Glossary > Atomic swap

Atomic swap

What is an 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.