The Unofficial ShapeShift Wiki

Investors are flocking to the Ethereum blockchain because of its ability to incorporate smart contracts, which has led to an explosion in decentralized applications dealing in crypto collectibles. In order to make purchases on these dapps, you'll need to use MetaMask, and ShapeShift is one of the easiest ways to exchange cryptocurrencies so those who have Bitcoin can add Ether to a MetaMask wallet. We'll walk you through how ShapeShift works and why so many people are getting on board. If you're a US-based user and want to buy cryptocurrency by linking your bank account, try this guide to Coinbase. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Can I Buy Crypto Collectibles With Bitcoin?

Crypto collectibles, which include assets like Factbar or games like CryptoCities and Etheremon, are only available on the Ethereum blockchain. If you want to purchase them, you'll need to buy some Ether. This can be troubling for those who live in countries like Malaysia or Taiwan, where Bitcoin is much easier to come by. ShapeShift allows you to exchange cryptocurrencies between your own wallets, so you can add Ether to MetaMask and trade collectibles like CryptoKitties or buy and sell fungible assets on a site like ForkDelta.

Does ShapeShift Require A Bank Account?

When you use ShapeShift, you're only sending cryptocurrencies between your own wallets, so there's no need to create an account or provide personal information. If you have one cryptocurrency, you can exchange it for another, and all you'll have to pay is a small mining fee. You can also purchase Bitcoin on ShapeShift using a credit card, then exchange it for whatever currency you're looking for. If you're still deciding which cryptocurrency to invest in, try this guide to the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum.

How To Use The ShapeShift Platform

In Depth

One of the fastest-growing sectors of the crypto world is the market for crypto collectibles, unique digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain. Many popular dapps rely on MetaMask, the browser extension that makes for quick purchases on individual websites. In order to use MetaMask, you need to supply it with Ether, and ShapeShift is a popular way to do so because of its ability to exchange Bitcoin easily. Let's go over how ShapeShift works and why it's so useful.

ShapeShift is a website that allows you to exchange one digital asset for another. It has a strict "No Fiat" policy, which means no physical currency. If you're looking to buy Ethereum using a bank account, this isn't the way to do it, and you'll need to find a site like Coinbase. But if you have one cryptocurrency and want to exchange it for another, this is the place to do it.

This setup is great news for those in countries where purchasing Ethereum is more difficult than buying Bitcoin. You can purchase Bitcoin in the way that you're used to, and then exchange it for Ethereum on ShapeShift. The home page has an intuitive layout. Select the type of currency you wish to exchange, and what you want to receive. You'll see that there are dozens of options, with more on the way.

Select the type of currency you wish to exchange, and what you want to receive.

You'll input your Bitcoin address and your destination address for the Ethereum. Because you're only sending between your own wallets, there's no need to sign up or enter any personal information other than these addresses. You can choose between a quick transaction and one that utilizes an exact amount. You'll initiate a transaction, and presto, you'll have your Ethereum, Litecoin, or whatever else you're hoping to buy.

Many people want to exchange widespread currencies like Bitcoin for newer tokens in the hopes that their values will go up. Those who purchased Ether early have watched its value rise, and if you're betting it will continue to do so, you may want to hold onto it. But Ether is also useful for purchasing other kinds of tokens through decentralized applications, or dapps.

ERC20 tokens are fungible assets that can be purchased through smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. One of the reasons Ethereum has grown in popularity is the variety of tokens that are available. This can include coins issued by companies in I.C.O. releases, as well as idle games like Ether Shrimp Farm and dapps like PoWH3D and Gandhiji that promise income based on participation and referring others to the service.

One of the reasons Ethereum has grown in popularity is the variety of tokens that are available.

Ethereum dapps also include non-fungible assets that rely on a set of standards called ERC721, which regulates smart contracts dealing in digital assets that are not all the same. One popular example is Factbar, online representations of facts that are researched and verified. If you own a Factbar, you are the only person who owns it at that time, and every Factbar has its own unique value. Highly-desirable Factbars are therefore very valuable because they are rare.

Because tokens like Factbars and CryptoKitties are unique, you can't buy them on exchanges. Instead, you'll need a browser extension like MetaMask, which integrates with your browser so you can make purchases on these individual marketplaces. ShapeShift is one of the ways you can add funds to MetaMask, and you can do so entirely in the MetaMask browser extension.

Before you can purchase crypto collectibles like Factbars, or buy more obscure coins on an exchange like ForkDelta, you'll need a MetaMask wallet. MetaMask can be easily downloaded and added to your browser if you use Firefox or Chrome, and once you create a login, your wallet will be recognized on marketplaces. But before you can buy anything, you need to add funds.

But before you can buy anything, you need to add funds.

Within MetaMask, simply click the "Buy" option, and you'll see that you're given two choices, ShapeShift and Coinbase. Users in the US who want to link their bank accounts can use Coinbase. Those who wish to exchange Bitcoin can simply select ShapeShift, and you'll be shown how to enter your info to add the funds. The Bitcoin will be exchanged and automatically added to your MetaMask wallet, where you can use it to claim assets and trade on exchanges.

While Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency globally, many see more potential in Ethereum due to its ability to integrate smart contracts for a wealth of different uses. No matter which token you're interested in, it's important to do your research before buying. But if you plan on investing in digital currency for the long haul, MetaMask and ShapeShift make it easy to purchase coins, game tokens, and unique digital assets in a growing marketplace.