The cryptoworld moves at a fast pace indeed! I am writing this just after Bitcoin has seen a new ATH (All Time High) of $5840 per coin, but there is much bigger news out there including recent developments with Atomic Swapping. What the hell is an Atomic Swap you say?? It is basically an instant transfer between two cryptocurrencies (or different blockchains if you will) without any risk in either party losing out. Follow along with The 'Stache as I break down why Atomic Swaps are a big deal and how they will work in your favor!
The Molecules Of An Atomic Swap
As I mentioned before an Atomic Swap is an instant transfer between 2 parties with zero risk. Here is why there is no risk; the nature of the swap is that it either completes in full or is canceled and coins are returned to both parties. This boils down to a problem of trust, and is the reason we have used 3rd party solutions for so long. With Atomic Swaps you can trade directly with someone securely and even more importantly cross-trade cryptocurrencies on the fly. Now the trust issue is gone and we can do the Atomic Swap all night long! This is a huge deal.
Atomic Swap Explosion
The first successful Atomic Swap was by the Decred dev team with a Decred to Litecoin Atomic Swap. This is now made possible by the Lighting Network upgrade to Litecoin (and hopefully soon for Bitcoin). Litecoin lead developer Charlie Lee has took the lead on incorporating Atomic Swaps and the Lighting Network upgrades into Litecoin and has made major progress.
Building off that progress upcoming Altcoin Exchange has now made public (and opensource on GitHub) the first ever Atomic Swap between Bitcoin & Ethereum. This is a big deal because these two currencies operate very differently then say Bitcoin & Litecoin. The folks at Altcoin Exchange say this is the first step in building a truly decentralized exchange (check out this article by their team on Medium). This now adds Ethereum to the list of already Atomic Swapped coins which include, Litecoin, Decred, Bitcoin, Viacoin, & Vertcoin.
While Atomic Swaps may not sound all that exciting to most people, the real power is in keeping things decentralized. I stumbled upon Altcoin Exchange about a month ago. Their exchange is not online yet, but you can go to their site and put in your email to get notified when they do. I am certainly interested in testing it out, and now with this new ETH <-> BTC swap I am even more excited. They are not the only decentralized exchange out there, but this kind of open source work shows they are committed to security and the future of cryptocurrency.
Our Future Is Atomic
Keeping things decentralized is the keystone of cryptocurrency and being able to instantly switch between two different cryptocurrencies securely and trade directly with others instead of having to rely on an exchange (even solid ones like Bitfinex or GDAX) which involves trusting a 3rd party with your money and transactions. Personally, I can't wait for instant swaps between all cryptocurrencies and with the recent news that the folks at Coinbase dropped (they are going to allow instant purchases from your bank account!!!) I see the future volume of cryptocurrencies set to explode once again! Hold on for the ride friends, we are on approach to the moon!