ShapeShift cryptocurrency exchange review

Convert between cryptocurrency coins without needing to make a deposit first.

  • Great for simple crypto-to-crypto trades
  • Not so great for its changing fees

Check out our full list of pros and cons or read on.

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No supported

Fiat currencies

50

Cryptocurrencies

Details

Product Name ShapeShift Cryptocurrency Exchange
Fiat Currencies -
Cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, FUN, 1ST, ANT, BAT, BNT, & 40 more
Deposit Methods Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Banxa
Trading Fee Fees vary
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees None
Disclaimer: This information is not financial advice or an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and high risk. Do your own research and seek financial advice before buying. Please check with providers if their services are available in your state.

Learn more about ShapeShift

What fiat and cryptocurrencies are supported?

  • Supported fiat currencies: None
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 50 cryptocurrencies

Which payment methods are accepted?

  • Credit card
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Debit card
  • Banxa

How to use ShapeShift

1. The latest trades

In the interests of transparency, ShapeShift shows the details of all its latest trades on the home page as well as up-to-date statistics on its last 24 hours.

2. Live miner fee information

ShapeShift clearly shows the latest miner fees. This is how much is deducted from a transaction beyond the exchange rates shown.

3. Choose a coin

To make a trade, just enter your destination address and refund address (where your change is deposited). The miner fees and current rates are clearly displayed.

Fees and limits

Platform trading fees

These fees are accurate as of February 22, 2021.

Platform fee typeFee
SpreadsApproximately 0.5%
Miner feeVaries (usually less than $1.00)

Other fees

There are no fees other than the platform trading fees.

Deposits, withdrawals and transactions only take place as you make a trade. The cost for this is built into the platform trading fees.

How fast will my funds be available?

Wallet transfers

Clock icon for transfer speed

Varies

The average time to complete a trade will vary depending on the cryptocurrency, your chosen miner fees and the state of the network at the time.

Processing time

Clock icon for transfer speed

~10 minutes

The average processing time is shown on the ShapeShift site. It’s often about 10 to 20 minutes. This is how long it will take to complete a trade end-to-end.

Is ShapeShift safe to use?

  • Regulation. ShapeShift works to comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and to meet its legal obligations. It is a registered business with a transparent and well-known team behind it and a wide product range that crosses the crypto ecosystem. The KeepKey hardware wallet, for example, is a ShapeShift product.
  • Verification. ShapeShift has traditionally been known as a destination for anonymous trading that doesn’t require account creation, but at the end of 2018, it ended this practice to more proactively meet its legal obligations. Users are now required to create an account and provide some personal information to trade on ShapeShift.
  • Security features. ShapeShift regularly undergoes penetration testing and follows cryptocurrency security best practices. Most significantly, it does not hold customer funds except as needed to facilitate transactions. This means you don’t have to make a deposit and then leave your crypto sitting around on the exchange where it might be at risk of theft. If ShapeShift gets hacked, your funds are likely to be safe.

The ShapeShift hack and its reputation

ShapeShift was hacked several times in 2016, losing the equivalent of a few hundred thousand US dollars at the time. It was alleged to have been an inside job.

No customer funds were lost. Rather, all the stolen cryptocurrency was ShapeShift’s own. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees later pointed at this as evidence that the non-custodial exchange design worked as it should.

It was an unconventional situation, and although there are criticisms of how CEO Erik Voorhees handled the situation, user funds were never at risk, which demonstrates the extra security offered by ShapeShift’s non-custodial system, where users don’t have to deposit funds to make a trade.

ShapeShift has not been hacked since then.

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Cryptocurrencies

BTC, BCH, BSV, ADA, DOGE, EOS, ETC, FIL, XLM, ZEC & 50+ more

Deposit method

Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, PayPal, Bank transfer (SEPA)

Trading fee

Fees vary

Withdraw fees

Instant Card Withdrawal: Up to 1.5% of the transaction plus a minimum of $0.55
Outgoing Wire Transfer: $25
Fees vary by location and payment method.

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Cryptocurrencies

BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA, MIOTA, XLM & 10+ more

Deposit method

Bank transfer, Credit card, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Online banking, Skrill

Trading fee

Fees vary. Overnight and weekend fees apply

Withdraw fees

US$5 (minimum withdrawal of US$50)

How do I create an account at ShapeShift?

To create an account with ShapeShift, follow these steps.

  1. Create an account. Sign up to start trading and to get some additional perks. You’ll need an email address, and you’ll also need to choose a password.
  2. Get verified. Before trading, users will need to provide some personal information. The amount of information and verification procedures required may vary over time and will be highlighted after creating an account.

You can reasonably expect to have to provide similar details to ShapeShift that you would need to provide to other exchanges, including a driver’s license or passport as well as other identification documents.

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What else do I need to know about ShapeShift?

ShapeShift is a veteran cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded by Erik Voorhees in 2013 and is headquartered in Switzerland but based largely in Denver.

It was one of many crypto companies to withdraw from New York when the BitLicense was introduced and has a reputation for pushing back against what it perceives as regulatory overreach.


In a nutshell

Pros

  • Non-custodial exchange. ShapeShift does not hold customer funds, which delivers tangible security benefits.
  • Good rates. ShapeShift charges about 0.5% in spreads and a negligible flat miner fee. This is a competitive price relative to other exchanges that offer similar broker-style non-custodial crypto trading.
  • Upcoming membership rewards. ShapeShift is gradually rolling out a membership reward scheme based on the FOX token.

Cons

  • Slow trades. At the time of writing (February 2019), it takes an average of 25 minutes to process a trade, which is much slower than other exchanges.
  • Varying fees and coins. The fees, liquidity and cryptocurrencies available on ShapeShift can vary considerably day to day.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I trade Ripple (XRP) on ShapeShift?

Yes, though there are conditions. XRP wallets must hold a reserve of at least 20 XRP. This is a deliberate anti-spam mechanism to prevent the XRP blockchain from getting too large.

Functionally, this means:

  • XRP wallets must have at least 20 XRP in them at all times. You cannot overdraw beyond that.
  • The minimum deposit for sending money to an empty XRP wallet is 20 XRP.

You’ll need to be mindful of this when using ShapeShift to exchange XRP. If your destination XRP wallet is empty, you’ll be buying at least 20 XRP (plus a tiny bit more for transaction fees).

What countries are supported by ShapeShift?

ShapeShift serves customers all over the world but reserves the right to block users in certain locations. For example, customers in New York State are IP geo-blocked if they try to use the exchange.

Is there a ShapeShift app?

Yes. You can download the ShapeShift exchange app for iPhone and Android.

What’s the verification process for ShapeShift?

ShapeShift’s verification process is undergoing renovations but is generally equivalent to other exchanges in that it requires you to provide some personal details and documents to verify them.

What customer support does ShapeShift offer?

ShapeShift aims to provide a high level of customer service. You can visit the help desk to submit requests or reach out on social media.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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