Altcoin.io is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange powered by atomic swaps. Find out everything you need to know about the exchange today in our review.
What is Altcoin.io?
Altcoin.io is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. Unlike a traditional cryptocurrency exchange, Altcoin.io lets you maintain possession of your keys while trading with other users. You don’t need to deposit your funds into a centralized pool to access the exchange. Instead, it’s a “decentralized” exchange, which means you retain your keys throughout the trading process.
The only reason decentralized exchanges are possible is through the use of atomic swaps. Atomic swaps, in basic terms, refer to the idea that your cryptocurrencies are traded at the exact same moment. In other words, somebody sends 10 LTC to your wallet at the exact same moment that you send 0.1 BTC to their wallet. You retain control of your bitcoins up until the exact moment the other trader’s Litecoins appear in your wallet.
Altcoin.io has been in the headlines this past week after launching its alpha version. The alpha version of Altcoin.io features a working atomic swap wallet with a GUI. It’s available for public testing today.
Company founder Andrew Gazdecki believes the exchange “has the potential to disrupt every centralized exchange currently used by the cryptocurrency community.”
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how Altcoin.io works.
How Does Altcoin.io Work?
Altcoin.io has launched an alpha version of an atomic swap wallet for bitcoin and Ethereum. Over the past few months, there have been a growing number of atomic swaps happening between currencies like bitcoin, Zcash, Decred, Bitcoin Cash, and others. Earlier this week, we had a landmark LTC/BTC atomic swap.
So What’s the Big Deal With Altcoin.io?
Well, all atomic swaps so far have been done with a command line. Altcoin.io is the first to create a wallet that offers atomic swaps over a graphical user interface (GUI). This makes it easy for a layperson – someone with limited knowledge of technology – to complete an atomic swap.
That GUI was tested by Bitcoin.com earlier this week. During the test, they swapped bitcoin and Ethereum. One trader opens their web browser to initiate the swap. Then, they send a URL to the other trader. The other trader copies the URL into the browser to view the trade. You can click the “Agree” button to authorize the atomic swap.
You don’t have to wait long for the transfer to be complete. The process does, however, take a few minutes, and both users must leave their browser windows open throughout the process. If either browser is closed, the swap will cancel. If the swap is canceled, the original coins will always return to their original wallets.
The end result is a cryptocurrency transaction between two trustless parties, completed in a short period of time without the need for a trusted, centralized intermediary – like an exchange.
Safety is Guaranteed Throughout the Entire Process
The Altcoin.io development team, understandably, has designed their atomic swap process with safety in mind. Safety is guaranteed throughout the entire process.
There’s no centralized repository during the transaction. Your funds aren’t held in some “escrow” account even for a split second. You remain in control of your coins 100% of the time during the trading process.
There’s no set limit for trades on the Altcoin.io atomic swap wallet because the platform uses hashed time-locked contracts, or HTLC, to complete the process. Altcoin.io’s wallet also gives a cryptographic code confirming both parties have sent the coins, along with a code declaring the settlement was complete (kind of like a receipt).
The ultimate benefit is that atomic swaps can eradicate the idea of centralized exchanges. Cryptocurrencies were designed to be a decentralized form of payment between two trustless parties. However, exchanges today are functioning similar to a traditional bank: they charge high fees to act as a trusted middleman during the exchange process. Atomic swaps – like the ones available through Altcoin.io – will lead to a more decentralized future.
A decentralized exchange also doesn’t act as a major target for hackers: hackers don’t have a single target to attack (like the central server of a bank).
More Cryptocurrencies Will Be Added in the Future
Altcoin.io has released the alpha version of their wallet, allowing anyone to exchange Bitcoin and Ethereum in a seamless, decentralized way. This initial release, however, is simply designed to showcase the power of atomic swaps to the general public, allowing people to see how well the technology works.
Eventually, the company will add more coins to the exchange. They also plan to create automated order matching – so you don’t need to individually match with a user to create a trade. They hope to add “dozens” of other tokens, along with third party wallet support that allows users to swap funds from within their existing wallets.
Altcoin.io emphasizes all of the following features:
Altcoin.io’s mission is to create a decentralized Altcoin exchange built by traders for traders.
24/7 Customer Support:
Altcoin.io promises a strong commitment to customer support, with 24/7 service available.
Secure Against Theft:
A decentralized exchange means you can’t lose your coins through hardware failure, exploits, or other negligence.
Better User Experience:
Altcoin.io is making headlines for creating the first atomic swap with a GUI. Up to now, atomic swaps have been completed with command lines.
100% Token Control:
Complete a frictionless, anonymous, trustless, and secure trade while remaining in complete control of your funds at all times. You have 100% control of your tokens throughout the trading process. If you close the window at any point during the trade, the trade will be canceled.
Who’s Behind Altcoin.io?
Altcoin.io was launched by company founder Andrew Gazdecki. Gazdecki is the CEO of Bizness Apps, Inc., and was picked as one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for 2017.
Other key members of the Altcoin.io team include Sulejman Sarajlija, Djenad Razic, Anto Brajkovicis, Azra Mahmutovic, Admir Sabanovic, Nick Cote, Josh Olszewics, Nate Freire, Alan Ezeir, and “CryptoBull”.
The alpha for Altcoin.io’s atomic swap GUI was released just this week. The company plans to launch the full version of the wallet publicly in early 2018, along with increased support for other cryptocurrencies.
To learn more about Altcoin.io, visit the decentralized exchange online today. Or, if you’re interested in the coding for Altcoin.io’s atomic swaps, check out the Altcoin.io atomic swap Github code here.