Evan Ducktator

Freelance author

Changelly vs ShapeShift vs CoinSwitch vs ChangeNOW: A 9 Round Death-Battle. Who'll Win?

The fast-changing crypto world constantly ramps up the pace that creates a greater amount of services and solutions, along with the question which of them it is more beneficial to use. Initially, centralized exchanges opened an essential door to cryptocurrency trading.
However, as time goes by with the great strides being made on a permanent basis, certain weak points of centralized exchanges have been revealed, be they lack of account privacy or tempting targets for hackers. Didn’t take long for the services to catch up and turn the spotlight to the alternatives, such as instant non-custodial exchanges.
These players became publicly renowned for not holding users’ funds and arranging a quick yet functional platform for crypto trading.
With non-custodial exchanges, users funds remain under their control in the external crypto wallets rather than stay in a user account of an exchange. Therefore, reliability and security levels are as strong as never before. Moreover, account registration to such exchange platforms is either taken away or replaced by a simple email notification.
There are several criteria that draw a line between the instant exchanges. It appears to be of user’s interest to categorize and study those. In order to be more illustrative, we take 4 well-known non-custodial exchanges and place them under a magnifying glass of 9 factors that help to navigate your way through the trading world.

1. Creating account

Changelly
Only an email is required to create an account that grants you access to your transaction history, password editing and other account settings. Alternatively, you can create an account using an already-existing Facebook or Twitter. Still, you may skip a sign-up process in a mobile app.
ShapeShift
Mandatory with a requirement to complete KYC procedures before making transactions. The feature was recently updated due to “the requests of many of our users to have account-related features: a record of transaction history, saved/whitelisted addresses, and email notifications, for example”, as the company explained.
CoinSwitch
CoinSwitch represents a multi-exchange platform which offers various services to choose when exchanging cryptocurrency. Users can trade anonymously on any exchange with ease without creating an account with the underlying exchange. This option is available, for CoinSwitch is integrated with a number of API providers, including Changelly and ChangeNOW.
ChangeNOW
Although ChangeNOW was built on the exchange API provided by Changelly, no registration is required here; however, an email should be provided to get updates upon transactions status and in order to contact the support team in case of a need.

2. Supported coins

Changelly
150+
ShapeShift
40+
CoinSwitch
400+
ChangeNOW
170+

3. Fees

NOTE: please pay attention to the high rate volatility of cryptocurrency. It may affect the resulting amounts and fees at any exchange.
Changelly
0.25%
ShapeShift
0.5%
CoinSwitch
0% to 0.49% depending on the exchange for a transaction
ChangeNOW
0.5%

4. Exchange time

Changelly
12 min on average
ShapeShift
30 sec — several hours
CoinSwitch
15–30 min
ChangeNOW
Under 15 min

5. Geographic limits

Changelly
You are prior to use the service if you are not in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any country subject to United Nations Security Council Sanctions List and its equivalent (“Prohibited Jurisdictions”).
ShapeShift
Does not have restrictions at the place of stay, however reserves the right to limit or block users in certain locations. Fiat to crypto transactions are available for U.S. citizens only.
CoinSwitch
Except for residents or citizens of countries on any trade or economic sanctions lists or placed on the U.S. Commerce Department’s “Denied Persons List”.
ChangeNOW
Except for citizens or residents of any country subject to United Nations Security Council Sanctions List and its equivalent.

6. Affiliate program

Changelly
Yes. It’s realized in 4 ways: Changelly referral link, banners, widget, and exchange button with a referral link. Allows gaining 0.25% of turnover of each transaction other users make via either of them.
ShapeShift
Yes. While in the exchanges above affiliate programs and API are separated, the ShapeShift affiliate program is offered exclusively to those websites that integrate with their API. Affiliates earn back 0.25% of total BTC volume every month.
CoinSwitch
Yes. Via referral links. An affiliate receives $5 per referral when his referee completes a transaction worth $100.
ChangeNOW
Yes. Feasible through reference links, widgets and buttons. The affiliate program offers a unique fee gauge, which allows to set the most comfortable level for an affiliate depending on his or her income level: from 0.4 to 1.8%.

7. Coins available for fiat-to-crypto exchange

Changelly
All the supported coins are also available for fiat-to-crypto exchange.
ShapeShift
The recent update introduces a feature for buying BTC with fiat for U.S. residents only.
CoinSwitch
100+ out of 400+ coins are available for fiat-to-crypto exchange.
ChangeNOW
Fiat-to-crypto exchange is currently unavailable.

8. Crypto-to-crypto transactions limits

Changelly
There are no limits for crypto-to-crypto transactions. However, it is critical to make sure that the amount you want to exchange on Changelly is enough to cover the exchange fees for both the process of sending your original currency and receiving the new currency you want to buy.
ShapeShift
The higher limit trades exist, depending on the level of membership (up to $10,000 maximum transaction size for Level 1 Members, which is free).
CoinSwitch
No limits for crypto-to-crypto transactions. However, if an amount is too low, make sure that it will cover all the network fees a blockchain takes.
ChangeNOW
No limits for crypto-to-crypto transactions. However, for a transaction to be carried out, a network fee is charged by the blockchain itself. The amount sent must be sufficient to cover all the network fees.

9. Reviews amount (according to Trustpilot)

Changelly
1,174 (728 reviews marked the service as excellent)
ShapeShift
84 (23 reviews — excellent)
CoinSwitch
179 (166 reviews — excellent)
ChangeNOW
261 (177 reviews — excellent)
Looking at these basic factors, it comes by no surprise that each exchange has its own advantages and disadvantages that puts a choice onto a more personal axis.
Depending on what your needs and expectations are, different platforms will suit you for different purposes. While all of them operate more or less at the same level of geographic and transaction limits, each of them is marked with its own benefits:
Changelly offers the lowest and the most transparent fee of 0.25%, all the supported coins available for fiat-to-crypto exchange as well as all the highly demanded coins for crypto-to-crypto transactions, works with the high speed of exchange and is broadly trusted (Trustpilot reviews);
ShapeShift appears relatively flat in this context with its average fees and comparable to others transaction speed, but requires to complete all KYC procedures for any transactions;
CoinSwitch provides the widest currency range;
ChangeNOW doesn’t require any registration (although an email has to be provided anyway) and, while not offering fiat-to-crypto exchange option, supports highly demanded coins for crypto-to-crypto transactions.
Forewarned is forearmed. While this basic research is sufficient for starters, we do also recommend to constantly update your knowledge and experience in order to become a seasoned user, for as we mentioned in the very beginning, the fast-changing world of internet technologies has always the last word.

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Comments

August 13th, 2019

ChangeNow seems to be the most convenient one. I tried Changelly before and found that it is not as efficient as ChangeNow in terms of customer service.

August 14th, 2019

From what I can see, I’d close my eyes and just choose CoinSwitch over the others. While I might have to pay higher fees at times, I’d still go with it for the other benefits.

On a different note, Changelly, I feel, is over rated.

August 15th, 2019

Changelly is absolutely not overrated as @samuelhill stated. I’m a regular user of Changelly, and from my experience, I can say its services are noteworthy.

Also, CoinSwitch is good too. Haven’t used the other two as of now. So, don’t have anything to add on that.

August 21st, 2019

I can vouch for that transaction time on CoinSwitch. It’s tooooo daaaammmmnnnnnn sloooowwwwww.

Shapeshift never took hours. At max, around 15 minutes. Not more than that. Maybe, I was just lucky.

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