BitShares Exchange review — Is it worth trying?

Created from scratch by American software developer and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Daniel Larrimer, BitShares exchange is not just a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. Or at least, that’s what’s claimed. In his blog, Larrimer describes it as a network, bank, ledger, exchange, company, community, software, currency, and a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) blockchain. Just imagine, all of this combined under the umbrella of a single project.

And he is right to do so, as apart from a cryptocurrency exchange, users of BitShares get access to a whole set of financial tools such as:

  • SmartCoins
  • Dynamic accounts that can be controlled by multiple users with different levels of permissions
  • Custom tokens that users can issue themselves
  • A reserve pool for funding projects
  • Named accounts instead of illegible addresses used on Bitcoin and Ethereum

BitShares as a whole is claiming to bring a lot to the table, even if it hasn’t really lit a spark in the cryptocurrency space just yet. Keeping all this in mind, and for the sake of this BitShares exchange review, today we are going to focus on the decentralized exchange platform.

  • Low trading and withdrawal fees
  • Part of the growing BitShares ecosystem
  • An impressive set of additional tools
  • Basic analysis tools
  • No KYC or customer verification
  • Limited customer service

Can BitShares be trusted?

BitShares was created in 2014 after the infamous Mt.Gox hack, with it being a response to the crisis of trust towards centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. Larrimer designed it in such a way that transactions can be conducted via a network of computers distributed all over the world without having to rely on any centralized party.

With that said, BitShares exchange has neither KYC procedures, nor does it allow you to set up multi-factor authentication for an additional level of security. It only requires you to type your password twice at the login, that’s all. But, despite the lack of security measures that are considered to be the industry standard, BitShares still remains a pretty reliable trading platform.

The secret to this lies in decentralization. Traditional centralized exchanges have access to end-users’ private keys and thus they often become targets for hackers’ attacks. BitShares only serves as a means of exchange between parties that switch cryptocurrencies between their own wallets and have full control over their funds. With BitShares, the security of your money depends solely on you and no one else.

BitShares exchange has never been hacked, its name has never been associated with any scam, and so far it can be considered as one of the most secure platforms in the whole industry. Look around the cryptocurrency space right now and you would be hard-pressed to find an exchange that hasn’t been targetted by hackers. Whether it’s by luck or judgment, the platform has steered clear of trouble, which means it gets a big thumbs up in this BitShares exchange review.

Is BitShares user-friendly?

Creating an account at BitShares is pretty easy. All you need to do is to invent a username that consists of a few letters and digits, with the same applying for a password, that’s it. No need to upload any document scans or pass additional verification with the help of your mobile phone. You don’t even have to type your email address.

The interface of the exchange platform itself is pretty slick, as it provides traders with all the customary elements, such as the list of markets, purchase and sell orders, 24-hour change for a selected asset, and more. For the most part, this is pretty straightforward stuff, but it says a lot when a crypto exchange covers the basics well.

The graph of the price movements is also pretty standard and it even comes with some basic tools for price analysis. The only thing that can scare off newbies is its ragged outlook, as the trading volumes on BitShares are not too big at the time of writing. Even for the trading pair with the highest volume, a 5-minute graph looks quite rough on BitShares exchange. It’s safe to say that improvement is needed here.

Even for the trading pair with the highest volume, a 5-minute graph looks quite ragged on BitShares

BitShares also supports stable coins of its own invention, including bitUSD, bitCNY, and bitRUBLE. Although, the less said about BitShares’ own coins the better, as this is something we aren’t going to address in any particular detail in this BitShares review.

Does BitShares have a mobile app?

The platform performs well in a mobile browser with all the same features available for seasoned traders. The HTML-code may result in a few visual bugs, but all-in-all, the experience is just as good as it is on a desktop.

BitShares also provides a mobile app that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Its interface is slightly different from its desktop version, but not so much that it’s noticeable. The only difficulty that you may come across when using BitShares on a mobile device is the necessity to copy-paste your password — twice.

The mobile version of BitShares looks pretty fine

What coins does BitShares support?

BitShares supports a huge variety of assets to trade, from popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to precious metals such as gold and silver. You can also add the likes of USDX to this equation too, which is actually built upon the BitShares protocol. However, due to poor marketing efforts, the platform lacks liquidity, so it may be a challenge to exchange BTC for gold and vice versa. At the time of writing, there are only two or three dozens trading pairs that have at least some trading activity.

BitShares supports even precious metals, but it’s difficult to exchange them for anything else due to the lack of trading volume

What are BitShares fees?

BitShares fees are imposed on every trade, but usually don’t come to any more than a few cents with SmartCoin pairs (including bitUSD and other stable currencies). Fees for every operation are assigned individually and they are defined by shareholders themselves.

Another big advantage of BitShares is that there are no trading limits. While centralized exchanges have daily and monthly limits for withdrawal, users of BitShares can trade openly and not have to worry too much about the associated costs.

Is BitShares customer support reliable?

You may be surprised, but BitShares exchange actually has no customer support at all. There is neither live chat nor even an email address to reach out to. There is only a contact form on BitShares’ main website. If you run into trouble here, you’re on your own, as there isn’t any BitShares customer support standing by to sweep in and save the day.

However, the lack of a third party to govern transactions reduces the possibility to assist users in case something goes wrong, doesn’t it? When sending funds from one wallet to another the only way to lose your funds is to make a typo in the recipient’s address, but on such an occasion, no third party would be able to help you either.

What else does BitShares offer?

BitShares doesn’t offer any signup bonuses or referral rewards. Its strength lies in another area. As it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, the platform unites a whole set of additional financial tools that make it function as a separate country, such as:

  • Paper wallet. You can export your account to PDF and print it for greater security.
  • Voting. You may vote for BTS block producers and proposals to influence the platform’s development.
  • Barter. Suggest an asset swap with another account on a peer-to-peer basis.
  • Collateralized debt position. You may borrow BitAsset from the platform by locking up another coin as collateral.

Is BitShares legit?

Overall rate: 7.4/10

Simply conducting a BitShares exchange review, we really do have to praise the platform as a whole. It doesn’t have the polish of the big exchanges out there, but what it does do, it does well. Perhaps, its only notable problem is the lack of marketing efforts, which have resulted in worryingly low trading volumes. While it’s lack of customer support is also something that’s hard to overlook.

BitShares is a great project that combines a whole set of financial tools, with the exchange making up a core part of that. Expect this to be an exchange to watch in the months and years to come.

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Originally published at https://fullycrypto.com on July 7, 2020.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency marketing specialist