“Shapeshift’s volume has been crazy, to put it mildly”, according to Erik Voorhees, founder of the digital currency exchange, Shapeshift. The exchange, which allows users to trade between digital assets like bitcoin and ether, has grown exponentially so far in 2017.
Shapeshift has, in part, been legitimized over time thanks to integration into hardware wallets and several popular applications, including wallets like Jaxx and Exodus. In addition, the exchange is dedicated to the so-called ‘altcoin’ space, a diverse and voluminous landscape of Bitcoin alternatives, which also adds to its legitimacy.
“To date, our best month ever was $20 million, which was this past January and that was up about 30% from December 2016”, Mr. Voorhees tells Bitcoin.com in an emailed statement. “In March thus far, we’ve processed over $30m, so we [are on target to] more than double our highest month ever”.
Shapeshift regularly adds new altcoins and requires neither emails nor passwords, and thus no signups and accounts. All of this might have contributed to its recent success.
In the 24 hours between March 13 and 14, Shapeshift processed over 4,300 customer orders totaling about $3 million, according to the CEO, who also once ran popular Bitcoin gaming site Satoshidice. The volume is coming primarily from trades between bitcoin, dash, ether, and monero.
“Augur and Zcash are also under heavy load”, he adds.
BTC Payments ‘Increasingly Unreliable’
Shapeshift customer support staff has been working “nearly non-stop to process orders and refunds” as needed, according to Mr. Voorhees. “Unfortunately, some of why Shapeshift is not running perfectly smooth has to do with much-publicized Bitcoin scaling problems”.
Bitcoin’s recent scaling issues, which have seen transaction volume bump up against its 1 MB data limit, have created a transaction confirmation backlog.
“The Bitcoin transaction delays have been really frustrating for us and our customers”, according to Mr. Voorhees, who wrote one of the first long-form pieces on the digital currency, Bitcoin: A Libertarian Introduction. “Even when we send transactions with high fees, which keep getting higher, our customer may not receive bitcoin for an hour or sometimes a day and it’s impossible to predict ahead of time”.
Bitcoin payments have become increasingly unreliable and expensive for Shapeshift. “Those in the Bitcoin community who are not dealing with thousands of customer orders per day probably don’t appreciate the serious degradation in Bitcoin utility that has been occurring for over a year, and very intensely for the past few months”.
He adds: “Regardless, the digital asset industry is just on fire right now, in a good way, and it’s impossible not to be thrilled with the growth across multiple assets”.
What do you think about Shapeshift as a digital asset application? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shapeshift and Shutterstock
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