I thought about whether or not to enter this writing competition and I initially settled against writing anything since I had no prior experience with ChangeNOW and their services. I thought it wasn't really my place to write about things I don't know and I should maybe try to listen to those that actually used the services and gain some knowledge through their experiences.
This is the story of how a boy named Thomas discovered ChangeNOW and how, unbeknownst to him, he used it for weeks. Let's follow, shall we?
Chapter 1 -- Sailing for new lands
It was a rainy day of June when it all began to change (no pun intended). The hot air was mustering in a sort of frenzy that was premonitory of a chain of events that would change the life of Thomas forever. In a way, looking back at everything that took place back then, he came to realize that it was all necessary and that it happened for a reason.
Since the lockdown took place, Thomas has been getting more and more involved with hobbies that he for too long postponed for far more urgent stuff that usually requires you to lose time in transit, commuting from train to train, from bus to bus. With all that's been going on, a sort of great calming took over the world. The streets, once busy with people hurrying from point A to point B, lay now empty, naked, stripped of the purpose they had before.
People were changing as well, Thomas included because as it appears, it's not that easy to stay indoors for so long. How many movies can you watch before they all seem the same or games you can play before you grow bored and tired? There is though, a well of unlimited joy that you can tap into in times like these. At some point, Thomas saw that and decided to start investing in himself, by honing the skills he wanted to develop for years now but hadn't had the chance. You see, Thomas always had a thing for writing, perhaps a trait he god from his grandfather. Needless to say, things more important than that always interfered with his longing for writing.
It was easy to see that once the opportunity would come, he would take it and satiate his hunger. After searching all the internet for the best solution to host his blog, he came upon this platform called Publish0x, though it seems more like the platform came upon him. It's all a blur of how he ended up there, but he applied to become an author and he got accepted even with his, rather questionable, credentials. He mainly wrote about his passions which were programming and this operating system he really liked called Linux.
That rainy day of June was different though. The platform started running a competition meant to promote a crypto wallet called Atomic Wallet. The wallet was great as it could hold all kinds of coins and tokens and do things like exchanging between them and even acquiring those internet coins. That's why Thomas transferred all the money he earned through Publish0x to this new and exciting wallet.
Being introduced in this new world of non-custodial wallets made Thomas curious, a kind of curiosity that was characteristic to him. Like the curiosity of humankind to travel uncharted water in the search for the unknown, Thomas possessed a modern version of the same idea. Therefore he embarked on a journey to test more wallets and finally settle on the one that would make his crypto life the easiest.
Chapter 2 -- The hidden gem
Not long after Thomas started his journey of finding the perfect wallet, he found himself stranded on the endless internet ocean. No matter where he went it seemed like every solution was worse than the Atomic Wallet. Just as he was ready to give up and return to Atomic, like a mirage, another wallet appeared in front of Thomas. Just like Publish0x, it would be more accurate to say that Guarda discovered Thomas rather than the other way around, as the details of this discovery are blurry, like he was wandering, lost, through a thick fog when it all happened.
Guarda was another non-custodial wallet, which meant that Thomas had the freedom and the responsibility to manage his funds the way he saw fit. Only months ago, things like that, he would have considered too risky as total freedom can be frightening. He was different now, changed.
Thomas planned to transfer some funds over to Guarda first thing in the morning, so he can test all the functionalities that the new wallet had to offer. The process was seamless and he soon got accustomed to the new system. Since he owned mostly Ethereum and other tokens on the Ethereum chain, the next thing he did was to use the embedded exchange functionality to get a more varied portfolio. This action that at the time seemed like the most insignificant one, prooved to change forever the course Thomas would take in his ongoing journey for finding the best wallet.
As he soon came to realize, the fees he paid on Guarda were better than the competitors and wherever he went, he couldn't quite get the same nice experience so he always kept coming back, adding funds, exchanging funds, and even staking them.
Days went by, faster than expected. Hot summer days, with sun rays hitting the curtains inside Thomas' room. Small dust particles dancing away in the light envelop the room in a sort of transparent curtain. It's July already.
Life seems to have settled down for Thomas now, he is content with using Guarda for the foreseeable future. The Publish0x team starts organizing another contest, he keeps writing about his newest technological discoveries, everything was slowly getting back to normal. Reading the newest articles about ChangeNOW, the subject of the new contest, Thomas became more and more curious about the services provided by this platform. He set out to read more articles, trying to get a bigger picture on ChangeNOW.
Part of the now almost extinguished flame of curiosity reemerged itself within Thomas when, after entering through the gates of the ChangeNOW website he discovered a symbol that looked rather familiar. After a couple of seconds of shock, he clicked on the link next to the familiar icon, just to find himself presented with the landing page of the Guarda Wallet.
"It is impossible!", Thomas exclaimed. Indeed, this discovery chilled him to the bone. All this time when he thought he didn't use ChnageNOW before, all of his ideas, his reality, crumbled right beneath his feet as he was now face to face with the truth. Thomas used ChangeNOW all along while using Guarda.
