Last Updated On December 26th, 2019
When you look at cryptocurrency exchanges, they generally fall into one of two camps: centralized or peer to peer exchanges. Today we’re going to have a Changelly review where we will check out an exchange working to break the mold and provide users with the lowest fees, fastest speeds, and most enjoyable experience in the market. We’ll answer questions like:
- What is Changelly?
- How does Changelly Work?
- Is Changelly Safe?
Here, we’ll examine its key features, fees, supported currencies, and security. We’ll also break down the account creation process and give you a step by step guide for making your first trade.
Changelly was founded in 2015 by Konstantin Gladych in the Czech Republic and is closely connected with MinerGate, a trusted and long-running cryptocurrency mining pool. It was designed as a way to find the best available prices for any trading pair transaction at a given moment. This is done by performing real-time monitoring of the buy/sell costs at many of the largest exchanges around.
It now has more than two million members and consistently processes more than 15 thousand transactions per week. Not only that, it has some of the highest trading volumes among exchanges, averaging 60 thousand Bitcoin per month, or about $400 million.
This platform is fairly unique in the crypto space. It doesn’t function as a centralized exchange nor does it act as a peer to peer broker. Instead, it emphasizes that its model provides you the lowest prices and fastest transaction speeds of just about any exchange. Also, it provides one of the most anonymous ways around to trade in cryptocurrencies
It has excellent security, an intuitive interface, and one of the best functional records.
Sign up & Identification
This has one of the easiest sign-up processes of any exchange we’ve reviewed. All you need to get trading is an email address or a single sign-in account like Google or Facebook. It takes literally seconds to create an account and as soon as you’re logged in you can make your first trade. Changelly has no KYC requirement and doesn’t even ask you for your name.
The only caveat to this is that fiat transactions require ID verification. Strictly speaking, there still isn’t any Changelly verification. However, its fiat payment processor Simplex does require full ID verification. In order to buy Bitcoin using your credit or debit card, you’ll be required to provide all your information and a selfie of you holding both your card and a form of government-issued ID.
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Because Changelly is set up as a cryptocurrency exchange there isn’t any real depositing or withdrawing of funds. Whenever a user makes a buy or sell order, they’re required to submit both a destination wallet address for their purchase and a payment wallet address for their payment.
The nature of this kind of exchange means that your funds are never directly in its possession. It acts as a platform that allows you to buy from another party.
Currently, it accepts both crypto purchases and the use of fiat currency. You can use both credit and debit cards to buy Bitcoin. Once you buy those, you can exchange it for other cryptocurrencies.
Changelly Supported Coins
This platform currently supports major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as over a hundred altcoins. It allows a wide number of trading pairs from these coins and has an appeals process in place to get new altcoins approved.
Changelly has a fairly favorable fee setup when compared to many other exchanges. It charges a flat .5% commission across the board on all transactions. There is, of course, a standard blockchain network fee in addition to Changelly’s own commission.
It offers this relatively low fee by not fixing prices. Most exchanges fix the rate of exchange between trading pairs on a regular basis. This allows them to provide a quoted price and process your transaction using it. There is risk involved in this approach, with the exchange either benefitting from lowered prices or losing out to higher prices.
IT gives you a price estimate then provides whatever the prevailing market rate is at the instant of your transaction. They make the purchase from the exchange with the lowest price/fee combination and include that in your total price.
The downside to this is that you have to pay both Changelly’s .5% transaction fee and the fee of the exchange that actually provides the cryptocurrency.
This platform doesn’t have crypto storage accounts the way centralized ones like Binance or Coinbase does. When you carry out a transaction your funds are automatically transferred to your personal wallet. The only fee associated with this is the Changelly trading fee and the network miner fee.
While it doesn’t provide accounts for you to deposit your funds into, it does allow you to use fiat currency to purchase Bitcoin. There is a 5% fee charged for credit or debit card transactions of this nature.
Since it was founded Changelly has advertised that it has some of the best security in the crypto industry. Everything we’ve seen from it so far tends to support this.
As a noncustodial exchange, it never stores your cryptocurrency. It acts as an intermediary to allow you to securely pay for and have your coins deposited in your personal wallet. Because of this, there’s no risk that a hack or breach at this platform could jeopardize your funds.
It takes account security seriously and allows the use of either single sign-on through a secured account or two-factor authentication. The only real ding we give it is that two-factor authentication isn’t turned on by default and can be turned off at will.
As always with financial transactions, it’s very important to make sure you don’t fall prey to a phishing scam. Always type in the full URL of your destination to make sure you end up on a legitimate site, that is www.Changelly.com.
Is Changelly legit?
It has never been involved in any major breaches and there hasn’t been a real Changelly scam. The group behind it has been active in the crypto world almost since the beginning and has an excellent reputation. It’s safe to say that this is 100% legit.
From its first day of operations, Changelly has set itself apart from other exchanges. Instead of trying to compete on pricing or number of currencies supported it worked to leverage the benefits of all other exchanges without any of the downsides. By focusing on a user-friendly interface and very shallow learning curve it is working to become the most popular way for people to buy cryptocurrency.
In pursuit of this, it also offers an easy to set up API that can be placed on just about any website. This API allows you to accept crypto payments for services on your site, powered by its backend. Webmasters who choose to use this API can set up their own commission structure on top of Changelly’s, increasing revenue streams for their site. It’s been used successfully on a range of popular websites, including:
The only thing we’d really like to see from this would be some kind of app support. With the prevalence of smartphones among modern users, it’s not a good idea to make it even a little harder to support mobile transactions.
