Binance used to be the best option in the United States to anonymously conduct crypto to crypto trades, but it banned United States residents in September. Fortunately, it appears there is an alternative now via the Edge Wallet, which can be used to anonymously conduct crypto trades on a smartphone. That being said, the caveat is the crypto to crypto trades are custodial, can take a significant amount of time, and have fees that are significantly higher than Binance.
During an interview at the North American Bitcoin Conference, Brett Musser from Edge Wallet detailed how only the user has access to the crypto private keys in the Edge Wallet, making it non-custodial.
Musser goes on to explain how the only thing stored on the Edge Wallet server is an encrypted blob of data, and if someone could theoretically hack into the server it would be an intensive effort to unencrypt any of these blobs, and a hacker would not know which blobs of data correspond to wallets which actually have money in them. Musser describes it as an “infinite room of lockers”. Indeed, there would likely be many wallets which have nothing in them at all.
The point of storing this blob of data on a centralized server is so that users can recover their account in the event their phone is lost or stolen, and Musser is adamant that there’s no way that private keys could be compromised since the data on the server is so highly encrypted.
Further, the private keys are highly encrypted on the phone, and without the pin code for the wallet it would be nearly impossible to compromise the private keys on the phone.
As for the capabilities of the wallet, cryptocurrencies that can be used in the wallet include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), EOS, Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Dash (DASH), Tezos (XTZ), Digibyte (DGB), Vertcoin (VTC), Ravencoin (RVN), QTUM, Feathercoin (FTC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), SmartCash (SMART), Groestlcoin (GRS), Zcoin (XZC), UFO, eBoost (EBST), and Dogecoin (DOGE).
The most notable thing about the Edge Wallet is the crypto to crypto transactions which do not require any identification information. Musser describes how Edge Wallet itself does not fulfill trades, but there are external exchanges directly connected to the wallet. Specifically, Edge Wallet connects to 8 different crypto to crypto exchange partners including but not limited to ChangeNOW, Fox Exchange, Codex, Total, ShapeShift, and CoinSwitch. Out of those exchanges, Edge Wallet selects the most optimal trade, i.e. the trade with the lowest fees and the best exchange rate.
Crypto.IQ tested out Edge Wallet’s exchange capabilities in order to make sure it actually worked, and submitted a trade of $10 of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for $9 of Bitcoin (BTC). Edge Wallet matched the trade via Fox Exchange.
At this point a significant caveat was discovered, Fox Exchange would not send the Bitcoin (BTC) until the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) deposit got 3 confirmations.
This could be considered a major flaw, since the crypto certainly leaves the Edge Wallet for a significant amount of time, during which time the centralized exchange facilitating the trade has custody.
Therefore, users should be cautioned to know what they are getting into when conducting trades via the Edge Wallet, and to read the terms and conditions of each trade carefully. It certainly seems possible that a centralized exchange could go down or be hacked during the time it takes to make a trade. Further, it must be trusted that Edge Wallet is constantly monitoring their exchange partners to see if they’re being reliable, which cannot be confirmed or denied.
Beyond the risk of conducting crypto to crypto trades on Edge Wallet, the fees were quite significant, almost $1 for a $10 transaction, which is nowhere near as low as the fees on Binance. However, perhaps a larger trade would have a lower percentage fee, although this cannot be confirmed.
Ultimately, the Bitcoin (BTC) arrived after 3 hours and 20 minutes, which was exactly when the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) deposit got 3 confirmations. Usually this should only take 30 minutes on average. It was simply a matter of unlucky timing, with the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain working much slower than usual.
For altcoins that are not Bitcoin (BTC) forks the trades are probably much faster, since Bitcoin (BTC) and its forks have some of the longest confirmation times. Also, waiting for confirmations is typical when using exchanges, so the experience when using Edge Wallet is nothing out of the usual.
All things considered, Edge Wallet does have a functioning crypto to crypto exchange, but users should be aware that the crypto does leave their wallet and is deposited on a centralized exchange, the trade can take significant amounts of time due to blockchain confirmations, and the fees can be up to 10%, although perhaps with bigger transactions the fees are lower. Also, Edge Waller has minimums of $5 to $30, so micro trades are not possible.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the Edge Wallet is it can be used to exchange Bitcoin (BTC) into the popular privacy coins Monero (XMR) and DASH. Even with Edge Wallet’s caveats, it is hard to find an exchange to buy Monero (XMR) nowadays, so therefore Edge Wallet is a good resource for people who need privacy coins.
Overall, Edge Wallet seems to be a fairly well-built wallet, and the anonymous crypto to crypto exchange feature is useful even with the caveats, especially since it is difficult to find a venue to conduct anonymous crypto to crypto trades in the United States.