Review of Altcoin.io: Launching early in 2018, pre-registration available now.
Image: The Altcoin.io Wallet.
Altcoin.io is a very promising decentralized exchange project with no ICO or VC funding backing it. The list of people involved can be found right on their homepage and includes some familiar names and handles - Coinrun, Pizpie and Josh Olszewicz.
The new cryptocurrency exchange that is to be launched in early 2018 and will run entirely on atomic swaps. That is, it’s going to be that kind of place that should make Shapeshift obsolete: the swap is done via a trustless contract, the fees are going to be lower, the trust in the middleman not necessary.
The mission of altcoin.io goes even further though - they are aiming to build a decentralized trading exchange that will provide better experience than exchanges like EtherDelta:
DEXs have been around for some time. […] While they’ve generally offered better security, they’re far from perfect. Most DEXs store your private keys on Ethereum smart contracts (using the ERC20 standard), relying on off-chain order books to fulfill your trades. This restricts the number of tradeable tokens, and slows everything down.
What has been done so far
There is a preview of the UI but the exchange itself is not open yet. What is new is that you can already open an account to get access to the atomic swap wallet (on testnet for now). You’ll be able to use the same user account once the exchange opens.
The account setup is similar to bitcoin wallets - you are getting your 12-word seed. That means, your account is not tied to your real-life identity and you retain the full control of the funds you are trading with.
Once you’re in you will get access to wallets for a multitude of bitcoin-based and ethereum-based assets. You can already try out the atomic swap exchange process on the testnets, for instance with the help of a BTC testnet faucet and an ETH testnet faucet where you get coins via a tweet because of network spam protection.
Video walkthrough here has about 6 minutes, the gist is with two separate wallets in different browsers and once you have the testnet coins you can initiate a p2p atomic swap from one of the wallets. Because it’s p2p, it will generate a confirmation link for the party on the other side of the trade that you’ve just opened. Open it in the second wallet browser and okay it, it will complete the swap.
If you don’t really know what this all means there’s an article about atomic swaps on blog.altcoin.io. That blog also the place to follow if you want to get the latest updates on the exchange development.
If this is the first time you hear about the project and you’d like to see what the app looks like first or get convinced this isn’t a crazy scam, watch BTCKYLE talking to the founders of altcoin.io on Youtube.
The walkthrough for the altcoin.io wallet and atomic swaps available from Vimeo is shorter and less chatty.
So far the testnet functions of altcoin.io are impressive but really at the Shapeshift level: you can exchange one token for another, from the user point of view it’s the same experience as on Shapeshift or in a decentralized way on Bisq.
If atomic swap trading is going to be a thing, what is really needed is an advanced interface for traders because active trading is the game that will bring in the people and the liquidity. Luckily the team seems to be aware of that, the preview exchange UI looks much like prettier sister of BitMEX.
From the blog posts it’s not even clear how far from launch the development really is, though, and it is safe to assume there’s a lot to do. It is well worth staying tuned, though. Let’s hope OP delivers…
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