ShapeShift Review | Fees, Security, Pros and Cons
ShapeShift is a crypto to crypto exchange platform that provides its users with complete control over their digital assets, without any external entity hovering over all their transactions. So, if you are looking for a platform that will keep your powers to you, then keep reading our ShapeShift review.
ShapeShift Review: Exchange Overview
ShapeShift is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013 by Erik Voorhees, with its headquarters in Switzerland. This platform was released in 2015 to the public with total funding of $1.6 million. The key investors initially were – Roger Ver, Barry Silbert, with Digital Currency Group, Bitcoin Capital, and a few other groups at the subsequent stage. It was available only to iOS users, where they were able to exchange only 25 digital currencies that later expanded to 100+ assets by 2021.
However, even if the service enables easy crypto trading, first-time buyers cannot purchase cryptos on the platform with fiat currency.
ShapeShift offers a highly convenient service that doesn’t require the user to share any volatile personal data. The company has dealt with some issues, as there were reports of unsatisfied customers that have either lost their assets or have been charged with high transaction fees.
Supported Currencies and Available Countries
As we mentioned above, the platform currently supports over 100 digital assets that users can exchange for altcoins. It offers top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin for exchange to its users. Those who have registered on ShapeShift can quickly start engaging and exchanging their crypto money with ease.
ShapeShift is currently operating in 164 countries except for a few parts from the following:
- Korea (Democratic People’s Republic);
- The Maldives and a few more parts of Asia.
It is essential to mention in our ShapeShift review that the platform covers the whole of Europe except the Holy See.
User Interface and Experience
The user interface is easy to navigate, as you just have to enter the relevant crypto address to make a trade. As Shapeshift transactions are executed immediately, the crypto funds are not kept on a centralized exchange. Instead, they are delivered directly to users via the exchange’s deposit address.
Shapeshift can be used anywhere in the world apart from the few restricted countries mentioned in our ShapeShift review. Still, it does feature certain limits to its transactions, though higher deposit limits are allowed on Shapeshift if you complete the instructions presented in the ‘specific amount box.’
Although ShapeShift can be accessed globally, in the United States, trading on the platform has been restricted in a few states because of regulatory laws.
ShapeShift also lets users use its API to develop custom software that can access and use their platform.
Another noteworthy mention about the website is the cryptocurrency chart that keeps on fluctuating as per the constantly changing value of the digital assets powered by CoinCap for the most accurate market data.
How to Use ShapeShift Exchange
Creating an Account
- Open ShapeShift’s page on your desktop and start the sign-up process;
- You can directly connect your ShapeShift account with your Google account or fill up the details manually;
- Once you are done, you will be automatically redirected to your personalized ShapeShift account.
How to Trade on ShapeShift
- Just select the assets, along with the asset that you want to exchange;
- Choose Quick or Precise, which will ascertain your trade value and time freedom;
- Confirm the details on your device;
- It takes only a few minutes after that, and your trade is complete.
ShapeShift Exchange Fees
ShapeShift doesn’t charge any fees for its trading services. In its place, the company makes profits from receiving the coin’s miner fee, which users have to pay when transacting on their platform. All transactions require a miner fee, which is established by the blockchain network. The exchange supports over 50 cryptocurrencies.
Like fiat currency, it should be taken into consideration the exchange rate offered as the ‘exchange’ will most likely have a margin fee. There are no deposit and withdrawal fees. If the service is at optimal functioning parameters, trading on the platform should seem as easy as sending cryptocurrency from one wallet to another.
They don’t accept crypto to fiat payments, apart from the time you want to buy cryptocurrency, and for that, you have to use your debit card.
Transactions happen instantly, so it hardly takes more than a few minutes once you have filled up all the details for your transaction. Although sometimes they may take more extended time because of mempool congestion on the blockchain.
Some transactional amount limits do not let you deposit more than the cap limit. But there is no limit to the number of transactions you do in a day.
Even though ShapeShift is a widely used platform, the lack of security has generated some concerns in the community. When users access the platform, there is no security in the form of passwords or verification procedures.
While there is a certain advantage that the exchange does not hold accounts and hot wallets so hackers have nothing to raid, there seems to be plenty of questions about where the funds are deposited with ShapeShift, especially when a transaction fails.
Once the deposits are made on ShapeShift, you must put all your faith in their security protocol as they will be in control of your funds. This type of instant exchange means that no offline storage is involved, just hot wallets.
In 2016, ShapeShift was the victim of a hack in which a total sum of $200K was stolen. After the incident, the website went offline and rebuilt its security.
Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees tried explaining what happened. The hacker was supposedly an unnamed employee that tried to get away with the funds of a Bitcoin wallet. The financial damage was fairly extensive, although ShapeShift claims that no customer funds were lost in the attack.
However, the company bought KeepKey, a top hardware wallet known for its enhanced security features. This is a step forward for the exchange in terms of privacy and security standards.
Customer Support and Reputation
Like many exchanges, opinions regarding its customer support are divided. When things are running smoothly, there are good reviews, and the complaints are resolved very quickly.
We should mention that a live chat is available on the website with the operational timings of 7 days a week from 9 am-9 m MST. Along with that, another helpdesk portal where you can drop your question, and someone would come back with a detailed analysis.
ShapeShift Exchange Review: Verdict
As we have reached the verdict of our ShapeShift review, it is important to note that the exchange is still a mixed bag of information for everyone. The safety concerns because of the previous incidents make the user apprehensive of choosing this platform for personal use. But at the same time, we were impressed with the new additions that have been made in terms of safety, easy-to-use dashboard, security, wallets, and FOX currency. Till the time, ShapeShift is taking all the necessary precautions to provide a safe transactional environment to its users, it has the potential of reaching a different high level.
- No KYC required;
- Instant transactions;
- No commissions other than mining fees;
- Easy to understand dashboard.
- A lot of details are not disclosed properly;
- Safety concerns.
Note: This post was originally published on 23 September 2018 and has been totally updated for the completeness and veracity of the content on 27 April 2021.