ShapeShift enables users to exchange cryptocurrencies and blockchain assets via atomic swap technology. ShapesShift does not deal in fiat currency and only facilitates crypto-to-crypto exchanging. Users can exchange from any cryptocurrency to any other cryptocurrency. This is a benefit over typical exchanges where altcoins are typically only traded against large-cap cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum.
With ShapeShift, users specify what address they want their exchanged cryptocurrency sent to and are subsequently provided with an address to deposit to. There are two types of orders on ShapeShift. There are quick orders and precise orders. With precise, orders users have to specify how much of the exchanged cryptocurrency they want and they are provided with an amount to deposit. With users specifying what wallet they want to receive the altcoins in, there is no custodial risk associated with using ShapeShift.
The rates for ShapeShift are very competitive for the service provided. There is no commission charged for an exchange but ShapeShift’s fee is priced into the exchange rate. The exchange rate is constantly changing and ShapeShift aim to earn around 0.5% per exchange. This is separate from the miner fee which is transparently shown before a transaction is completed. ShapeShift is restricted from New York and North Korea but is available everywhere else in the world.