What is Shapeshift and How to Use It




Reading time

5 mins
Last update




Reading time

5 mins
Last update




Reading time

5 mins
Last update

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ShapeShift is an instant exchange that rather than storing your crypto holdings, connects you directly to your hardware or software wallet. The crypto exchange provides you the flexibility to swap one crypto currency for another, even without taking them out of your wallet first. The exchange charges a small amount of instant rate from the investors for using it conversion services, and it does not charge anything outside of the miner’s fee from them. ShapeShift probably offers the fastest way to exchange cryptocurrencies and blockchain assets.

No account or sensitive personal data needed

Centralized exchanges typically require the users to provide personal information about them like driving license or passport details to comply with know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. This way, ShapeShift offers greater degree of privacy, safety and convenience to the crypto investors and greatly reduces the risk of stolen funds as it requires no account or personal data for use. This is really a big deal for the crypto investors.

While some exchanges provide you the facility to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies, ShapeShift’s unique proposition is that it allows the investors to transform or shift cryptocurrencies from one form to another with utmost ease. On this platform, you can transform Bitcoin to altcoin (like BTC to ETH), altcoin to Bitcoin (like LTC to BTC) and altcoin to altcoin (like LTC to DGB) without needing to buy or sell anything.

Signing Up

ShapeShift doesn’t require any sign up. You can transact in a completely anonymous way as the platform doesn’t retain the user’s data. You even do no need to create an account and get it verified! You just need to provide the address of your wallet and the exchange will provide the address to send your cryptocurrencies to.

Here is the step-by-step guide to use ShapeShift

Step 1

Visit: https://shapeshift.io/#/coins

Step 2

Choose the altcoin you want to exchange

Step 3

Choose between “Quick” or “Precise”

If you choose Quick, you will have to input the receiving address while deposit address will be provided by ShapeShift. You will not be required to specify the amount of altcoins you want, as you can deposit whatever you wish to. However, if you choose “Precise”, you will be allowed to receive the exact number of altcoins specified by you.

Step 4

Click “Continue”

Step 5

In case you chose “Quick”, enter your Destination Address, Refund Address and agree to the Terms and Conditions, else move to the next step number 6.

Step 6

If you chose “Precise”, enter the amount of coins you want to send or receive, the Destination Address and Refund Address.


Suppose you have Bitcoins and you want to convert them into another altcoin, say Monero. Follow the below procedure to accomplish this cryptocoin transaction successfully:

You will have to provide your Monero (XMR) address to ShapeShift, which will be used as your Destination Address by ShapeShift. You will also have to provide your Bitcoin (BTC) address to the exchange which will actually be used by it as Refund Address to refund your desired altcoins to you after the successful completion of a transaction. Agree to their Terms and Conditions before moving on to the next step.

At this stage of transaction process, a Bitcoin deposit address will be created by ShapeShift for you to which you will be required to deposit your Bitcoins. There is a limit for minimum and maximum deposit that you are allowed to make.


Some wallets might charge you transfer fee, so in that case, the amount that the wallet is charging will be added to your ShapeShift transaction fee, and your total transaction fee will be calcuatled accordingly.. To avoid these additional charges, use a crypto wallet that doesn’t charge such fee from the crypto investors making transactions on ShapeShift.

Step 7                                                                                                                                                Click “Start Transaction”

Step 8

Your Moneros will be sent to you by ShapeShift within seconds!

Voila, you are done!

A small amount, which is actually the miner’s fee will be deducted from the exchange rate shown to you. The exchange fee is calculated based on several market parameters and it always remains the same, regardless of the volume traded. There is no service fee as such and you can exchange cryptocurrencies within seconds.

The easy availability of over 50 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and ICOs make ShapeShift the ideal platform to convert cryptocurrencies into altcoins. The platform has support for hard forks, so one can also exchange Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ECH) and Bitcoin Gold (BCG) on ShapeShift.

NOTE: ShapeShift offers you another benefit by not charging “Slippage”, instead you will have to make use of their Exchange Rate. Slippage is when an order is filled at a price that is different to the requested price and may cause a trader to enter or exit a trade at a price that is either lower or higher than what they expected. It normally occurs during the periods of higher volatility.

Here is the breakup of how some of the fees look at ShapeShift:

  • BTC Bitcoin Miner Fee: 0.0025 BTC
  • ETH Ether Miner Fee: 0.001 ETH
  • BCH Bitcoin Cash Miner Fee: 0.0002 BCH
  • LTC Litecoin Miner Fee: 0.001 LTC

It doesn’t allow exchanging with fiat currencies, so debit and credit cards are of no use. Even PayPal is useless as one needs an existing cryptocurrency wallet to buy anything at ShapeShift.

Benefits that ShapeShift offers to the users include:

  • Instant exchange of cryptocurrencies
  • Dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS
  • Easy and beginner friendly interface
  • Support for anonymity
  • Conversion is quick and hassle-free
  • Majority of cryptocurrencies are stored in cold wallets (offline) to safeguard from hacking.
  • Great place to diversify your crypto portfolio

ShapeShift Lens

This feature of the instant exchange allows you to buy anything you would normally buy with Bitcoin.

If you are looking forward to participate in an upcoming ICO for which you need altcoin, like Ether (ETH) rather than Bitcoin, ShapeShift is the platform you need to head to. It has plenty of ICOs and tokens, also available for trading.