SimpleSwap & Exolix – The Best Way to Swap XCH?

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This content was contributed and posted on XCH.today with permission from its creator(s). All opinions and views expressed in the content belong to the content creator and are not necessarily shared by XCH.today. Opinions should not be interpreted as financial advice.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with either SimpleSwap or Exolix. This story represents my limited experiences using both platforms. Using these exchange services requires trust (unlike Offer Files) and is NOT risk free. Do not blindly use these services without conducting your own research. None of my writing constitutes financial advice.

Lately I have needed an easy and reliable way to swap both in and out of XCH and I wanted to share my experiences with you all utilizing SimpleSwap.io and Exolix.com. In this article, I will detail a high level overview of each swap service, the risks involved, the cost, and my final thoughts. 

What’s a Simple-Exolix-Swap?

Both SimpleSwap and Exolix are very similar and proclaim themselves to be a cross-chain user-friendly service to exchange cryptocurrencies leveraging either fixed or floating exchange rates. Put simply, swapping with either service involves sending your crypto to an address under their control, waiting while they confirm receipt, exchange it for you, and then send your requested cryptocurrency to your receive address in a one time exchange. Both services do not require any KYC but creating a free account with a name and email allows you to view swap histories and for SimpleSwap only, a loyalty program beneficial for those who plan on swapping a lot. On the surface, these two products look and function strikingly similar with SimpleSwap taking a more suit and tie appearance vs. Exolix having a young and sleeker presence. Though this could just be SimpleSwap’s default light mode vs Exolix’s default dark mode.

The Risks

Before diving further, I wanted to outline the risks involved with using these trusted services before you go and ape your years worth of hard earned farming rewards into $ELONWIFSAFEMOON. In this section, I will infer how their services potentially work, and the obvious risks involved with sending your coins to an address you do not have control of.

Both services understandably do not share many details on how their swap services work exactly but I have a (slightly) educated guess based on my experiences and in listening to other folks’ experiences. I speculate that they are utilizing a regular high derivation reference wallet (or multiple) for receiving and sending XCH alongside a locally hosted trusted full node for faster wallet sync and confirmation that transactions are valid. In my own experiences and further confirmed with hearing the experiences of others, first time swaps can potentially take a bit. Anywhere from an hour to a couple of days for a deposit/receipt of XCH to be confirmed with the need for their support team to intervene. My assumption here is that after a period of illiquidity, their wallet/node gets out of sync due to lack of attention or not updating to the latest client, requiring the good ol restart / delete wallet db routine. Aside from hearing and experiencing accounts of this, this is the only plausible answer to this I can think of. It is also important to note that I have not heard of a swap eventually not getting resolved by either refund or just a longer swap period. You can read here about one of the more notable experiences documented on the r/chia subreddit.

Additionally, and this goes without saying but I have to say it, YOU ARE SENDING YOUR CRYPTO TO AN ADDRESS THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OF! Essentially meaning when you send the coins, they are gone and you have to trust the other party to fulfill their end of the deal. Side note, I feel so spoiled with the trustless benefits of P2P Offer Files native on Chia…

The Cost

Both of these services are self proclaimed as “Free”. However, just because there are no glaring fees or transaction charges, does not mean that the swap exchange is free as they have to make their money somehow. The cost of swapping is paid through a more expensive exchange rate when swapping from one asset to another. You can calculate the cost to swap by subtracting the USD value of the asset sent with the USD value of the asset received. This method is not perfect but is good enough for me to ensure I am not getting shafted with a horrible exchange rate as I find it quite easy to obfuscate the cost of swapping behind exchange rates.

Over the past six months, I have executed numerous swaps utilizing both services both buying and selling XCH. The lion’s share of my swaps have been through SimpleSwap as I only recently found out about Exolix. Despite this, I have executed enough swaps over a long enough time period to comfortably speak to the relative costs between them. In utilizing these services, I opted for a Floating Rate, which is susceptible to volatility vs a fixed rate, where you are guaranteed the initial quoted amount.

Detailed below is an example of a Floating Rate exchange I did from SOL to XCH a little while back. These swaps were initiated at virtually the exact same time. My results may differ from yours and depending on time of day, volatility, volume, size of trade, and which coins you’re coming from and going to, your mileage will vary.

To compare what we are seeing, let’s first take a look at SimpleSwap. In all, it took about 12 min from me sending the 1 Solana to me receiving the Chia. Due to the nature of a floating rate, the initial quoted rate wasn’t too far off from what I eventually received which was slightly less, or in 10 years from now, the equivalent of one month’s rent in California.

Exolix initially quoted me .062 XCH higher. Initially stoked! But what I eventually got was less, yet still higher than SimpleSwap or in 4 years from now, the equivalent of one month’s rent in California. Exolix took 13 minutes in total to swap. 

In summary, I have loosely observed that SimpleSwap’s floating quoted rate vs actual variance is smaller than Exolix. Despite Exolix having a higher variance in its floating rate, in the small handful of isolated tests I’ve done at the same time Exolix marginally resulted in a better rate vs SimpleSwap. Will reiterate that your results may vary. 

I have tracked all of my trade spreads and want to share aggregate data of my rough costs to swap in percent spread loss:

Average Cost4.36%
Median Cost4.01%
Minimum Cost1.32%
Max Cost7.87%
Aggregate statistics of swap costs.

I would also like to mention that the size of my swaps varied but mostly sat around the $100 range with a small number of outliers in the thousands and were done exclusively with Solana. Looking back, I likely could have marginally decreased the spread if my swaps were in the $200 – $300 range. I chose to swap with SOL due to how liquid it is across most markets, cheap to transact, and fast transaction speed. Though with its recent outage, I may have to opt for a different coin to swap in/out of. 

FINAL CONCLUSION

Both of these services work well enough in most cases. I also did not experience any issues or slowdowns with swapping through the network congestion and period of higher fees! If you live in the United States, already have access to a fiat on/off ramp, and are looking to stack or offload XCH at a slight rate premium, this is for you. Would I swap $10,000+ in one clip using this service? No because I already clench my way through these smaller swaps and am quite risk averse. Would I scale in/out over time or in multiple clips using Coinbase as a fiat intermediary? Very much so.

The skeptic in me likes SimpleSwap more as it makes me feel safe, warm and fuzzy. However, due to my degenerate side, Exolix provokes the ‘but I could potentially get a better deal’ in me. Which one will I use in the future? Probably both 🙂 

If you enjoyed reading about my experiences using these two services and plan on using them, feel free to sign up or exchange with my affiliate links below where I will get a small percentage of the trade. Do not feel obligated but if you care to support, I promise to buy more XCH with it! 

Editor’s note: There are other swap services available as well not covered in this article. Do your own research and proceed with caution.

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