ShapeShift is one of the most distinguished organizations in crypto, and they are widely regarded as a pioneer in non-custodial crypto asset management. ShapeShift’s platform, which allows people to effortlessly buy, sell, and exchange crypto assets without ever relinquishing custody of them, is the destination of choice for people who want to trade quickly and securely. On top of that, Shapeshift offers zero-fee trades, which combined with the features mentioned above, gives users an unbeatable trading experience. ShapeShift has already originated many advances in crypto, but that is just a fraction of what the company has planned for the future.
ShapeShift devotes significant resources to research and development with an eye towards growing the feature set of their already dynamic exchange. “We want to keep flying the flag of crypto innovation,” says Kent Barton, ShapeShift’s head of Research and Development.
Alchemy helps ShapeShift focus on delivering their core mission
This is without a doubt an ambitious goal, but one we're confident they will achieve. That is why we're proud to back ShapeShift's mission by contributing the infrastructure technology they need to support their users, and advance their platform’s functionality.
Many of the assets that trade on ShapeShift, and many of the dapps that ShapeShift integrates with are Ethereum-based, so the strength, speed, and reliability of their node infrastructure are essential to ShapeShift’s ability to meet its users’ needs. Alchemy’s Supernode API allows ShapeShift to communicate with Ethereum, determine which assets are flowing through the system, and take the appropriate action steps based on user input.
Alchemy has been supporting ShapeShift for the last several months while they have scaled their services. "Since we came across Alchemy, we have never looked back,” says Kent. “It works wonderfully, it stays up, and when we need to reconnect, we reconnect and move on." Alchemy provides ShapeShift with all the node functionality they require via Supernode. “We've saved weeks of engineering time and lots of headaches in terms of support,” says Kent.
Lessons learned for the road ahead
ShapeShift is placing a heavy emphasis on R&D work to develop the systems they will need to bring the team’s vision of a decentralized crypto portal fully to life. One example of this innovation is ShapeShift’s contribution to Microtick, a decentralized, community-led platform which aligns incentives for oracles interacting with a blockchain, in a fair and economic way. Microtick does this by creating a market for prices that changes over time, based not only on spot price, but also volatility. This will solve the “oracle cost problem,” which in turn enables the growth of more dynamic and complex crypto markets.
The team’s focus on incentivizing oracles in an economical way is the result of years of work spent improving crypto asset trading. One earlier foray into the arena of oracle-guided crypto asset exposure was Prism, which launched in 2017. Although Prism attracted significant attention, it ultimately shut down in late 2018. “Prism, while it was well received, faced challenges on the business and scalability side,” says Kent. “It showed us we had more work to do.”
Building a reliable, user-friendly crypto market
Armed with the knowledge and insights they have gained over their years building crypto markets, the ShapeShift team has a clear view of what is needed to manifest their vision. And by doing so they will be improving the virility of DeFi in crypto. One key to their success will be the team’s ability to combine robust functionality, reliability, and security with a smooth and seamless user experience.
“The key problems to solve are, how do you expand the platform’s functionality as far as possible? How do you make sure it can connect to other dapps? And how do you do this while making the user experience as easy and enjoyable as possible?” says Kent.
This is where ShapeShift relies on Alchemy to help them push the boundaries of their platform’s growth. Using Alchemy’s node infrastructure, ShapeShift is able to connect with dapps such as MetaMask to provide large numbers of traders with the most optimal transactions, based on each user's requests. “If we approached the bridge differently, it would be clunkier, people wouldn't have enough gas,” says Kent. “As it is, with Alchemy, the bridge has never failed.”
ShapeShift has already achieved a great deal, and they have high expectations for what’s to come. We are thrilled to help them grow and thrive, which in turn helps create a more robust DeFi ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about ShapeShift? Go here.