A trading cryptocurrency guide must provide reviews of all of the top crypto exchanges out there, so that you can find the best cryptocurrency exchange site for you. This review of Changelly consists of four parts: general information, fees, deposit methods and security.
Changelly is a cryptocurrency exchange that launched in 2013. It was previously headquartered in the Czech Republic, but on 1 September 2018, it was announced that Changelly would be based in Malta instead. Malta is together with Estonia and Gibraltar one of the few countries in Europe that has developed explicit license requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges.
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 Ilya Bere (who was previously the COO when Konstantin Gladych ran the company).
How does it work at Changelly?
Changelly is one of the absolutely best exchanges when it comes to finding the best available rates of the different trading pairs on the market. To be perfectly clear though, Changelly is not an exchange per se. Rather, it is a cryptocurrency exchange service. The platform is non-custodial, meaning that when you purchase cryptocurrencies at Changelly, what you’re really doing is purchasing cryptocurrencies from another cryptocurrency exchange. Accordingly, Changelly provides you with a window into other cryptocurrency exchanges (Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex and HitBTC), all so that you can find the best price for you. According to information to Cryptowisser, Changelly is expecting to soon also include Huobi in its group of exchanges it picks rates from.
The below is an infographic on how it works in detail:
The exchange supports trading in 130+ assets and their focus is on crypto-to-crypto trading. You can also trade fiat-to-crypto here, but that is then done by the help of one or several of Changelly’s corporate partners. Such partners include Indacoin and Simplex. Fiat-to-crypto transactions are – as is customary – processed in a different way than crypto-to-crypto transactions (higher fees, KYC, etc).
One aspect of Changelly’s services that the exchange is very proud of (and rightly so), is that they have support staff responding to user requests through an online live chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is very impressive indeed.
Changelly Affiliate Program
Changelly has one of the best (if not the best) affiliate programs in the cryptocurrency world. If you refer a friend to Changelly, you will receive 50% of all Changelly’s revenue from that friend. This deal is not time-limited either but is permanent. So if your friend is trading at Changelly every day for 10 years, it might add up to substantial amounts.
The exchange recently launched its first and only official Android app and it is currently working on launching an iOS app as well. The Android app is now on its first release, and currently focuses on the pure exchange functionality. It is possible to use this aspect of the app without an account which is a quite unique feature. According to information to Cryptowisser, the next update of the Android app is on 19 December 2018. Such update will enable users to use their original website account, store an address list for the most used wallets, buy crypto for fiat through Changelly’s partners, and more.
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, it’s implemented by many wallets where you can use the Changelly service inside a web/desktop/mobile application like Ledger, Trezor, Exodus, Coinpayments, Coinomi and many others.
Miscellaneous General Information
The exchange does not forbid US-investors from trading on its exchange, but US-investors should as always do their own independent assessment of any problems arising from their residency or citizenship.
Changelly takes KYC seriously. This means that the exchange sometimes ask users to show “proof-of-funds” and go through KYC procedure. Users are however always warned about this with a checkbox alert before they send funds to the exchange. More information on our KYC/AML can be found at Changelly’s website, here: https://changelly.com/
The exchange is quickly gaining attention and currently has around 2 million registered users from across the globe. The daily trading volume is also very good. For more details on trading volume etc., there is a daily statistics dashboard on Changelly’s redesigned website where the users can see all relevant numbers plus champion pair of the day etc.
Changelly’s fees consist of deposit fees, trading fees and withdrawal fees.
Deposit fees vary dependent upon how you deposit.
Trading fees are 0.50% flat, meaning that takers and makers both pay 0.50% of the total order value of the trade as a fee to Changelly.
Changelly does not charge any withdrawal fees (not even network fees).
More on the 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 make the liquidity in a 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 the 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 takers and makers the same fees. You call this fee model the “flat fee model”. Changelly offers a flat trading fee of 0.50%. Changelly does accordingly not care about whether you are a taker or a maker. For investors who prefer to pick-up existing orders from the order book, this might be an attractive trading fee model.
Changelly Withdrawal fees
Many exchanges have competitive trading fees but then hit you on the way out with their withdrawal fees. Let’s say you have reached your investment goals and you are looking to buy house with bitcoin. In order to buy that house, you need to withdraw the funds. And when doing so, the exchange can make up for its low trading fees by charging you high withdrawal fees when you’re halfway out the door. Changelly charges nothing for withdrawals. This means that Changelly even assumes the network fees. Otherwise, you cannot avoid the network fees when you transfer cryptocurrencies.
Good job, Changelly!
At Changelly, you can deposit through both regular fiat transfer (through Changelly’s corporate partners mentioned above) and credit cards (VISA and MasterCard). This can be helpful especially for newer crypto investors who want a broad selection of available deposit methods. Many exchanges offer no fiat currency deposit method at all so Changelly does distinguish itself somewhat by offering that.
In order to use this exchange’s conversion services, you do not need to submit the classic KYC-dokumentation (passports, utility bills or the like). On the contrary, you only need a valid wallet address. If you would prefer to 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.
One might ask why security is even a feature that we at Cryptowisser have looked for at the different top crypto exchanges. Two reasons:
- Exchanges store a massive amount of valuable personally identifiable information. From names to addresses, to government identification details, taxpayer identification number and a lot more; and
- Exchanges handle large amounts of cash or coin deposits and withdrawals.
Changelly has an extremely good 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 impressive.
The exchange reviewed above has a large number of supported cryptocurrencies. If a large number of supported cryptocurrencies is an important factor for you in your choice of cryptocurrency exchange, you could also check out the following exchanges: