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The Rise of Swaps: An Essential Tool for Crypto Payments

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While traditional crypto exchanges get the most attention, they can be counterintuitive and complex for beginners. Cross-chain cryptocurrency swaps, on the other hand, are making it easier than ever to get from currency A to currency B, without having to leave your wallet. Many of the top crypto wallets have recently embedded swap functions in their app so their users can easily swap from one currency to another without having to worry about market depth or making buy or sell orders, and without needing to send their funds to exchanges. All they have to worry about is selecting the currencies they want to swap and the amount, and then it's as easy as clicking a button.

Wallets like MathWallet, Jaxx, or Edge have integrated cross-chain swap providers into their apps in order to offer this popular feature to their users. However, wallets are not the only places where swaps are being integrated. Crypto trend and news websites like Crypto Adventure are also adding swap widgets in an attempt to provide their readers the tools they need to navigate the crypto world.

Some of the main swap providers are cross-chain exchanges like Changelly, Shapeshift, or SWFT Blockchain. Shapeshfit was founded by crypto pioneer, Erik Vorhees in 2013 and has been in the market for the longest time. Changelly, which was also founded in 2013 is easy to use and supports over 150 currencies, compared to 33 supported by Shapeshift. SWFT Blockchain, having been founded in 2017, is a more recent addition which combines a swap service supporting over 190 currencies with other features, including a hosted wallet and SWFT Pay, a crypto payments platform. Having a wallet allows SWFT Blockchain to provide almost instant swaps.

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While cross-chain exchanges may have exponentially more pairs than normal exchanges, their fees are also slightly higher than typical exchanges. Shapeshift offers a variable flat fee depending on the amount exchanged. SWFT Blockchain takes 0.2% per swap but gives users who own its proprietary token, Swftcoin (SWFTC) 50% off to make it 0.1% per swap. Lastly, Changelly's fees are of 0.5% per swap. Therefore, although SWFT Blockchain comes out on top with the lowest fees, Shapeshift may be more cost-effective when exchanging larger amounts due to its variable flat fee.

While Changelly and Shapeshift are popular in Europe and North America, SWFT Blockchain has a bigger user base in Asia. As more mature services, Changelly and Shapeshift have embedded their swap feature in more popular wallets like MyEtherWallet, Ledger, or Enjin. Although SWFT Blockchainwallet integration has been slower, it is slowly picking up with wallets like MathWallet and Elastos Elephant Wallet already integrated, and Ellipal coming up.

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Although swap platforms have been used for speculation thanks to their direct swap capabilities, they are also the next step towards actual use and adoption. While swaps are a user-friendly way for consumers to exchange cryptocurrencies, swaps can also help in settlement and clearing using cryptocurrencies. In an age where different cryptocurrencies will be used as payment for services in different settings, getting from one to another easily will be crucial for real use. Wallets that enable instant swaps will have an advantage over others and while there may be many wallets and cross-chain exchanges in the market, consumers will gravitate towards the best options made available to them. Therefore, wallets will strive to add more swap providers to create competition and give their users the most swaps at the best rates with the lowest fees.stats
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