Instant cryptocurrency exchange service ShapeShift has launched a new service aimed specifically at simplifying payments across different currencies.
ShapeShift Lens allows Bitcoin payments to be sent using a range of altcoins, with the conversion handled automatically once payment has been submitted.
The result allows any Bitcoin invoice, including those from merchants such as Amazon or Overstock, to be paid, for example, in Dogecoin or Litecoin.
The free tool is currently available on Google Chrome Webstore, and features a plugin with which users may access the convertor. Once installed, the ShapeShift icon appears next to Bitcoin addresses on any webpage visited with the browser. Clicking activates the Lens, which takes altcoin payments, converts them to Bitcoin and sends them to the desired address.
ShapeShift Lens, in-line with its parent service, does not require an account for any of its features to be used.
Currently supported are Litecoin, Dogecoin and Peercoin, in addition to a selection of the most popular altcoins currently on the market. ShapeShift itself is also going live with support for Namecoin, Feathercoin and Blackcoin today.
Cointelegraph reached out to Founder and CEO, Beorn Gonthier, for some more in-depth information about ShapeShift Lens and the current climate.
Cointelegraph: You mention Lens supports “leading altcoins” – how many in total are you making available, and why did you choose these?
Beorn Gonthier: ShapeShift Lens supports all the coins that are available on ShapeShift.io. This now includes Litecoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, Darkcoin, Blackcoin, Feathercoin, and Namecoin. We will keep adding coins so Lens will become increasingly universal. The goal here is to unify all the coins, so that a Bitcoin address can be paid with any popular altcoin.
CT: Lens is currently available for Google Chrome. Do you intend to support more browsers and platforms in future?
BG: Firefox will be available very soon. We probably won't support other browsers than those two in the short term.
CT: Could you elaborate for readers on the security hurdles you have overcome while optimizing the product? How were you able to guarantee stability?
BG: ShapeShift is unique in that most of the security issues that Bitcoin companies have to worry about do not apply. This is because ShapeShift is not a custodian of customer funds; it doesn't hold customer money for more than a few moments while the transaction is processing.
Not quite sure what you mean by "guarantee stability," but if you're talking about stability of the service, that is just a prerequisite of good product design. We keep things simple and efficient. ShapeShift does one thing and one thing only - fast, easy conversions between
CT: What has the reaction been like to Lens so far? What are your plans for the future of ShapeShift?
BG: No reaction to Lens yet because it will only be announced on Wedensday. We hope people love it! They can now buy something on Overstock for example with Dogecoin or Namecoin. Every Bitcoin merchant is now an altcoin merchant without even knowing it. This is some of the cool magic that is afforded by cryptocurrency.
More information on ShapeShift can be found here.
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