Does ChangeNOW Live Up to the Hype? Learn How You Can Save Time and Money with this New Fintech!
A murky picture of a hand, with a butterfly in its palm, superimposed with a bitcoin and the changeNOW logo

Does ChangeNOW Live Up to the Hype? Learn How You Can Save Time and Money with this New Fintech!

By mekhiMKL | The Layperson's Crypto | 20 Jul 2020

ChangeNOW is a new, custody-free, limitless exchange which eliminates the need for dApp integration and reliance on in-wallet exchanges.  There has been a great deal of excitement generated by the premiere of this new service. Read on find out if changeNOW lives up to the hype, in this balanced assessment of the changeNOW experience. If you'd like to try it out for yourself now, please use my referral link, because then we both win!

How You Can Save Time and Money with ChangeNOW

There are two direct, basic ways of boosting your DeFi gains. One is by increasing the amount of assets you are earning, the other is by decreasing the amount of assets you inevitably lose in the course of doing business. Many of us may be blessed by a fortunate investment, only to get some "sticker shock" at gas prices/transaction fees when it comes time to exit a position. Saving even a little money at the exchange point can add up over time, and having access to a wide variety of pairs can reduce the time spent manually moving through several different trading pairs on a traditional exchange in order to gain access to more elusive and exotic alt-coins.

However all systems have weaknesses - we must then balance whether the strengths outweigh these in order to determine the real worth of any product or service. Below we will identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of this new swap-style exchange and find out if changeNOW can really save you time and money. 

Strength - Simplicity of Design

A major focus of the changeNOW platform seems to be simplifying the traditional currency exchange model so that end users can undergo a quick, seamless "swap" experience without the unpredictability of trying to interface wallets to a true "swap" dApp, or the hassle of transferring your funds between wallets and exchanges. There is no registration process to slow you down like in a traditional exchange, yet you have access to a similarly broad range of tokens, cryptocurrencies, and fiat currencies.

The full breakdown of a transaction can be read here. It's as simple as selecting your input and output currencies, inputting your wallet address, sending the funds you want to exchange to the generated deposit address, and then receiving the output funds in your wallet.

Strength - Transparent, Fee-less Transactions 

When you use changeNOW there are no hidden gas prices - unlike other products like uniswap, you don't have to wait until sending a transaction approval to your wallet before you can see how much the transaction will set you back. With both the fixed and classic rate systems, the estimated exchange rate you see (which, with the classic rate option) updates every few seconds) includes all transaction fees. What's even cooler with the classic rate is that after the transaction you may discover you got a better rate than anticipated and walk away with a little extra in your wallet! It is also possible that the rate will fall mid-exchange and you may end up with a little less than what you anticipated - however, they also offer a fixed rate alternative that provides a guaranteed, but less favorable rate.

Strength - Great Exchange Rates

When I examined some different pairs offered via Atomic Wallet and uniswap and compared them to the rates on changeNOW, it did seem that changeNOW's rates were superior. I'd love to hear your experiences as well - please share them in the comments! 

Strength and Weakness - Wide Range of Assets, Incomplete Selection 

The variety of assets you can exchange on changeNOW is mind-boggling. Many different types of tokens and cryptocurrencies are available for trade, and more than a dozen fiat currencies are accepted for cryptocurrency purchase. However, I found their options incomplete. Gold-backed/pegged assets seemed completely absent, for instance. According to their customer service, a good way to increase the likelihood ofyour favorite asset getting listed on the exchanged is to advocate for it's listing on Binance, if it's not already available there. They seem to hold semi-regular "polls" where users choose from four different assets, and cast their "votes" for their favorites by depositing NOW tokens to a corresponding address.  NOW tokens were interestingly also selected by twitter users to become the first issued Binance token. Follow this link to learn more about NOW tokens, the "internal currency" used for NOW products.

