They say that variety is the spice of life and if one thing is true about the crypto-sphere it is that there are always plenty of options out there. In general, for the most part, each of these options comes with their own limitations. One of the key goals of any investor/trader/crypto-fiend is to understand these limitations and try operate effectively within them. We ideally look at complementing our bag-of-tricks so that we're not out of options when something comes along that seems at first a little difficult. With this in mind when we look at the process of trading one coin/token for another we have the following main options:
- Atomic Swaps
- Centralized exchange trading
- Decentralized exchanges
For each of these options there are benefits and drawbacks and being aware of them helps us to make the right choice when it comes to trading. For example, Atomic Swaps services offer us an option to trade with minimal up-front info required and most options available to us, the downside though can be that there is often a minimum trade amount. For centralized exchanges we get higher volume and usually lower trade fees but, as a result, give over custodial ownership of your assets and often have withdrawal fees. Then decentralized exchanges we get something in between with custodial ownership and better trade fees but lower volume and some cases few choices as these tend to be chain specific.
I'm going to look at a conundrum I had recently and how it was solved. The problem was simple, I had a small amount of funds (<$5) in one cryptocurrency that I didn't really want to keep in that currency (as a result of my recent personal portfolio analysis). So first off the bat, when determine solutions there are a couple questions to be answered:
- 1. Were the currencies on the same chain? No they were not on the same chain, this rules out most DEXs and things like UNISWAP or KyberSwap (for ETH/ERC20)
- 2. How much was I looking to trade? A relative small amount (<$5), this rules out centralized exchanges since the withdrawal fees would eat the bulk of the funds.
By process of elimination, the last option I have then is a swapping service. Now normally I'd go with one of these options:
Or, a well known Publish0x favorite.
Both of which are available to use on my website. If you plan a trade please consider using them, I'd get a small % back but it costs you nothing extra.
One of the only problems I've found with these solutions, and fair play to them both it is them it is their decision, but they don't deal in very small amounts. This means that in general the choices are either hold and hope for a moonshot or transfer the small amount to an exchange and the convert dust or trade for something else and suffer any withdrawal penalties, neither is a great option.
A Solution: Using Coin-Get-Coin
So after rooting around online for other swapping services, I assumed that there is no way Changelly and ChangeNow were the only kids on the block. I found Coin-Get-Coin. I'll admit the site at first glance looks a little basic and maybe scammy around the edge so I did a bit of review searching. Most things I found said the same thing, the site is legit but most folks wouldn't risk using it for big sums. I figured, that sounds like what I need and I'm willing to take that (<$5) risk to test this out....for science!
As with Changelly, and ChangeNow the process is pretty damn straight forward, they sum it up in 6 steps. No KYC, just an email address to track your progress.
I select the pair (ETN to XLM), add my email, transfer the funds and wait....
For a few moment I sit there watching the screen waiting for the transaction to register and thinking to myself that I'd basically thrown some crypto down the drain, then I check my emails and one after another come rolling in to mark the progress along the exchange.
BINGO! Another email followed up from the wallet I deposited to that funds had appeared in my account (just around 50mins since I initiated the process)....phew.
Despite there being some inherent risk with a less well know exchange company I was glad to see that at least someone was catering to the lower transaction side of the market. Though, in truth, I found that one of their limitations is definitely in the number of pairs available (though there are also some obscure ones). Risk and limitations aside, I'm quite chuffed to have found something like this site, it gives options for clearing out and consolidating airdrop tokens which (UNISWAP not withstanding) tend to be for smaller sums. I'm also glad I didn't get scammed along the way.
Thanks for reading the article, hope you enjoyed it, good luck y'all.
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