Exchanging cryptocurrency can seem a daunting task, but there are a few utilities out there that let you diversify your crypto holdings with relative ease.
One such utility is Shapeshift, a digital asset exchange where you can trade dozens of major cryptocurrencies without ever having to sign up for an exchange account.
To make it even easier, Shapeshift has been built into a number of cryptocurrency wallets (such as Exodus and Jaxx), so you can store and exchange your crypto all in one place.
In this post we’ll go over why you might want to consider using Shapeshift as well as how to use it from within the Exodus wallet or directly from Shapeshift’s website.
Why Use Shapeshift?
Shapeshift may not be for for everyone, especially if you trade often or are looking to purchase rarer cryptos, but there are a few main use cases in which Shapeshift might provide you significant value:
1. You trade larger amounts of assets at one time.
Unlike most other exchanges, Shapeshift’s fees are per transaction instead of by volume. This means that each individual transaction would cost a fixed amount instead of a percentage of the total trade amount. So as the value of your trade increases, it’s more likely you could save money using Shapeshift.
2. You want greater exposure to a variety of cryptocurrencies but with minimum hassle.
While Shapeshift doesn’t support as many cryptos as some of the major exchanges, it currently supports 45 cryptos with 25 more coming in the near future. The exchange has even been integrated to a few multi-currency wallets such as Exodus and Jaxx, so it’s possible to exchange assets directly from your own wallet.
3. You don’t trade often.
If you use the big exchanges AND follow the security best practice of storing your crypto in your own wallet, then the combined fees of moving assets to and from the exchange may add up, especially if the exchange you use has high withdrawal fees. It may be worth comparing Shapeshift’s fees with those of other exchanges to ensure you’re getting the best value.
4. You don’t want to provide any personal information.
Shapeshift doesn’t require an account to sign up, so you can be as anonymous as you prefer to be, especially if you are trading to and from anonymous coins like Monero.
If you think Shapeshift might work for you, there are two main ways you can access the exchange: through an integrated wallet such as Exodus or Jaxx (recommended for ease of use) or by directly using Shapeshift’s website or web integration.
How to Use the Shapeshift Exchange from within the Exodus Wallet
Using Shapeshift from within the Exodus wallet is almost too simple:
Step 1: Select the currency and amount you wish to trade.
Use the pull-down menus provided on the Exchange screen. The exchange rates will automatically be calculated for you according to market rates. All fees are per-transaction (which generally works out better for larger transactions); you can see a breakdown of the fees here: https://info.shapeshift.io/about.
Simply choose the asset to exchange from the drop-down menu. Occasionally currencies do experience temporarily unavailability.
In this example, I chose to trade half of my Ethereum for Bitcoin Cash. Notice the fees: since fees are per transaction and not by size of the trade, a larger trade would have had a similar fee but the fee would have come out to a much smaller percentage of the total trade.
Step 2: Click Exchange.
Once you click the Exchange button, the exchange will automatically start:
First, your funds will automatically be sent from your wallet to start the exchange.
As you can see, I was told to wait up to 30 minutes, but the transaction actually finished in under 2 minutes.
Step 3: The exchange is complete and the deposit automatically shows up in your portfolio.
I’m a big fan of Exodus’s sleek design and overall ease of use.
How to Use the Shapeshift Exchange at Shapeshift.io
While there are a few more steps than using Shapeshift from within an integrated wallet, exchanging via the web interface is still remarkably easy.
Step 1: Go to shapeshift.io and choose the asset you want to trade (deposit).
Once at the Shapeshift homepage, simply choose the assets you want to trade from the dropdown menu, which automatically appears when you click on an asset you’d like to trade or trade for:
Step 2: Choose the type of exchange: quick or precise.
Quick transactions have lower deposit limits and automatically give you the going exchange rate. With precise transactions, you enter how much you are willing to trade (deposit) and Shapeshift will calculate exactly how much currency you will receive before the transaction takes place. I always like to verify the exchange rate I’m given, so we’re going to use a precise transaction:
As with exchanges through the Exodus wallet, Shapeshift’s fee (the miner fee) is per transaction, so larger trades have lower fees, percentage-wise.
Step 3: Enter amounts and addresses.
Always verify your addresses are correct before starting the transaction, and make sure to enter the refund address of the depositing currency; if the transaction fails for any reason, your assets will automatically be sent back to you.
Step 4: Start the transaction and send your deposit.
Once you hit the Start Transaction button, you’ll be shown where to send your funds.
Send the funds from your wallet (Coinbase, Exodus, or other) to the address Shapeshift provides you. If you are making a precise transaction, make sure to send the right amount (in this case 0.1 ETH). Shapeshift will then keep you up to date on the process:
Shapeshift lets you know when your funds have been received.
It took less than 5 minutes for the transaction to complete once I sent my Ether to the address provided.
Step 5: Check your wallet to verify you’ve received your funds.
That’s it, and the entire process took a matter of minutes!