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Atomic swap

Atomic swap

An atomic swap allows for a simultaneous exchange of different cryptocurrencies using a hashed time locked contract.

Atomic swaps are decentralized and trustless trades between two users of different cryptocurrencies. They involve each party paying into a contract transaction, one contract for each blockchain. The contracts contain an output that is spendable by either party, but the rules required for redemption are different for each party involved.

One party (called counterparty 1 or the initiator) generates a secret key and sends the intended trade amount into a smart-contract. The second party (called counterparty2 or the participant) can only redeem the funds by knowing the secret key. If a pre-determined period of time (typically 48 hours) expires after the smart-contract transaction has been mined or staked and the funds have not been redeemed by the participant, the funds can be refunded back to the initiator's wallet.


December 14, 2017
Komodo developers perform KMD/BCH atomic swap

The swap uses a 2-of-2 multi-signature mechanism on the decentralized exchange BarterDEX.

September 19, 2017
Decred and Litecoin complete a mainnet live cross-chain atomic swap

Developers complete the first live on-chain atomic swap on the Decred and Litecoin blockchains.

August 29, 201
Zcash engineers perform a demo Zcash/Bitcoin atomic swap

Ariel Gabizon and Jay Graber perform a demo cross-chain atomic swap using a tool called XCAT.

Further Resources


Atomic Swaps

Jimmy Song

On-Chain Atomic Swaps

Jake Yocom-Piatt

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