Testing BTC/XMR Exchangers – Results, Part 1

14D Ago
I ran a test on some of the more common convenient, centralized, no-KYC exchangers used by the community to see which ones give the best real-world results (speed, fees/rate, "privacy"). My desire for the test was sparked by the drama surrounding the Majestic Bank exchanger ([http://dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion/post/a30a129b4bce83302f82](http://dreadytofatroptsdj6io7l3xptbet6onoyno2yv7jicoxknyazubrad.onion/post/a30a129b4bce83302f82)) and to compare the alternatives. Obviously, for the best privacy, options like Haveno, LocalMonero, and atomic swaps are great, but that’s not the focus of this test. Some great options are still being developed, and users new to Monero are more likely to use instant swappers than LocalMonero (but you should definitely consider LocalMonero). I’m going to run the test again in the near future, and if you would like any services added to the list or for me to change any part of the test, please comment or message me. ​ # THE TEST The goal was to provide real-world numbers to hold swap services accountable and allow us, the users, to be able to actually compare them instead of relying on the claims on their websites. The test was done by sending the same small amount BTC to each exchanger at roughly the same time and comparing the results. **Amount Received** was calculated using the actual XMR that arrived in end wallet as a percentage based on the BTC/XMR rate listed on an arbitrary platform at the time of the BTC send. This was chosen to provide a common baseline, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. Percentages should be compared only to each other in the table, and do not necessarily reflect the real returns you will receive when using these services since you may be using a different source for your BTC/XMR rate. **Total Time** was calculated from the time of the first BTC confirmation to the first XMR confirmation in my final wallet (including withdraws, if applicable). **Privacy** was limited to its Tor-accessibility and JavaScript-friendliness, although I know there are many other considerations. If a service did not function reliably or did not allow all features (e.g. limiting the types or amounts of swaps) when using Tor, it was labeled as "Tor-hostile." If it has a Tor hidden service, it was labeled with "Onion." If it required JavaScript to function, this was also noted. # RESULTS |Service|Amount Received|Total Time|Privacy| |:-|:-|:-|:-| |ChangeNow|96.1%|10 minutes|Tor-hostile, JS required| |FixedFloat|97.4%|10 minutes|Tor-hostile, JS required| |SideShift|97.2%|10 minutes|Tor-hostile, JS required| |KiloSwap|93.6%|10 minutes|Onion, JS not required| |Infinity^(1)|93.5%|6 minutes^(5)|Onion, JS not required| |Incognito^(2)|99.9%^(6)|\> 1 hour^(7)|Mobile app| |TradeOgre^(3)|99.5%|27 minutes|Tor-hostile, JS required| |Majestic Bank^(4)|INCOMPLETE|INCOMPLETE|Onion, JS not required| # CONCLUSIONS Make your own conclusions! But here are some of mine. The Tor hidden service instant swappers had about a 3.4% decrease in returns compared to the clear web instant swappers. I knew it was more costly, but I did not realize just how much until putting the numbers on paper. It is also worth noting that you are more likely to get tainted coins (if going XMR > ?) using Infinity than ChangeNow, for example, but you have the benefit of using an onion site. I was pleasantly surprised at the speed of all instant swappers. ChangeNow is slightly more expensive than FixedFloat and SideShift, which seems to have been historically true. TradeOgre has good returns when going from BTC > XMR due to its low fees so long as you can wait for the required deposit confirmations and withdraw delay. Incognito is nice but fits a very different niche than the occasional instant swap. I am disappointed that Majestic Bank was down. Since their "scandal", I wanted them included on this test to see if they were really back/reliable. At the time of writing, it looks like they are back up on Tor, so hopefully they will be included next test. Infinity, the somewhat new kid on the block, seems to have fees similar to KiloSwap and were just as fast. # FUTURE TESTS I will run this test again, likely going the other direction (XMR > BTC), and will likely include more services. If you have exchangers you'd like me to include, please comment or DM me. Ones I'm considering, if there's interest, are Elude (onion), retrying Majestic Bank, maybe some other instant swappers, and *maybe* the Cake Wallet version of ChangeNow or SideShift. Obviously, there are some costs associated with running these tests (swap fees, blockchain transaction fees, and withdraw fees for CEXs/DEXs). If you want to help me out for this test and future tests, I welcome any XMR assistance here: ​ **83cr1a9KBYuTsQvDDL1STw8ozoU16SZSTcSdRXuimdp89KvhqLoxonaFfEzccYQnjKNJwFmmWuGFWdecCKtDHdTtL2po5hX** (This address expires at the end of 2022.) ​ Footnotes: 1: Due to an issue with the initial transaction (user error), Infinity's swap did not go through at the same time as the rest. Still, it's low returns could not be accounted for by the small change in price that occurred in that time. 2: Incognito is a DEX that requires a lengthy deposit (shield) and withdraw (unshield) process. 3: Swapping on TradeOgre means depositing, waiting for the deposit to confirm, swapping, and then withdrawing. This time delay leads to price fluctuations which can taint results. Still, even taking that into account, the returns were very good. 4: Majestic Bank was excluded because the onion site was down at the time of the test, right in keeping with all the issues surrounding it recently. 5: Remember, the Infinity BTC transaction went through at a different time, so the faster speed was likely just due to a difference in block times. 6: The results here are due primarily to the price/rate on Incognito at the time of the test as opposed to fees. The rate of BTC to XMR on Incognito varies from CEXs, and it can change rapidly due to low liquidity. Just because the results were good on this test does not mean they will always be good. 7: The Total Time is long because of the shield/unshield process of Incognito. Edit: added Dread link