Quick and easy
Both new and experienced crypto traders occasionally get tired of dealing with common exchanges and just want to make quick trades every once in a while in exchange for slightly higher fees. This is where “instant” exchanges such as ShapeShift.io come into play and while ShapeShift isn’t the only one around nowadays, it certainly is the oldest one, which is why we’re doing this review.

We’ll be telling you everything you need to know about ShapeShift, so you can see how it’s holding up against its newer competitors. Let’s get started.

What are its features?

The main selling point of ShapeShift is how you can instantly trade cryptocurrencies, with no waiting times to flip your coin into a different one. Alongside this, ShapeShift also offers:

  1. Full anonymity. No need to sign up and provide personal info. You can just hop in and start trading.
  2. Support for more than 50 altcoins.
  3. Quick and easy to use with a user-friendly interface.

ShapeShift’s set of features might seem a bit limited compared to what you usually find on other exchanges, but the simplicity isn’t necessarily bad, it has its audience. Some people are just looking to hop in, flip some coins and hop off.

What does the community think of it?

Looking around the web, opinions on ShapeShift are kind of a mixed bag that often leans more towards the negative side of things. Although the anonymity and ease of use are usually a welcome addition, the features can often get lost in a sea of users that have had really bad experiences with the exchange.  These experiences range from “hidden exchange rates” to abysmal customer support and lost funds after a failed transaction.

Pros & Cons


  1. Easy and quick to use.
  2. Mobile options to trade on the go.
  3. No registration required.
  4. A decent number of altcoins supported.
  5. Transparent fees that vary depending on the coin. For a comprehensive list, check out this section of ShapeShift’s website.
  6. Recently added support for purchasing BTC with a credit card.


  1. Terrible customer support.
  2. Absurd fees for credit card purchases (12.5%).
  3. Higher fees than average in exchange for instant trades, essentially making the platform unattractive for high volume traders.

To sum it up

Despite some fair complaints from customers, ShapeShift has proven to be a reliable exchange over the years. Their commitment and transparency has overall gained them a fair amount of trust from the crypto community. If you’re looking into doing some occasional quick trades or just small volume trading, there’s no harm in checking it out. If you’re looking to trade big volumes however, it’s best for you to look somewhere else.

About ShapeShift

Founded back in 2013, ShapeShift is an exchange based in Switzerland that saw its first release on the iOS platform in June of 2015 after receiving a substantial amount of funding in March of the same year. Further funding allowed ShapeShift to expand their platform to Android and Web browsers.

Shortly after its release on the iOS platform, ShapeShift had to cut off their services on New York due to new regulatory policies for businesses related to digital assets. At the same time, ShapeShift dodged a bullet by ending their services in that state, and you’ll see why.

In 2016, ShapeShift suffered a notorious hack in which around $200,000 (£145,000) worth of cryptocurrency was stolen. Naturally, the website was taken offline for a bit so that they could rebuild stronger security measures.

Shortly after the attack, ShapeShift’s CEO Erik Voorhees explained how and why it happened. To sum it up, the attack came from an apparently disgruntled employee that decided to empty an entire Bitcoin wallet.

Although losses were somewhat substantial, ShapeShift maintains to this day that customer funds remained untouched. Had the exchange complied with the new regulatory policies in NY, this hack would’ve completely destroyed their reputation and possibly get the company in legal trouble, as compromised personal and private data can have very severe consequences.

The transparency and commitment shown by the CEO to explain what went down and why they made certain decisions gained the exchange a fairly positive reputation. However in October of 2016, ShapeShift was once again subject to controversy when it revealed that despite trying to maintain the anonymity of its users by not asking for any personal details or even requiring a registration, they do collect data, which, given it’s a reasonable request, can be provided to law enforcement agencies or “private parties”.

The following years where uneventful for ShapeShift. The exchange has mainly focused on improving their security protocols and in October of 2017, it partnered with Civic, to provide a secure access experience for Prism users.

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