In the industry where every DEX looks like a copy-paste of each other, exchange aggregators look a lot more refreshing. For those newer to the space, exchange aggregators look at a bunch of of exchanges and then tell you which one offers the best rates for swapping a pair of coins. While DEXes are more or less straightforward, an aggregator faces extra challenges: do you make your aggregator automatic or allow the user to choose an exchange to use? KYC to comply with future regulations or no KYC to protect identity? How many exchanges can you manage to list in the aggregator? For that reason it is prudent to have a closer look at the aggregator you're using and today we'll be examining some pros and cons of one such specimen - SwapSpace. First we'll look over what SwapSpace lacks as of July 2021, then I'd like to talk about what I loved about SwapSpace, and then I'd offer a bit of an advice - some disclaimers and closing statements. Let's go!
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What to keep in mind when using SwapSpace (AKA Cons)
1) Lack of Exchanges (For Now)
Arguably the most important parameter for an aggregator is to have lots of exchanges to choose the best rates from. Unfortunately, SwapSpace has only 15 partners as of writing this article which is disappointing. While listing new exchanges may not always lead to significant improvements in rates offered, it is still no small thing for an exchange aggregator, especially when it comes to more obscure coins on the market. The good news is that increasing number of exchanges is on SwapSpace's roadmap, so now the question is whether they can deliver on their promises. Time will tell.
2) When 450+ Coins Just Isn't Enough
SwapSpace boasts 450+ coins and tokens that can be traded on their aggregator. That includes even the practically unknown coins like AERGO or MO, which is wonderful. However the crypto-verse has thousands of projects with their own coins and tokens and not being able to trade them on SwapSpace is disheartening. I can only assume that once the number of exchange partners increases, new coins would be up for trade. Granted, however, that most coins not included in the aggregator are sh*tcoins anyway.
3) No On-Ramps
Though it is on their roadmap, as of now you cannot deposit your fiat directly into the site and trade on from there. I didn't actually want to mention this one. To my knowledge on-ramps are difficult because not only does planet Earth have about 180 national currencies, but regulations in each country about on-ramps and crypto as a whole vary and can be very stringent. As a result an on-ramp would come with trade-offs, for instance (I speculate that) including a USD on-ramp could require SwapSpace to implement ID verifications, which wouldn't be worth it. So choose a stablecoin, get a wallet, you should do just fine.
4) Anonymous Team
Not really an issue given how SwapSpace is non-custodial (does not get to keep your crypto), has fairly credible partners (like Binance and Changelly), and has 24/7 customer support. Nonetheless, I personally am an ardent believer in transparency as it increases credibility for the product and gives a sense of security to its customers. Not everyone will agree with me though, as privacy is a cornerstone of the crypto-community's ethos.
What in SwapSpace has impressed me (AKA Pros)
1) No KYC, No Registration
SwapSpace by itself does not require KYC verifications. That isn't even the most impressive part. They don't even have registration. Makes swapping a much more comfortable experience in my opinion. No email, no password, no connect with Facebook or whatnot. To the point and easy. Enter your wallet address and do as you please. For a project that doesn't claim to be decentralised, that is very commendable.
2) You Have a Choice
Unlike, for instance 1Inch, which generates the trading route by itself, with SwapSpace you can choose. SwapSpace will highlight the exchange with best rates available in yellow, but if for some reason you prefer not to use that option (e.g. you don't think it's reliable enough) you can select an alternative. It's a very nice touch and I personally appreciate it. Note however that not all trade pairs have multiple exchange alternatives, so you won't always be able to choose. With more exchange listings this feature will offer even greater flexibility, so it should only get better from here onwards.
3) Commissions? What commissions?
SwapSpace does not directly charge you for its aggregation services. Instead it takes a cut from the commission you pay to the exchange you're using. In other words, for your intents and purposes, SwapSpace is essentially free. I'd consider this the strongest trump card up SwapSpace's sleeve if not for our next point.
4) Excellent Support
This is the most fascinating aspect of SwapSpace for me - the quality of their 24/7 support. Any project lives as long as it shows 2 signs: a capacity to evolve and willingness to take responsibility by fixing the issues. I personally tested their customer support and to my surprise they replied within less than an hour and were most helpful. Scrolling through SwapSpace's reviews I once again confirmed that SwapSpace will go an extra mile to ensure a pleasant experience. See for yourself and send a question/concern you have about SwapSpace to email@example.com.
Bonus: Not SwapSpace's fault but you must be aware of the these
Crypto-verse is a young space so occasionally problems can occur outside of SwapSpace's control and you must be aware of them to know who to point the finger at. Make sure to read the points below and keep them in the back of your mind when swapping on SwapSpace.
1) Partners can mess up
When I was examining the 100+ reviews on SwapSpace on Trustpilot, one recurring theme was that the issues and complaints weren't necessarily due to SwapSpace's mistakes, but due to failures on the side of the customer (e.g. sending insufficient funds) or their partnered exchanges themselves (e.g. due to being overloaded). There weren't too many reviews about that, but once in a while they do seem to happen, so if you do not like emailing customer support, select an exchange you can trust and follow the procedures carefully. Luckily, from what I gathered on Trustpilot, most issues (including those where the customer is at fault) were resolved by Robert from customer support. The guy needs a raise.
2) Time it takes can vary
This relates to the point above. SwapSpace's FAQ page states that for most swaps to take place 5-60 minutes are required depending on the network selected, how congested the blockchain is, and how efficiently the partnered exchanges work. So keep in mind all you day traders out there, occasionally a swap can take more than an hour, especially with slow and congested blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
3) Time-out feature
The way SwapSpace is structured is that If you're sending your funds for a swap, they must arrive within a certain timeframe (e.g. 10 minutes) to the selected exchange address for a swap to succeed. If they arrive later, the swap may fail. For slow and congested networks like Bitcoin this is far from being unlikely, so if you run out of time, do write to customer support. Robert puts it best:
(Customer's name was removed for privacy reasons).
The way I see it, SwapSpace has unquestionable potential to be a mainstay aggregator in the world of crypto, but it isn't there just yet. It needs to include more exchanges and tokens, as well as cut down the swap time for some trade pairs. Fortunately, all of these are doable and if the team stays true to the roadmap, I'd love to come back and assess the progress this project will make in half a years time. If you're a trader for whom every second counts, SwapSpace as it is right now is not for you (unless you trade tokens from lightning-fast networks). However, the ease of use, the amazing customer support, and provision of plethora of exchanges to choose from make SwapSpace an excellent choice for everybody else in the community. I believe that SwapSpace deserves more recognition in the crypto-space for the efforts they are putting in and am looking forward to see whether this aggregator reaches its full potential in the near future. Till next time, comrades.
P.S. If you are curious, feel free to use this referral link to get started: https://swapspace.co?ref=870592e6e954d73560fe9f8f Arigato :)