If you’re reading this tutorial, you probably already know just how big cryptocurrencies are at present. With Bitcoin leading the charge into the mainstream, crypto popularity is still rapidly increasing - nobody knows if it’s ever going to stop. But with all of this attention and new people coming into the crypto world, demand for safe and reputable cryptocurrency exchange platforms has been an important point of discussion. With so many exchanges available, it might become tough to pick the right crypto exchange for you. That’s why today, in this Changelly vs ShapeShift comparison, we’ll take a look at the two leading exchange platforms in the market.
There are quite a few angles that you could start comparing the platforms from, and we’ll go over all of the main ones. Before that, though, I’ll introduce both of the platforms and the companies behind them, so that you could have a clearer understanding of what we’re talking about. So, without further ado, let’s review ShapeShift vs Changelly!
Changelly: An Overview
The prototype for Changelly was originally developed back in 2013. The creators behind it were a part of the infamous MinerGate cryptocurrency mining pool. However, the actual defined company was launched only a few years later - at that point, the team from MinerGate had nothing to do with it. A lot of people seem to mix this up, so let me just clarify - currently, MinerGate and Changelly are two completely separate entities.
As a cryptocurrency trading platform, Changelly rose to fame at some point in 2016. The simplicity and trading fees that Changelly offered appeared to be some of the main reasons for its popularity. Changelly requires almost no personal information from its users to start trading - all you need is an email address. Additionally, the platform offers more than 100 different altcoins and fiat currencies to trade in - this is quite a significant amount! Furthermore, the site provides 24/7 live customer support - no bots! Surely, that's an amazing feature to have when we're talking about a crypto exchange platform.
Another addition to the Changelly’s reputation is that the platform can boast itself as super secure - as of writing this Changelly vs ShapeShift comparison, there have been very few registered and publicized break-in attempts on the platform - one that had to do with Ethereum, and one that disrupted Changelly's customer support. This happened during the December 2017 hype and was significant - quite a few crypto trading platforms have had similar issues before. No matter how good of a company or trading platform you have - it seems that no one is safe from potential threats.
On the flip side, however, people seem to question is Changelly legit or not. If you’d take a minute and browse online Changelly reviews and ratings, you notice that there’s a huge gap between 5-star and 1-star reviews - people seem to pick either one, hardly focusing on the middle ground. This isn’t without a reason.
The people that are asking “is Changelly legit?” and leaving negative reviews about the company online are mostly those who tried to buy, sell or trade some sort of cryptocurrency with a fiat currency. Changelly is proud that they offer a flat 0,5% buying, selling and trading fee between two cryptocurrencies, but (apparently) they aren’t as transparent when it comes to fiat ones.
Truth be told, the company doesn’t intentionally lie to their users - it’s just that the sometimes super-high fiat trading fees aren’t advertised and are seemingly left for the customer to find out on his own. Naturally, because of the whole “0,5% crypto trading fee”, people will tend to think that this applies to the whole site. When they come across fiat currency trading and see the fees (these may vary depending on the market position; however, they seem to always stay relatively high), an understandable shock occurs. It should be stated, however, that the site has been more transparent on this issue as of late - they note that a "5%+5%" fee will be charged upon transaction (5% for Changelly and 5% for Simplex). Given this information, things seem much more clear!
Other than this fiat currency trading fee situation, Changelly has a great reputation.
ShapeShift: An Overview
Now that you have some sort of an idea of what Changelly is about, the next step in this Changelly vs ShapeShift comparison tutorial is to get to know ShapeShift.
ShapeShift was founded back in 2013, by a guy names Erik Voorhees. The company is based in Switzerland and is considered to be one of the best known and trusted cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world.
ShapeShift is famous for offering its users the ability to trade cryptocurrencies without the need to store any or all personal data within the company’s servers. However, since October 1, 2018, this has changed - ShapeShift now requires some personal information to be stored to perform successful trades within their platform.
