Choose Your Assets
Let’s assume you have Bitcoin and you want Ether. It goes like this:
Go to the ShapeShift.io home page. Under the section titled “Choose Which Assets to Trade,” select Bitcoin as the “Deposit” or input asset and Ether as the “Receive” or output asset. Assets are defined as the digital currency you are choosing to exchange between.
Choose “Quick” or “Precise” Transaction Type
You will need to decide upon choosing the “Quick” order type or “Precise” order type. For this example, we will choose the “Quick” type but it is good to understand the difference. “Quick” orders allow the user to deposit any amount of funds they would like to the deposit address ShapeShift provides to them without time restrictions. It also allows the user to have the option of creating a reusable deposit address. “Precise” type requires the users to provide the exact amount they would like to deposit in advance as well as forces the user to send and have their deposited coin confirm within a certain period of time.
Provide Your Addresses
Provide your Ether address from your Ether wallet in the top box (this is the destination address where ShapeShift will send your Ether to once your order completes) and your Bitcoin address (this is the refund address that we will return your bitcoin to in the case your order fails). Once you have read and agree, click on “I agree to Terms”, then click the Start Transaction Button.
In this step you will also be given the option to create a “reusable” deposit address. This is only available for a “Quick” transaction type.
Send Bitcoin to the ShapeShift Deposit Address
ShapeShift will generate a bitcoin deposit address for you (this is the address you will send your bitcoin from your bitcoin wallet to). Please send your bitcoin to this generated address, being sure to not send an amount over the “Deposit Max” or under the “Deposit Min”.
That’s it. In a few moments, your Ether will be sent to you.
ShapeShift’s goal is to be the fastest, most private, and most convenient way to swap digital currencies, and the exchange rate will always remain competitive.
Most of our users understand how to do our basic transactions, but many are perplexed by our “Specific Amount” feature. So here we are to walk you through the process and tell you why you might want to use this pretty nifty option.
First, what is the “Specific Amount” feature? This feature allows a user to tell ShapeShift exactly how much of a cryptocurrency/digital asset they wish to receive and ShapeShift then tells them exactly how much of their depositing coin they must send in order to receive that exact amount.
Secondly, how do you use the “Specific Amount” feature? So, let’s say you are wanting to purchase 1 Litecoin exactly with Bitcoin. You would input “1” into the Specific Amount box (notice a new, better rate, appears below the box), then your litecoin address and press “start”.
When you get to the deposit page, you will see where ShapeShift tells you exactly how much Bitcoin you must send to the deposit address provided (NOTE: If you send over the amount requested, your transaction will complete but will not refund you the extra funds. Be sure to only send the exact amount we request).
After you send bitcoin to the deposit address, your order will process as the normal transactions do. And, BAM, you are done!
Lastly, why would you want to use the “Specific Amount” feature? This last question has many answers. You can get a better rate for BTC to altcoin transactions. Plug in your desired receiving coin amount and you will see a better rate appear below the amount box. You can also make exchanges with a higher deposit limit. Learn more about how to do this in this BLOG POST. Lastly, by using the specific amount feature, you can lock in the current rate provided no matter how long your transaction takes to get a confirmation.
Well, there you have it folks. Our quick guide to using the “Specific Amount” feature. Check out these few quick tips below and then get started!
Don’t Timeout! In order to allow a user to lock in the rate we provide at the time of the transaction, you must deposit your cryptos to the deposit address within 10 minutes. The timer can be found on the deposit page
Get better rates! Using the specific amount feature for BTC to altcoin transactions gives you a better rate! Plug in the number and you will see the updated, better rate generate below the specific amount box
Although you can re-use deposit addresses for normal ShapeShift transactions, you CAN NOT re-use addresses generated from a specific amount transaction
Want to increase the deposit limit we provide? You can use the specific amount tool to do this. Learn more about this HERE
Be sure to check the deposit limit and minimum and only deposit between those numbers to ensure a speedy, successful transaction
Having issues with an order? Reach out to our customer support staff HERE
Most of our ShapeShift users know how to do our basic “Quick” transactions, but get confused when using our “Precise” orders. In this post, we
- Define Precise Transactions
- Provide step-by-step instructions on how to successfully complete a Precise Transaction.
Let’s begin with a simple definition:
Precise transactions (also known as specific amount orders) refer to a transaction where the user tells ShapeShift how much they are wanting to deposit BEFORE we provide you with a deposit address. Precise transactions allow you to get a better rate AND a higher deposit max.
We tell you how much of the receiving coin you would receive with that amount deposited and then supply you with an address to deposit that precise amount you specified to us you would like to deposit.
So how do you do a “Precise” order? Here is your step-by-step guide!
First, choose “Precise” and then “Continue” from the home screen:
Next (as seen in this example) input the amount of bitcoin that you would like to deposit in order to receive dogecoin, keeping in mind the deposit minimum and max. You will see the amount of dogecoin that you will receive with that amount of bitcoin deposited.
Then, input the address that you would like to receive your dogecoin to as well as a return address (in case your order fails, this is how your funds are auto-returned to you). Check the box to agree to the Terms, and click Start Transaction.
You will then be brought to the deposit address page where you will see:
- the amount you must send (in this case, the BTC you specified), in order to recieve the amount of Ether you are wanting.
- The deposit address that you must send your bitcoin to.
- NOTE: you must send these funds to our deposit address within 10 minutes or your order will fail.
Finally, we will send your Bitcoin to the deposit address provided and wait as your order goes from “Awaiting Deposit” to “Awaiting Exchange” and then “All Done!” Your Complete Order page will look like this:
You can then see we give you the option to look at you order on the blockchain, send yourself an email receipt and more! Happy Exchanging!
Believe us, we know how frustrating it can be to have a transaction fail on ShapeShift. Our staff doesn’t like it any more than you do. So how can you best ensure that your transaction completes quickly and without failure? Here are our top 3 tips on doing successful transactions.
Tip # One: Deposit an amount that is between the order limits
This particular tip is mostly a rookie mistake. Don’t take it too hard, little foxes. In order to offer speedy exchanges, ShapeShift keeps reserves of all of the assets we support. Due to this, we have a deposit limit–the most you can deposit without an order failing. We also have a minimum that can be deposited. If a user deposits over that limit or under the minimum, your order will fail. Where do you find that information, you may be asking? The limit and minimum can be seen on the left side of the screen next to the deposit drop down menu, as can be seen in the below screen shot. Make sure to always check these numbers. Wanting higher limits? Learn more about how you can deposit with higher limits on this blog post.
Tip # Two: Make sure wallet miner fees are correctly set-up
This tip is something that many of our users are not aware of but can cause issues not only with ShapeShift transactions, but all transactions you do within the bitcoin/cryptocurrency space. Miner fees are the fees that are set in your wallet that help ensure your deposit will be picked up by the miners and placed on the blockchain. They are micro-transactions that are removed from the funds you send to any deposit address that incentivize miners to pick up your transaction. If a miner fee is below the standard fee for the altcoin you are depositing, it it possible that your deposit will never confirm, thus your order will never complete.
In order to avoid this issue, make sure you check and see what your miner fee in your wallet has been set to. Most wallets automatically set your miner fee to the correct standard fee, but it is possible that it is set below the standard. If you can not intuitively find a way to change these fees in your wallet, reach out to your wallet provider and ask them to assist you to make these updates. To see a few of the miner fees for a portion of the coins we support, see the below image. Want to see all of the miner fees? Visit our About Page.
Tip # three: Input a return address
So we realize that inputting a return address does not ensure your order will succeed, but it will make the process of getting funds back in the case of a failure MUCH easier. This optional feature will save you time as you will not have to contact our support team and request a return. Your funds will automatically return to you in the case your order fails. Our support line is only open Monday-Friday from 11:30 AM EST-7 pm EST, so we are not always able to immediately return your funds. But in the case you need us to, submit a request here. See the below image to find where you can input this address.
Our support team can tell you, we get A LOT of requests for funds to be returned after a transaction has failed. Although we do our best to get back to your return requests within an hour during our business hours, we understand it can be a pain to have to wait for your funds to be returned. GOOD NEWS! We have an instant solution to your return problems.
No, it’s not a new feature, but one we have had on the site since our launch. The optional “return address” box. We know you have seen it, but not everyone uses it. By using this return address box, you will receive your depositing coins back in the case of a failure, which can happen for various reasons. We encourage our users to utilize this option to make your ordering process as seamless as possible.
How do I use the return address option?
It’s pretty dang easy. All you need to do it go to your depositing coin wallet, get an address to send funds to, and input that address in that box and *BAM* done. If your order fails, your funds will be sent right back to your wallet.
Where is the return address box?
The return address box can be found on the left side of the website under the depositing coin drop-down menu.
What happens if I forgot my return address and my order fails?
Don’t sweat it! Our customer support team is here for just such situations. Click HERE to submit a customer support request for a return and include the deposit address we provided you to send your funds to, the txid and an address to send your funds back to you.
NOTE: We do not have 24 hour customer support and are not open on Saturdays or Sunday. We are open Monday-Friday from 11 am EST-7 pm EST and try our best to get back to all requests within an hour during business hours, and within 24 hours if you submit after business hours.
Our customers consistently want to know if they can reuse our deposit address in order to do the same sort of transaction over and over again.
The short answer to this question is yes! However, while it’s possible to reuse our deposit address, you can only do so only under two conditions:
First, you can only reuse addresses that you create when doing a “quick” transaction. You CAN NOT reuse “precise” transaction addresses.
Second, make sure that the Reusable Address button is in ON before starting your transaction. If you don’t turn this on, your address will not be reusable for future transactions.
