Can I convert crypto dust?

If you try to exchange or send some small crypto amount, you'll get an error message saying that the amount is below the minimum required. Why is there such a requirement at all, though? To answer this question, we'll first have to cover the topic of crypto dust.

What's crypto dust?

Bitcoin users have no accounts and no balances that are widespread in the traditional financial system. Instead, each BTC is broken down into smaller parts that are owned by various users. The total sum of these parts — UTXOs — you own is what Atomic Wallet displays as your "balance." 

Let's say Bob's balance is composed of two parts, that is, 0.10328 BTC and 0.25 BTC. Bob wants to send 0.1 BTC to Alice. If he sends her the second "part," he'll receive 0.15 BTC back, with no dust getting generated. If he goes with the former one, though, he'll receive a tiny amount of 0.00328 BTC back. That's crypto dust.

To sum up, crypto dust is a byproduct of a completed transaction — a tiny part of a BTC. Think of a $100 bill and $100 worth of pennies: the former is your regular BTC, and the latter is crypto dust. 

Now, imagine you have to pay a commission of 10 pennies every time you buy something. It wouldn't hurt much with the bill, but what if you wanted to spend just 5 pennies? Paying a dime to do so doesn't feel right. And if all you have is 5 pennies, you won't be able to make any transactions at all.

The minimum exchange amount explained

The exchange option you see in the "Exchange" tab is provided by our partners at ChangeNow. The minimum exchange amount is calculated by their system automatically, based on the size of the current average network fee for a particular blockchain.

Therefore, the reasoning behind the minimum exchange amount requirement is to make sure the exchange deposit is large enough to cover the network fee. If it isn't, you'll just lose the deposit to the blockchain, which is what the requirement aims to prevent.

Tip: To make the exchange, top up your wallet to meet the minimum exchange amount requirement.

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