"But it can't be...", he tried in vain grasping for an explanation. He went to his wallet, unlocked it in a hurry, and went to the exchange section. At the bottom of the section, he could find a link, which he ignored so many times up until that moment. Well, all that was about to change (pun intended). Clicking on the link, it brought up none other than the page containing the terms of ChangeNOW. It was not a mistake and his mind wasn't playing tricks on him. He certainly used ChangeNOW all those weeks, thinking that Guarda was the one providing low fees, when in fact ChangeNOW was the mastermind behind the excellent exchange service.
Chapter 3 -- The joys of knowledge
As soon as Thomas discovered the real identity of the exchange provided by Guarda, he went back to ChangeNOW to test the system. Only after testing it, he would become 100% sure. He pulled out some dusty BNB that he had stored and tried to change them into some shiny new Tezos coins. At first, he was afraid that maybe the platform won't accept such a small amount of BNB, but when he introduced the value he was greeted by no error signs whatsoever.
As this step was easy enough and he was presented with an estimate of how many Tezos he'd get after the change, Thomas pressed the 'Next' button eagerly. The last confirmation screen appeared, giving Thomas a chance to decide against the trade and yet again get a full picture of the transactions that were about to unfold.
Everything was looking great so he pressed the confirmation button which made the screen flicker for a moment while the overview of the exchange turned into instructions about sending money to ChangeNOW. "Just like with real life.", Thomas thought. You give the money to the exchange, they prepare the sum of money in another currency that's equivalent to the one you just gave them and then they give you the new money.
Sending the money was a breeze using the embedded ChangeNOW from his Guarda Wallet. After waiting for about a minute, Thomas refreshed the page. He didn't even have time to flinch and the exchange was done. It was even faster than his Guarda experience and on top of it all, he even got more money than he expected due to constant fluctuations in the market.
In a heartbeat, he opened his wallet and looked at the history. The two transactions appeared right before his eyes confirming that the exchange was indeed successful and he received all of the expected funds.
That last part got him thinking. Was it possible that Guarda, for offering you the comfort of exchanging right from your wallet, was taking a cut of those exchanges? Thomas wanted to find out, so he devised a simple experiment. He would change exactly 1.15 Tezos into Komodo and see which way of changing crypto was truly the best.
Since Guarda is using ChangeNOW, the ease of use of the service was nothing special. Guarda can see all your public addresses so the step of sending money to ChangeNOW was automated to happen in the background. Thomas exchanged 1.15 XTZ and was promised 5.06 KMD. However, due to congestion on the Tezos network, his fee got higher.
By the time the exchange was actually made, only 0.89 XTZ remained to become Komodo. Thomas hurried to ChangeNOW immediately to repeat this experiment. Just like before, he loaded the assets he wanted to change and got an estimate of the output.
That looked a little better than the Guarda transaction, but not by a large margin. Probably due to fluctuations. Thomas went ahead and initiated the exchange. After only a couple of minutes, he got his KMD back.
Just as expected, ChangeNOW won this battle, but it probably wasn't because Guarda applied fees. The low fees provided by ChangeNOW were definitely present in Thomas' trusted wallet.
After he was convinced by how powerful ChangeNOW was, Thomas wanted to see more of what the platform had to offer so he started digging, getting into each and every link he could find.
The first thing that struck him as interesting was the system ChangeNOW had for introducing new assets to the exchange. The platform openly allows everyone to vote on the next asset by donating tokens. As someone who was deeply enamored with design, Thomas couldn't resist glaring at the beautiful interface that unfolded in front of him.
The next best thing he found on ChangeNOW was their academy. He felt relieved, knowing that there were people out there ready and willing to teach others about crypto. He remembered how hard it was in the beginning for him, how much he struggled to understand everything all on his own and he thanked ChangeNOW internally for making a step forward in a direction Thomas saw as the future.
Fumbling around some more, Thomas discovered that ChangeNOW is available on GooglePlay as well as the AppStore and probably the most important thing, especially for newcomers, they have a support team. Handling funds all by yourself, all that freedom concentrated at your fingertip may seem rather scary to someone who's not accustomed to it. The support team feature, finally made Thomas say: "This is indeed a great service and I'm glad I've been using it. I am grateful that I was able to learn about it and hopefully I'll be able to pass this knowledge to others".
The best thing that Thomas enjoyed during this adventure was that he didn't need an account to do any of his experiments. Also, due to the non-custodial nature, he was assured that his funds were his even during the exchange process and ChangeNOW didn't touch those funds at all during the whole process. Everything happened on the blockchain networks making it a secure way to exchange digital assets.
As the night fell upon the city and the lights started blinking distantly like fireflies around the lake at night, Thomas watched them happily. A cool breeze touched his forehead and went past him to enter into his bedroom revealing a laptop screen behind the thin curtains. The words "Adventures in the world of crypto... or how to use ChangeNOW" could be seen near the much familiar logo of Publish0x.