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A gateway is the connection between two networks using different protocols. It is a secure connector that allows users to send currency from one network to another, whether it being fiat or cryptocurrency.
Examples of a “network” in this case depends on what type of currency you are using. If you use fiat currency, a network is basically the two banks between the gateway, so when you buy something online you transfer money from your bank account to the company you purchase from, using Paypal, Stripe or another gateway. If you use cryptocurrency, a network is the blockchain like the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain, where you can send directly on those blockchains or use a gateway to send for you. There are multiple examples of gateways using cryptocurrency, with more coming up every day:
OpenLedger: Is a gateway on the Bitshares Grahpene blockchain that allows the user to send and receive money, cryptocurrencies and SmartCoins all over the world.
Blocktrades: Is a simplified, user friendly interface that allows fairly large amounts of transfers between cryptocurrencies. It does not require a user to sign in. It charges a small fee unless the user transfers a small amount. Blocktrades is also considered to be quite fast when it is on blockchain.
ShapeShift: Offers global trading of cryptocurrencies. It is a company that does not collect personal data and nor does it collect any funds on behalf of their users. Unless, a user doesn’t apply for refunds the company will keep the assets, in case of a failed exchange.
CryptoBridge: Is a decentralised exchange that allows trading of various altcoins. It is the latest in the many DEX – decentralised exchanges within the cryptocurrency market. It allows the user to always hold a private key which allows them to have complete control over their accounts. They use many gateway networks connected to each other that issues the same multi-signature proxy-assets. This is called federated network. CryptoBridge requires a majority of agreeing gateways in order to publish the transaction on the blockchain.