Glossary > Atomic swap
An atomic swap is an exchange of one cryptocurrency for another using smart contracts rather than centralized exchanges (CEXs).
An atomic swap relies on a special kind of smart contract named hash timelock contract (HTLC). With this kind of contract, users must confirm, within a timeframe, that they have received the funds. If they fail to do so, the contract cancels the trade and the original owners will get back their assets.