ChangeNOW is an intermediary web platform and Android/iOS service between major crypto exchanges and the user.
The app offers flexibility in exchange rate management, depending on if one wants to have a guaranteed spot price.
ChangeNOW offers fiat-to-crypto conversion via Simplex/Guardarian fiat providers.
The non-custodial service is simple to use, dependable, and highly rated.
ChangeNOW’s cashback in NOW tokens offers an additional incentive to sign up for the Pro experience.
Cryptocurrency adoption has come a long way from clumsy desktop applications that bombard users with hundreds of tweaking choices. While options are good to have, at the end of the day, only one metric counts. How many steps are needed to own cryptocurrency or swap one for the other?
ChangeNOW app has drastically reduced those steps while retaining all the security features one would expect. Moreover, the crypto exchange experience is packaged into a clear-cut, user-friendly design. This is exceedingly important in the digital era, as avoiding mis-taps can save a fortune.
To begin the ChangeNOW app review, let’s see what it is all about.
ChangeNow App Explained
As the app’s name suggests, it offers swaps between cryptocurrencies of an impressive 400 different coins. Suffice to say, if you have heard of a cryptocurrency, ChangeNOW has it supported. Likewise, it facilitates the exchange of fiat currency into cryptocurrency. ChangeNOW makes that wide crypto range possible by tapping into the world’s largest crypto exchanges — Binance, Huobi, Bitfinex, OKEx, and Kucoin. With this integration in place, ChangeNOW picks the best exchange rate available for the selected asset. Moreover, the app covers the spot-price difference if the exchange rate changes within 20 minutes of confirmed trade when a fixed rate option is selected.
How Does ChangeNow Handle Security?
When it comes to crypto holdings, it’s all about owning your private keys. Crypto wallets are often confused with physical wallets because they are called the same. However, unlike physical wallets that serve as item containers, crypto wallets are best understood as access providers to their respective blockchain networks.
This is the difference between a custodial and a non-custodial wallet. For instance, an exchange account on Coinbase is the same as having a custodial wallet. Meaning, the company has your private keys to your funds, so you can’t technically say you own them.
Case in point, if Coinbase were to go bust, the funds would go down with it. That’s because they are not FDIC-insured like they would be in a bank, as Coinbase noted in its user agreement. For this reason, most people prefer non-custodial wallets in which users hold private keys.
Therefore, non-custody = true ownership.
On the other hand, custodial wallets do offer a streamlined trading experience. ChangeNOW makes a compromise by not providing any custodial wallet service at all. This means that the app doesn’t store any private data.
These range from software to hardware non-custodial wallets: Trezor, Ledger, Atomic Wallet, Magnum, Exodus, and ChangeNOW’s internally developed NOW Wallet.
Who Is Behind ChangeNow?
The app is registered to CHN Group Limited in Seychelles. The tropical island has become a magnet for large companies and blockchain startups alike. And for a simple reason. Because Seychelles has a territorial tax system, any income earned outside its territory is non-taxable.
This is in stark contrast to the U.S. tax code, by which all U.S. citizens are required to report their income levels, no matter in which foreign country they earned it. Outside of the primary HQ in Mahé, Seychelles, the company also has offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
While the ChangeNOW developers themselves have opted for privacy, the company has an active Chief Marketing Office. ChangeNOW’s official Twitter account has a large following and runs regular promotions. Mike Ermolaev, the head of ChangeNOW’s PR, has a strong reputation as a crypto market analyst and author, contributing to well-known crypto outlets like Benzinga, Cointelegraph, as well as giving commentary for Forbes.
What Is Required To Get Started?
To start using ChangeNOW, all that is required is an Android/iOS smartphone and an internet connection. The app is available in both platforms’ respective stores. However, there are some considerations to take into account.
Although registering to ChangeNOW.io is free of charge, it is not necessary to use the app. Still, some extra steps are required depending on your country of residence.
Despite being non-custodial, the company boasts of an internally developed smart AML system to prevent illegal activity. For KYC and KYB ChangeNOW uses a third-party provider.
Non-serviced jurisdictions include the United States, or countries on the United Nations Sanctions List, or countries where cryptocurrency usage is prohibited by law.
With that said, nothing is preventing you from using ChangeNOW if you are from one of those countries and using a VPN service. Nonetheless, you may be asked to provide ID verification.
On a final note here, ChangeNOW supports 15 languages, which is a good representation of most regions of the world.
What Does ChangeNow Charge for Swaps?
As noted in the intro, ChangeNOW covers token swap prices if they happen within 20 minutes of committed trade. However, this applies only to the fixed rate for swapping.
For example, exchanging ETH for BTC would get a guaranteed rate you picked at the time. For the price of that guarantee, you then pay an extra percentage for the covered spread.