Strength and Weakness - Excellent, though Inconsistent, Customer Service Experience 

One of the worst failings of similar tools like uniswap are their idea of "customer support". In the case of uniswap, this is conducted via discord and via zendesk email form and, is often untimely, if not unresponsive.  Atomic Wallet, which features in-wallet "swap" exchanges, has much more responsive customer support for its products, though the experience can be slow and frustrating at times, which isn't uncommon with a DeFi service. 

At the time of initially research for this article, changeNOW offered 24/7 customer support via zendesk chat. My interactions with a couple of different customer service representatives were exemplary. However, at the time of publishing, the zendesk chat support seems to have disappeared altogether. They continue to offer support via webform, but the disappearance of more immediate and personalized help is a bit of a letdown. 

Strength and Weakness - (Mostly) KYC-Free Exchanges

ChangeNow acknowledges that, while almost all of its transactions are KYC-free, they utilize a unique algorithm to identify suspicious transactions, and if detected, they will require information similar to a traditional KYC experience. Obviously if you are trying to make a quick exchange, tripping this algorithm can slow you down. 

Strength and Weakness - High Minimum, Low KYC Cryptocurrency Purchasing with Debit Card

ChangeNOW partners with Simplex to offer cryptocurrency purchasing with debit cards. You need only provide an email address to conduct a purchase, however purchases are limited to $50 minimums. If that minimum is too high, you can head over to Coinbase for low minimum, low fee purchases - however, you have to go through an extensive KYC process.  The low KYC requirement for changeNOW is ideal for privacy-conscience traders and investors. It seems that changeNOW opted to try to make the purchasing process look consistent with the actual exchanges, but I found this to be confusing rather than helpful. 

Weakness - Suddenly Shifting Exchange Pairs

With so many different coins and tokens available for exchange, keeping track of listing changes can be difficult. However, I did noticed a sudden change in listing even over the course of writing this article. 

BAND tokens are in high demand, in part because of excellent staking rewards at Atomic Wallet and other platforms. With the migration from the etherium network to the BAND mainnet underway, having a place to offload amounts of BAND too small to manually exchange is a necessity.  When I first began research for this article,  BAND (erc-20 only) was accepted on the deposit end of the transaction, but not the receiving end. Their customer support agents did not seem to know why this lopsided, though potentially beneficial configuration was in place.

However, at the time of publication. neither type of BAND token seems to be supported on either end of  the exchange pair. It's possible that changeNOW may be hoping to entice BAND to partner with them, in order to offer a formal token migration swap, or may even be in the process of implementing such a swap.  An example of this kind of swap can be seen with the native NOW token .Thankfully, you can still offload your erc-20 BAND at uniswap, though of course you cannot receive BAND mainnet in such an exchange there. Please comment below if you are aware of other exchanges where you can swap either variety of BAND token.

In light of changes like this, it would be ideal if there was an email alert list that notified users of the impending listing and delisting of assets, but I am not aware of such a feature at this time. 

Weakness - High Minimums for Some Currencies 

ChangeNow acknowledges that some trades may have minimum deposit amounts of up to $20 USD for certain currencies, and they are trying to address this and secure lower rates across the board. Luckily they tell you upfront when you select your trade pair and amounts what those minimums are, and whether the trade you want to make meets those requirements. 

Final Verdict - Is it worth all the hype? It seems like it - for new

ChangeNOW is a definite advancement in exchange defi fintech. It is a necessary tool for every trader and investor - but as of now you will have to supplement it with other exchanges while they continue to expand their supported assets.

Also, I personally am always skeptical when there are sudden changes to a new platform - like the way that their chat customer service suddenly vanished. Too often new products have a lot of temporary bells and whistles that disappear after the initial promotional push. However, given the uncertainty of our current times, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

If you are ready to try changeNOW out for yourself, please follow this referral link, because then we both win! I receive a small reward for each exchange you make using my link, and you still get access to great rates and a simple, quick exchange process. 

Follow this blog for future updates about this and other innovative defi products. 

The Layperson's Crypto
The Layperson's Crypto

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