Join us for a Tokenly Q&A This Saturday + Swapbot FAQs

Join us for a Tokenly Q&A This Saturday + Swapbot FAQs

Adam B. Levine

Saturday the 25th of July, 2015 you're invited to join us for an inside look at the Tokenly Ecosystem and some of its early inhabitants.
We'll be looking at and answering questions about Vending, Redemption and Wallet Services as well as the bigger picture of what this all means and why it matters.

Swapbot FAQ, July 2015

Swapbot Multi-Token Vending Machines

  1. What is Swapbot?

    1. Swapbot is hosted, open source software project developed by Tokenly CTO Devon Weller allowing anyone to operate or rent token-to-token vending machine services.

  2. What is a swapbot?

    1. A swapbot is a single set of automation and logic designed to enable its operator to sell a token as simply as stocking a vending machine (or sending a bitcoin transaction).  

  3. What is

    1. An easy to use, inexpensive hosted swapbot rental service provided by Swapbot developer Tokenly.

  4. How can I use a swapbot to buy or sell tokens for me?

    1. Two ways:

      1. You can run Swapbot on your own server along with Bitcoin and Counterparty servers and a variety of supporting tools and services that power Swapbot and other Tokenly technologies.

      2. You can rent a swapbot by the month from someone else who is (Like Tokenly!)

  5. How difficult would it be for me to run Swapbot myself?

    1. If you’re a technical person, comfortable with linux server environments with experience running and maintaining commandline cryptocurrency daemons, you’ll probably feel right at home.  If thats you, check out our Github and get involved!

  6. What’s the easiest way to get started?

    1. Tokenly offers swapbots for $7 per month as a flat hosted rental cost payable in bitcoin and other valuable tokens.  You’ll answer some questions about what you’re trying to do and your bot will be set up within 24 hours of payment.  

  7. Are there any other fees if I choose the hosted service?

    1. Just one for the basic Swapbot service.

      There is a very small miners fee per transaction that must be paid by the swapbot from its address whenever it dispenses to paying customers.  

      Tokenly starts all swapbots with enough BTC fuel for 20 swaps as a courtesy.

      Whomever rents the swapbot (the Operator) is responsible for making sure the bot maintains enough “Fuel” to continue operating.  The operator is alerted by email when fuel is running low and can top-up the account from the email.

      If customers pay you in BTC the miners fee will be drawn from here but in some circumstances where token-for-token transactions are much more common than bitcoin transactions, very small amounts of BTC will need to be added occasionally.

  8. Can I run my own hosted version of Swapbot and sell Token Vending Machine services to non-technical users if I want?

    1. Yes you can!   You must include links to the Tokenly blog and if you make any improvements you’ll need to make your improved source code available either on demand or by publishing it publicly.  

      Tokenly services are designed to be offered commercially by many companies, we believe the market for tokens is as small now as it ever will be and so the goal is not to dominate this tiny market but to help show its potential and along with others of like mind, grow the market to its full and behemothic potential.   

  9. How many tokens can I sell in a single swapbot?

    1. If you have one type of token you’d like to sell than you’ll need one swapbot.  If you want to sell 10 different types of tokens, you’ll need 10 swapbots.   The token sold by a swapbot is called its “Native Token” because one side of every trade performed by the swapbot will involve this token.

  10. How many kinds of tokens can I accept in exchange for my Native Token?

    1. Each swapbot can be configured to accept as many types of tokens in exchange.  You can set a US Dollar price payable in bitcoin and as many other tokens as you choose to accept.  Swaps can be set as fixed rates or {AMOUNT} for {AMOUNT} depending on the style of token.

  11. How does someone purchase from a Swapbot?

    1. A user becomes a customer when they send the appropriate amount of bitcoin or another accepted token at the particular swapbot to trigger the swapbot vend.  

      When a deposit is detected and the operator defined number of confirmations on the bitcoin network has occurred, Swapbot logic controlling the vending machine address sends the appropriate amount of the appropriate token (based on the operator defined rules of that particular swapbot) to whatever address it received the deposit from.  

  12. How do I know the rules of a given swapbot?

    1. Each swapbot has a page of its own containing its address, inventory and the rules and rates of all its swaps.  You can most simply buy from a swapbot by using the order interface on its page that will help you calculate the price you’ll need to pay to get the tokens you wish to receive.


  13. Do I have to order through a swapbots webpage?

    1. No.   

      But it is strongly recommended that you do, the ordering interface is designed to help you calculate prices and see the rules clearly listed in text that must be accurate because it is determined by the logic of the bot.  
      Fundamentally though, Swapbot is designed to be a fairly simple, modular part of what will become surprisingly complex systems of behavior as Swapbots trade with other Swapbots and who knows what else emerges.

  14. How can I tell if the rules of a Swapbot I purchase from regularly have changed?

    1. Each swapbot has what we call a “Changebot”, a colorful, distinctive robot head that acts as a visual fingerprint for all the details important to potential customers of the swapbot.

      So long as those details remain the same, the Changebot will look identical each time you visit.  When something, ANYTHING, changes you’ll find yourself looking at an unfamiliar face the next time you visit.

      This feature is currently working although tooltips explaining it are not yet implemented.

  15. What happens if I send too much or too little in order to buy the amount of token I want?

    1. Unless the amount you send is below the minimum order you will receive proportionally either too much or too little.  It is for this reason we suggest strongly that normal users do so on a given Swapbots page.  

  16. What happens if I order less than the minimum order?

    1. bitcoin deposits will be refunded minus the miners fee of the refund transaction, tokens must be manually returned - please contact the operator or contact  To keep from wasting your time, please pay attention to posted minimums.

  17. You mentioned open source, where can I find it?


  18. Do you have a roadmap for further development?

    1. Why yes!

  19. Have you ever heard of  Is Swapbot like that?

    1. Yes, we’ve heard of Shapeshift (and really like what they do!) and no we don’t think Swapbot really competes with what they do. is an Exchange Service that has a vending-machine style user interface.  Whenever you use shapeshift, you are sending your coins to Shapeshift (the company) and then they send you back the tokens you’ve purchased from another address they control.   

      Because of this, there is only one with one set of tokens they accept and one set of rates backed by one company.

      Swapbot on the other hand is designed to have each individual swapbot be hosted, operated and stocked by different companies and people who have different needs, preferences and peculiarities.   

      A hosting provider like Tokenly runs Swapbot on our servers and acts as an infrastructure provider to those who wish to buy or sell tokens but don’t want to run the server.  Each operator individually picks the tokens that are sold and stocked, the tokens that are accepted and the specific swaps that are available.

  20. Does Swapbot compete with

    1. No, is designed for and focused on tokens which are high enough volume to have reliable prices when sold onto exchange markets in quantity.  Further, Shapeshift is designed to help you accept a token you do not want and convert it into a token you do want, hence “ShapeShift”  

      Swapbot can be thought of simply as “Like Shapeshift anyone can run for less than $10 a month for low volume coins and you keep the tokens you collect.