In contrast, a classic rate would be your standard spot-trading gamble. As market conditions and fees change, so does your number of tokens for a particular swap. Fees depend on whether the exchange rate is classic or fixed, and are already included in the rate.
This fee range aligns with most other exchanges. On the upside, ChangeNOW offers an unlimited number of crypto swaps.
Extra Fees To Consider
ChangeNOW supports all the major payment systems — Visa, Mastercard, SEPA, and Apple Pay. However, there is a catch. There are two basic scenarios for ChangeNOW usage:
You already own cryptocurrencies, so you connect your non-custodial wallet to the ChangeNOW app to make swaps to other cryptocurrencies.
You want to buy cryptos from scratch using fiat money, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, NZD, or others.
In the first scenario, ChangeNOW has fees explained in the previous section. In the second scenario, the fee structure is a bit different. To offer direct USD/EUR to crypto purchase, ChangeNOW had to partner with a third party — Simplex or Guardarian fiat-to-crypto gateway.
As a payment processor mediating aforementioned payment systems, Simplex charges a 3.5%–5% transaction fee, and the transaction value must be a minimum of $10. Therefore, if one chooses to use ChangeNOW for fiat-to-crypto conversion, that fee has to be accounted for in addition to the classic vs. fixed-rate and the blockchain network fee.
The end result is either the same or lower fee compared to the likes of Binance using the same payment methods. Of course, this all depends on market conditions and the blockchain’s network congestion at the time of the trade.
There are no hidden fees to consider. The last thing to remember is that Visa/Mastercard has its own minimum requirements, which is typically $50 per transaction.
How To Use the ChangeNow App?
After downloading and installing the app from either Google Play Store or Apple App store, it is then a matter of what you want to do with it. To exchange crypto assets you already hold for something else, you need to connect your wallet by pasting its address.
Likewise, you can scan the address from another computer/tablet/smartphone screen or pull one up from an address book.
As for the exchange itself, in this case, BTC to ETH, nothing could be simpler. In the upper asset field, select the token you want to trade, and in the box beneath the target token. Here, you will see a lock icon next to the target’s spot price. This is the difference between having a classic (unlocked) or fixed (locked) price, as explained previously.
Once your exchange amounts are set, simply tap on the big green “Exchange” button at the bottom, which then leads you to the confirmation screen with the estimated transaction time.
Always verify the recipient’s address so as not to lose funds. After all, there are no chargebacks with blockchain networks. Once a transaction is added to the chain, it cannot be un-added.
ChangeNow’s Premium Benefits
We previously mentioned that it is not necessary to register to ChangeNOW.io to use the app. However, doing so has quite a few benefits. That’s because ChangeNOW is one of those exchange services that has its own platform token NOW.
Just like Binance uses Binance Coin (BNB) for merchant perks and fee savings, ChangeNOW uses NOW tokens for the same purpose:
Affiliate signup monetization
Speedier access to customer support
Voting rights for listing new supported tokens
Superior exchange rates
Cashbacks for every exchange
Drops via promo campaigns and other special events
NOW is supported by two blockchain networks — Ethereum and Binance Chain. On both networks, NOW tokens are capped to 100 million supply per chain. The more ChangeNOW Pro service is used, the more scarce NOW tokens get. In turn, this positively affects its price, which has been proven to be the case since the token launched in May 2018.
Needless to say, the recent market crash has negatively affected all markets, including NOW token’s price.
ChangeNow’s Customer Service
The app uses NOW tokens to incentivize users. One of them includes faster customer service. This just means that those who have signed up for ChangeNOW Pro and hold NOW tokens are prioritized ahead of the line.
For regular users, ChangeNOW uses either direct email contact — [email protected] or an app form in which the user types a message. As is usually the case, this creates a support ticket that takes up to half an hour for the first reply.
Judging by the relatively high rating of 4.7 stars on Google Play, the team hasn’t been lacking. Likewise, it is rated 4.8 stars (excellent) on the Trustpilot review aggregator.
ChangeNOW should not be confused with either a crypto wallet or a crypto exchange. One should view it as a missing convenience link. It’s all well and good to have private keys in non-custodial wallets, but it gets a bit cumbersome to then go online to swap tokens.
ChangeNOW fixes this by aggregating the best swap rates available from the world’s most trafficked exchanges. Moreover, one has full control over how the fee should be calculated, which often enough turns on the lower end of the spectrum.
For newcomers that need new crypto funds, ChangeNOW offers fiat-to-crypto conversion via third-party processors. While this adds an additional fee, it doesn’t place ChangeNOW above competitors.
Overall, ChangeNOW is an exceedingly useful and favorably rated app that every crypto veteran should try out. Its NOW utility token is just the cherry on top.