat currency, this eliminates the need ofr debit cards or credit cards. Even PayPal is useless here, as users need an existing cryptocurrency wallet to buy anything at Shapeshift, nothing else will allow you to buy on this exchange.
Lack of a live-chat support system has affected Shapeshfit heavily. Most of its users suffer because their grievances remain open and unresolved. The only way to contact someone at Shapeshift is by raising a ticket. After you raise a ticket, they will redirect you to the FAQ section, which has in-depth information about their portal. If you fail to find your solution there, you will have to wait for days before they reply with a genuine solution. Most of the time, they do not even bother to reply. Which forces the users to vent out their frustration on online forums and rating websites, understandably.
Despite a great business model and a smooth conversion platform, Shapeshift is also an instant exchange, just like Changelly. They allow anonymous registrations, and their customer support lacks speed and accuracy. Apart from focusing on their customer care team, they should also focus on increasing the security on their website. They also need to be clearer on certain aspects, such as the deposit or withdrawal limits. There is no information about the two anywhere on their website, which confuses the users.
Deposit limits only display when the user 'tries' to shift or convert their currency, and not before. If they take care of these petty issues, Shapeshift will surely continue to grow, as its user-friendly interface is really easy for the users.