A crypto exchange guide must provide reviews of all of the exchanges out there, so that you can find the right one for you. This review of Changelly consists of four parts: general info, fees, deposit methods and security.
Changelly is an instant crypto exchange that launched in 2015. It was previously headquartered in the Czech Republic, but is now based in Hong Kong with a offices at various locations around the world, e.g. Malta, Great Britain and Brazil.
The group initially behind Changelly is MinerGate, which is a team with long track records on the crypto market. MinerGate have no involvement in Changelly’s current operations however. The current CEO of the company is Eric Benz, who replaced Ilya Bere (who was previously the COO when Konstantin Gladych ran the company). Eric Benz has five years of experience working in the innovative financial technology and blockchain field.
How does it work at Changelly?
Changelly is one of the best exchanges when it comes to finding the best available rates for the different trading pairs on the market. To be clear though, Changelly is not an exchange per se, it is a crypto exchange service. The platform is non-custodial, meaning that when you purchase cryptos on Changelly, what you’re doing is buying crypto from another exchange. Changelly provides you with a window into other exchanges (Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex and HitBTC), all so that they can provide the best price for you.
The infographic below expands in detail on how it all works:
The exchange has over 150 cryptocurrencies listed and focuses on crypto-to-crypto trading. It is also possible to buy crypto with fiat using Changelly’s card payment partners Simplex and Indacoin. Fiat-to-crypto transactions are processed in a different way than crypto-to-crypto exchanges (KYC, higher service fees, etc.).
Changelly lists five primary advantages of its trading platform on its landing page: the best rates on the market, transparency in fees, fast transaction speed, high limits and 24/7 support.
In our opinion, these advantages are all strong advantages. In particular, we like that Changelly’s gateway structure helps the trader find the best rates, that they have transparent fees and that they have support staff responding to user requests through an online live chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Very impressive, indeed.
Changelly Affiliate Program
If you refer a friend to Changelly, you will receive 50% of the fees from every transaction your friend makes within the promotion period. This deal is not time-limited either but is permanent. There are two ways to take part in the Changelly affiliate program: Changelly widget and an exchange button with a referral link, and you are welcome to choose the one that suits you the most.
The 50% revenue share model works for 90 days since your referred friend’s registration. This is actually an unusually short referral period. Most exchanges out there offer permanent commission payments, meaning that you will never stop receiving commissions from a referred friend who keeps on trading. That was Changelly’s model previously as well, but it has now been changed to the worse. So, at this particular point, Changelly has a weak offering to its users.
In October 2019, the exchange released a new version of the mobile app with the fixed-rate mechanism onboard for both Android and iOS, so users can swap their assets avoiding the risks of the market fluctuations. For those who would like to exchange crypto at a floating rate, the service offers one of the lowest transaction fees on the market – 0.25% for all crypto-to-crypto exchanges. In addition to all these features, users also have the ability to buy crypto assets with a bank card right from the mobile app (currently available for Android users only) and explore crypto exchange rates in real-time mode.
In addition to the features mentioned earlier, Changelly mobile app gives users the ability to log in to their original website account, track their transaction history, store an address list for their most used wallets as well as get quick assistance from the Changelly team in the support section.
Changelly also offers its API and a customizable payment widget to any crypto service that wishes to broaden its audience and implement new exchange options. For instance, many wallets are using this feature inside their web/desktop/mobile applications, such as Ledger, Trezor, Exodus, Coinomi, Enjin and many others.
Changelly Trading View
Different exchanges have different trading views. And there is no “this overview is the best”-perspective. You should determine which trading view that suits you the best. The “trading view” at Changelly is much simpler and more intuitive than at a regular centralized exchange. This is because Changelly is more of an exchange service than an actual exchange. The below picture shows the interface when you want to trade BTC for ETH:
You may not trade at Changelly if you are from USA, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Sudan, Syria, Bangladesh or Bolivia, as well as any other country subject to United Nations Security Council Sanctions List and its equivalent. But don’t despair, if you’re from any of those countries you might be able to find an exchange for you by just using our Exchange Finder.
Changelly has the AML/KYC procedure implemented into their service. It means that the exchange sometimes may ask users to show “proof-of-funds” and go through the KYC check if Changelly’s automated risk management system marked those transactions as suspicious. But, users are warned about this with a checkbox alert before they send funds to the exchange.
Changelly’s fees consist of deposit fees, trading fees and withdrawal fees.
Deposit fees vary depending on the way you deposit your funds.
Trading fees are 0.25% flat, meaning that takers and makers both pay 0.25% of the total order value of the trade as a fee to Changelly.
This exchange charges 0.0001 BTC in withdrawal fees for BTC-withdrawals.
More on fees below.
Changelly Trading fees
The one thing we can’t stress enough is that you must always ascertain the trading fees at any exchange you are interested in. Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. Makers create the liquidity in the market. Takers are the ones who remove this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own. Most exchanges separate between the fees they charge takers and the fees they charge makers.
Ingvar, offering to buy 1 BTC for USD 10,000. And Jeff, offering to sell 1 BTC for USD 11,000. If Bill comes along, and sells 1 BTC to Ingvar for USD 10,000, he takes away Ingvar’s order from the order book. Bill is here a taker and will pay a taker fee. What if Bill instead offers to sell 1 BTC for USD 10,500? Well, in that case he places an order on the order book that does not correspond to an existing order. He would thus have been a maker of liquidity. If someone would have accepted to buy 1 BTC from Bill for USD 10,500, then Bill would have been charged the maker fee (usually a bit lower than the taker fee) and the relevant buyer would have been charged the taker fee.
Changelly, on the other hand, charge the takers and the makers the same fees. You call this fee model the “flat fee model”. Changelly offers a flat trading fee of 0.25%. This might be an attractive trading fee model for investors who prefer to pick-up existing orders from the order book.
Changelly Withdrawal fees
Many exchanges have low trading fees but then on the way out hit you with their high withdrawal fees. Changelly charges only 0.0001 BTC for BTC-withdrawals. The global industry average BTC-withdrawal fee is 0.000812 BTC per each BTC-withdrawal, and Changelly charges only 12% of that.
Good job, Changelly!
You can deposit your funds through regular fiat transfer via Changelly’s corporate partners using credit cards (VISA and MasterCard). This can be especially helpful to novice crypto investors who want a broad selection of deposit methods to be available. Many exchanges offer no fiat currency deposit method at all so Changelly does distinguish itself by offering that.
Also, Changelly recently announced that they lowered the entrance barriers for crypto-to-crypto exchanges. For example, the minimum sum required to exchange Bitcoin to Ethereum is as of today (31 October 2019) only 0.0003 BTC.
In order to use this exchange’s conversion services, you do not need to submit the classic KYC-documentation (passports, utility bills or the like). On the contrary, you only need a valid wallet address. If you would rather purchase cryptocurrencies with any form of fiat currency, e.g., a credit card, then additional documentation might be required. But for cryptocurrency conversions, a valid wallet address will suffice.
As mentioned above, there are however exceptions to this rule.
Changelly has an excellent security score. We run all exchange-websites in Mozilla’s Observatory-test (https://observatory.mozilla.org/), and a lot of the exchanges receive F as scores. Changelly, however, received a B score, which is very good.
The exchange reviewed above has a large number of supported cryptos. If a large number of supported cryptos is an important factor for you in your choice of exchange, you could also check out these exchanges: