In a previous post we talked a bit about the differences between big exchange platforms like Binance and Bittrex and exchange services that offer users the opportunity to exchange a cryptocurrency through a third party service for another cryptocurrency. While one of the driving factors is the simplicity behind the exchange services, let’s take a look at what all we need to do to actually use one.
For this, we’ll be using one of the most well-known exchanges out there: Shapeshift. Shapeshift has been a big name in the exchange services for some time now and has received even more attention after it’s features were implemented into the equally well-known Ethereum and token wallet “Jaxx.” So, let’s dive right in.
First things first, we’ll need to make sure we go to the official site. This may seem like common sense, but a growing number of scams are happening now where fraudulent groups are creating websites that look really similar to the official site and have very similar names. After making your way to the official site, make sure that the URL reads:
The last thing anyone wants to do is accidentally end up on a site like “Shapeshift.online” or “shapeeshift.io” where the URL looks incredibly similar, but the people behind the site are not the Shapeshift team. If you’re not careful, you run the risk of accidentally sending your Bitcoin/Ether/etc. to scammer and you won’t get the cryptocurrency you’re looking for. Always remember to double check the URL. As an additional security tip, it’s also a good idea to bookmark the site once you’ve confirmed that you’re on the official page, that way you can quickly revisit the page without having to search for it each time.
Once we get on the site, we’ll take a look at the two boxes in the center of the screen. We’ll click on the box with the cryptocurrency in it on the left hand side: this is how we’ll select which cryptocurrency we’d like to exchange.
The Shapeshift website will have different cryptocurrencies cycling through the two boxes while you’re on the page before you’ve made a selection. Don’t worry if you don’t see the coin you were wanting to trade for in the box, we’ll select that on our own. Click on the box above (outlined in green).
After selecting the box, a new window will appear with a long list of selections, it will look like this:
You can then scroll down the list to see the other cryptocurrencies you have the option of choosing from as well. At any given time, Shapeshift typically offers around 40-50 different options to use as your “trade in” currency. For this example, we’ll be selecting Ether (ETH), so the box has been highlighted in green and we’ll click on that option.
Now we’re brought back to the homescreen where we see the same boxes as before. This time we’ll be clicking on the “Receive” box to indicate which currency we’d like to trade our Ether (ETH) for. After clicking on the selected box, we’ll be prompted with another similar pop up window with a choice of currencies to choose from.
For the sake of the tutorial, we’ve selected Dogecoin because hey, who doesn’t love Doge? There are plenty of other cryptocurrencies to choose from as well. A quick look through the list of what’s available right now shows Bitcoin (BTC), BitcoinCash (BCC), NEO (NEO), LiteCoin (LTC), and many many more.
Now we’ll find ourselves back at the homepage where we can verify that everything is set up properly. We’ll double-check our Deposit and Receive types and continue and move on to the “continue” button located below.
[Note: We’re running a “quick” transaction for the purposes of the tutorial, but if you’re interested in reading a little more about the pros and cons of “quick” vs “precise” transactions, you can find an explanation by the official Shapeshift team here.]
After clicking on the “continue” button on the homepage, we’re going to be prompted to fill in some quick information before beginning the transaction. First off, the top of the blue box will show what our “instant rate” is. This rate shows us upfront how much doge we’ll be receiving per 1 ETH. Below it, we’ll see what the maximum and minimum amounts of ETH are for the trade, as well as what the mining fee will be (2 DOGE).
Below that, we’ll also see a request for two addresses. These two addresses will be used to 1) Deposit your new cryptocurrency you’re exchanging for and 2) Return your ETH in case the process times out or something happens.
It looks like the first thing we’ll need is an address for our Dogecoin to be deposited in our wallet. We’ll want to go to our wallet and find the address for us to use.
I’ve created a new, empty online-wallet for use during the tutorial, so we’ll just hop on over to the wallet, select the address and copy it for the Shapeshift site.
Then we’ll go ahead and enter the address in on the Shapeshift site for the Doge.
Following that,we’ll do the same exact thing but for our Ether wallet incase we need a refund of our original ETH. After that, we’ll get ready to “Start Transaction” by double-checking our information, checking on the box to the left certifying that I am the owner of the assets and then beginning the transaction.
After we’ve selected “Start Transaction,” we’re brought to the last steps of the process. We’re given a screen showing up the address to the send the ETH for Shapeshift, as well as a QR code you can scan with your phone (always make sure to double-check the address before sending any cryptocurrencies).
Once we’re given the address, we’ll simply just copy it and send whatever amount of ETH we’d like to transfer to the Shapeshift wallet address (keeping in mind the minimum and maximum requirements). After we’ve sent our Ether off, just sit and wait while Shapeshift exchanges your Ether for Doge and you can watch the site for any updates. It really is that easy. There’s no need to create an account, no need to go through lengthy verification, and no need to hand over personal information.
After you’ve gotten the hang of doing the process once or twice, using exchange services like Shapeshift become easier, faster, and even more painless as times goes on.