It only allows straight crypto to crypto exchanges. While it doesn’t offer the advanced trading features of centralized exchanges, it doesn’t really need to. After all, it isn’t trying to woo professional traders.
As a way to protect against scammers and potential money laundering, It limits the amount of transactions a user can make when they first create an account. The size of these limits varies depending on where you live, based on where your credit/debit card is registered.
US, Canadian, and Australian residents can only make a single transaction of up to $200 the first day. Four days later you can make a second transaction for up to $500. After seven days you’re allowed to make another transaction for up to $3,000. After a full month, all account limits are removed.
Residents of the CIS region can make a single transaction of $1,000 the first day, then a transaction a day of up to $3,000 with a weekly maximum of $10,000. Once your account is more than a month old all limits are removed.
For residents of the EU and all other countries, there is a $500 limit for the first transaction and a $1,000 limit for the second. You are limited to six transactions per week for the first month at which point all limits are removed.
This platform has developed a reputation for providing a high-quality user interface designed to please customers. Unfortunately, this dedication to user experience doesn’t carry over into Changelly support.
Like most exchanges, it offers a fairly comprehensive list of FAQs and support articles. These cover common topics like how to get started, how long does Changelly take to process transactions and basic troubleshooting for account issues. It’s in live support that Changelly drops the ball.
It currently has only one method of contact for dealing with user issues, an email-based form. Some claim that response times rarely exceed 24 hours, but other users have reported waiting as long as a week.
While Changelly’s customer support setup is disappointing, it doesn’t really stand out negatively among exchanges. Most exchanges still haven’t fully figured out customer support.
Ease of Use
Any Changelly review will show that it has tried to be one of the easiest exchanges to use. Everything from account creation to making your first purchase is designed from the ground up with user satisfaction in mind.
Buying coins is as easy as entering in the amount you want and submitting your wallet addresses. There are no options available for trade types so you don’t have to worry about picking between taker/maker orders or limits. Some advanced traders will see this as a downside, but given the overall goals of this platform, it works well for it.
Even if you’ve never dealt with cryptocurrency before, you’ll find its step by step interface intuitive and very forgiving to beginners.
Changelly gets high marks for its account creation process and the speed with which new users can be up and trading.
It really couldn’t make account creation any easier. Start by navigating to its homepage, www.Changelly.com.
Click on the Sign Up tab, located in the top right-hand corner of the page. This will take you to the sign-up landing page and give you the option of using a single sign-in like Facebook or submitting an email to create an account. Once you choose an option, your account is created.
Interestingly, it doesn’t have you choose a password. Instead, it creates one for you and emails it to you with your verification email. This allows the platform to ensure you’re using a secure password for your account.
The next step you absolutely should take is to further secure your account with two-factor authentication. Click on the My Account tab while signed in, then select Profile.
There will be three sections of your profile page, select Two-factor Authentication in the center section. It only supports app-based authentication at this time. If you don’t already have an authenticator app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, you’ll need to download one to your smartphone. Once you have your app ready you can either scan a QR code or manually enter in a key to bind the app to your account.
The final step is to enter in the provided six-digit code to confirm two-factor authentication.
Fund Your Account
If you don’t already own cryptocurrency, it provides a method to purchase some using your credit or debit card. Start by navigating to payments.changelly.com.
Once you’re at the main screen you’ll have the option of choosing either a Dollar/Euro or Bitcoin amount you wish to purchase. You’re also required to enter in the address of your Bitcoin wallet before you can proceed further. You’ll then be asked to submit your full name, address, age, and phone number. After that’s done you can enter your card information and proceed to the identity verification.
Simplex requires all purchases to be accompanied by an ID verification. You must enter in some form of government ID number such as a driver’s license or passport number. Next, you’ll need to submit a selfie of you holding your credit card and your government ID.
Once your ID is verified and your payment has gone through the Bitcoin will be deposited in your account.
Trading on Changelly
Now that you have coins in a wallet you’re ready to begin trading. Changelly makes this process as easy as possible.
If you aren’t already, sign in to your account. Navigate to the home page and select the coin you have in the left-hand dropbox like Bitcoin and the coin you wish to buy in the right-hand dropbox like Ethereum. Then you simply input the amount you wish to buy or sell and press “Exchange!”.
You’ll be taken to the confirmation page where you must agree to the terms of the trade. Once you’ve done so you’ll be asked to enter in the receiving wallet address. A note of caution, cryptocurrency transactions are by their very nature irreversible. Make absolutely certain your receiving address is accurate.
Next, you’ll need to enter the payment address. You’ll be taken to a final confirmation page after this and asked to look over all the details of your transaction. When you accept the transaction the funds will be sent to Changelly and exchanged for the other cryptocurrency.
Your funds should arrive in your receiving wallet in 5 to 30 minutes.
In this Changelly review, we have seen that it has great security, an amazingly simple interface, and some of the most interesting features of any exchange operating today. It allows you to aggregate the prices from the largest centralized exchanges to find the best price available at any point in time. As an added bonus it lets you preserve your anonymity while doing so. It’s also creating very useful tools for integrating cryptocurrencies into day-to-day transactions.
This platform doesn’t provide the advanced trading features of other major exchanges, but it’s an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate traders looking to dip their toes into the cryptocurrency market.