ShapeShift Adds Instant Conversion of Ripple
ShapeShift has added Ripple support and allows for the nearly instantaneous transfer between cryptocurrencies. Ripple is currently the second largest cryptocurrency if you consider pure market cap numbers.
ShapeShift works by allowing users to send any supported cryptocurrency to a ShapeShift address and have a converted amount of any other supported currency to any address the user chooses.
The advantages of using ShapeShift.io over a traditional exchange are that you don’t have to make an account and any supported cryptocurrency can be converted and sent to a merchant that accepts bitcoin (or any other supported cryptocurrency).
Ripple is a big addition, because it is fairly popular despite having a completely different base than Bitcoin. Unlike most cryptocurrencies (but not all, NXT is another example) Ripple was built from the ground up and doesn’t use the Bitcoin source code. This gives it certain advantages over Bitcoin, but also has its drawbacks. One notable drawback is that it is less compatible with systems already designed for Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies. While integrating a coin that is based on Bitcoin into a Bitcoin API will often only require a few minor changes to the code, Ripple API and integration generally has to be built from the ground up
This post was published at Coin Telegraph on 2015-01-21.