I was recently on a quest to buy Matic, but none of my usual exchanges offered it. After some searching, I came across Uniswap and was able to trade my Ethereum for Matic at a decent exchange rate. Everything went smoothly and I received my Matic with no problem. I figured uniswap would be my go-to for any instant exchanges I wanted. Then came along the #changenowexplained contest and it showed there were more options than just Uniswap in the instant exchange world. This is my compare and contrast of ChangeNOW and Uniswap.
To make sure I had a fair comparison, I exchanged .15 Ethereum for Matic on both exchanges at the same time. First, let’s compare the homepages.
Simple, easy to navigate, to the point. Both UIs are helpful for any experience level and don't have a learning curve to get right into the exchange. I can see approximately what the exchange rate will be and both are close enough neither has a clear advantage. As a first-timer to any site, I usually like to learn more about the application before connecting my wallet or sending a transaction. ChangeNOW excels on this with the navigation bar at the top where I can see what other NOW products are available, recent news, the support page along with how it works and FAQs, and information about the NOW token. I had to search to find more information about Uniswap.
At this point, I've entered the amount of Ethereum I would like to spend and agree on the exchange rate. The next step is to confirm the transaction.
Like the Homepage, both Confirmation Pages are similar, presenting the user with what they will send and receive from the transaction. I like that Uniswap shows the minimum amount of coins you will receive. This can be helpful for large transactions where a small percentage difference could mean a larger unexpected loss in the transaction.
The one feature that really impressed me in this whole experience was the field for Recipient Wallet in ChangeNOW. It might seem like a hassle to have this step if you are sending and receiving to the same wallet, but it opens many possibilities. First, it allows you to trade across chains, so I can trade my Ethereum from my Ethereum wallet and receive Bitcoin in my Bitcoin wallet. Since Uniswap sends to the wallet it receives funds from, it cannot trade non-Ethereum based coins (such as Bitcoin, Tezos, and Cardano). Another great way to use this feature is if you are transferring funds in the process. If I need Ethereum in my Metamask account but only have Ethereum in my hardware wallet, I would usually have to trade those Bitcoin and receive Ethereum into my hardware wallet, then I would have an additional transaction to send my Ethereum from my wallet to Metamask. By using ChangeNOW, I can convert my Bitcoin to Ethereum and send to Metamask in one step, saving time and transaction fees.
Fees also play a part in the exchange.
On the top is my ChangeNOW transaction while on the bottom is my Uniswap transaction (literally 3 seconds apart). Since my interaction with ChangeNOW is sending a specific amount to an address, my gas fee is similar to any other wallet-to-wallet transaction. Uniswap, on the other hand, requires me to send to the contract address, requiring more data to be in the transfer and thus a higher gas fee. Just in this example, the Uniswap gas fee was 4 time as much as the ChangeNOW gas fee. This can add up after many transactions or during peaks where gas prices are at a premium.
In this trial, ChangeNOW deposited Matic into my account within 15 minutes of confirming. It took over an hour for Uniswap to complete the transaction, and the result was a failed exchange and my order was cancelled. Since I wanted the full 0.3Eth converted to Matic, I ended up just buying 0.15Eth of Matic through ChangeNOW and had similar results as my first experience. Many more trials are need to see how common it is for a Uniswap exchange to timeout so I am not holding that against them for now.
Both applications were extremely easy to use and provide a lot of value to traders of any experience level. I will use both again since they each have their strengths, but ChangeNOW has a few more features that make it more appealing.The ability to send and receive coins from two different wallets can help cut down on gas fees, and the implementation of sending coins to an address instead of a contract helps on gas as well. Finding information about the application was also a lot easier on ChangeNOW than on Uniswap. These extra features make it a little more robust than just an instant exchange and while I'll continue to use it as my exchange of choice.
Thanks for reading!