(This is the Reusable Addresses button in the “off” position. You must turn it on before you start your transaction for it to allow you to reuse the address)
From the dawn of ShapeShift time, our users have consistently asked us how we calculate our rates. So it’s about darn time we wrote a post to explain! Let’s start with the basics.
When doing a ShapeShift exchange, you will notice we provide you with an “Instant Rate”. Many people message us and ask what fees we remove from this rate. The answer is, nothing, outside of the receiving coin’s miner fee. SEE A LIST OF MINER FEES HERE.
The most recent question about this was asked on the sub-Reddit, r/ethereum. The user asked “Where does ShapeShift.io get its exchange rates?” We had a few users who answered with further confusion. Our CEO, Erik Voorhees then jumped in. We will highlight his answer below:
There isn’t really a simple answer – we calculate exchange rates based on rates on other exchanges, as well as the market depth of the specific pair, as well as our own balances of coins (we hold an inventory of every coin, which is how we make the service so fast). Our goal, if three exchanges have three different prices, is to be somewhere between the lowest and the middle. Importantly, if you spend an hour trying to get a lower price elsewhere, the market is likely to have moved and you may have wasted both time and money.
Our algorithms are always getting better, and one of the things we work on constantly is getting higher limits per transaction and lower rates. Of course, these two goals work at odds with each other, for if we were to offer huge limits we can’t offer a good price (due to slippage, which is a little counter-intuitive).
In all cases, as a user, if you are very sensitive to price and deposit limits, we recommend you use the Precise order instead of the Quick order. With the Precise order, you tell us exactly how much coin you will be converting, and this lets us calculate a better rate, and give you a higher limit.
Another question that was asked during this exchange was “Why is there such a large difference between the Quick deposit limit and the Precise deposit limit?” Voorhees again answered:
Because if we allowed the higher limit for Quick orders, we’d have to offer a worse price (because we have to assume a user can/will send the max – so we have to price it as such.)
One of the more important parts of using ShapeShift for your crypto exchanges is to understand what rate we are offering you and how you can calculate the rate so you know exactly how much you will receive when you do an exchange. On occasion we do have people who are not aware of how this works or how to calculate. No problem at all! This post will help guide you through the process.
Where do I find the Instant Rate?
It’s the first thing you see on the page under the ShapeShift logo. This rate shows you, depending on the pairs you are exchanging between, how much 1 unit of whatever coin you are wishing to deposit is worth in the coin you would like to receive. So if you were doing a Bitcoin to Litecoin transaction, in the below screenshot, you would see that 1 Bitcoin is worth 126.4911 Litecoin at the time you are doing your transaction. NOTE: this instant rate updates every 10 seconds, so make sure you take that into account and keep an eye on that rate. You can see this 10 seconds via the white bar that loads under the rate.
How is the rate calculated?
We get this question a lot. The short answer is that in order to offer our users a rate without slippage, we have to purchase a certain amount down the order book (this amount down we purchase is how we determine our deposit limit). The rate is calculated from the average of all of the sells that we purchase down to that number. The closer to the limit you purchase, the more in your favor the rate is. Want to get a better rate? Check out this blog post or continue reading.
How do I calculate how much of my receiving coin I will get?
Although we are working to update our site so that it auto-calculates these numbers for our users, it’s still pretty easy to quickly crunch the numbers. All you need to do is take the amount of the depositing coin you are planning on sending and multiple it by the rate. So in the case with our Bitcoin to Litecoin transaction mentioned above, let’s say we were planing on depositing .5 Bitcoin:
.5 BTC x 126.4911 LTC= 63.2455 LTC
THEN, you need to remove the miner fee for the Litecoin. The miner fee for Litecoin is .003 Litecoin. So you then would subtract:
63.2455 LTC – .003 LTC= 63.2425 LTC
And the amount you would receive is:
It’s pretty darn simple.
How do I know what miner fee I should subtract?
The miner fee you subtract from your calculations is whatever the miner fee for the coin you are wishing to receive is. See a list of static miner fees in the below image. You can see a list of updated miner fees here, on our About page.
Can I get a better rate?
The answer to this is, yes. With our specific amount feature, you can receive better rates on most of the coin pairs. The way this feature works, you tell us how much of the recieveing coin you would like to get before we give you a deposit address. In the below example, we would like to do a Bitcoin to Digibyte exchange. You can see the normal rate is 1 Bitcoin= 1953431.3725 Digibyte. When we input that we would like to receive 450 Digibyte, you can see the updated rate is 1 BTC=2490625.0 Digibyte.
How do we offer better rates, you might ask? When you tell us how much of a coin you want to receive, we know exactly the amount you would like and thus can purchase just that amount, offering the best rate, versus our traditional exchange, in which we can only anticipate how much you will want to receive. Learn more about this better rate system in our post.
Please note: Counterparty asset exchanges often fail with the specific amount feature as Counterparty wallets are very slow to send funds and thus fail our timer for this much of the time. Always input a return address when you do a transaction so in the case it fails, we can return your funds to you automatically.