One of the main features that ShapeShift is so well-known for could also be considered the platform’s biggest downfall.
ShapeShift was always proud about not storing any or all user information within their platform, while simultaneously providing super-quick transactions between cryptocurrencies. A lot of people wondered - with so little security in place, where do all of their funds go in between the transactions or during failed transfers?
Well, sure enough, people got their answers - from March to April of 2016, there have been three breaches of security that ShapeShift experienced. All of the three attacks were performed by the same hacker - in total, around $200,000 was stolen, in the forms of Litecoin, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
After the dust settled, ShapeShift found out that one of their employees was responsible for the attack - he leaked sensitive security information to the hacker in question. The CEO of the company promised the community in a statement that no funds were stolen from the actual users, and that the company has fixed the problem so that nothing similar would ever happen again.
Needless to say, though, the damage was already dealt with - one google search will reveal that there are countless numbers of people disappointed and dissatisfied with ShapeShift. The people who were concerned with the company’s lack of privacy before the attack is among the angriest ones.
There have been many reports of people losing their funds in the process of trading, poor customer support and communication, hidden fees, etc. The company has had a tough time dealing with all of the issues that came up before and after (but especially after!) the attack on their servers.
Now that you see the situation with both of these cryptocurrency exchange platforms, we can start jumping into the Changelly vs Shapeshift comparison. I’ll tell you about the main criteria which were used to evaluate both platforms, and explain my reasoning behind choosing it. Then we’ll be able to start the ShapeShift vs Changelly review.
In this Changelly vs Shapeshift comparison, I’ve extracted some of the most important criteria that a trading platform should possess.
I’ve based my choices on people’s preferences and opinions found online, most commonly expressed concerns and other relating variables. The below-listed criteria aren’t put in any specific order unless stated otherwise.
This should probably come as a no-brainer for most people, but the absolute number one priority that a cryptocurrency exchange platform should upkeep and provide its customers is security.
Imagine this type of scenario: you have a 100 Bitcoins. That’s a lot of money! One day, you decide to trade your Bitcoins into some other cryptocurrency - let’s say, Ethereum. You find a crypto trading platform - a super fancy, artistic and multifunctional one at that! Naturally, your initial reaction is positive and trustful.
Because the platform is so aesthetically pleasing and inviting, you decide to use it and without giving it any second thought, you follow through with the trade. You go to sleep dreaming about all of that Ethereum you’re going to wake up to… Except that you wake up and see that you’ve been scammed of all your funds because the trading platform that you decided to use didn’t have the right security measures in check.
Will the fact that the platform was beautiful or multifunctional matters to you at that point? Not a chance - you will be devastated because you just lost all of your savings. Now, do you see what I mean when I say that security is important?
A good trading platform will always have the best rates and fees when it comes to cryptocurrency trading. In the “Changelly vs Shapeshift” discussion, this isn’t an exception.
There are a lot of websites, companies and crypto trading platforms that offer their users “the best trading fees around”, yet when you go through the process of trading, you see that the fees leave something to be desired.
Reputable and trustworthy cryptocurrency trading sites present their fees up-front - they make it clear on their home pages just how much and when are they going to charge you per transaction. Do keep in mind that this also means that these sites don’t withhold any hidden fees from their customers and are completely transparent throughout the process of the transaction (you’ll see why this matters a bit later on in the Changelly vs Shapeshift review).
When choosing a crypto (or any other asset) trading platform, always try to count and compare the fees with at least a couple of other platforms. You might be surprised how many of these “lowest fees in the market” platforms are far from actually having these “lowest fees”.
Speed and Variety of Choice
Since these two criteria are often classified as secondary, I’ve decided to list them together. However, them being secondary does not mean that they’re not important.
Let’s start with speed. Needless to say, a good trading platform will be able to perform transactions (whether it be buying, selling or trading one crypto coin into another) with top speed without sacrificing anything on the security department.
One of the main problems with blockchain-based crypto trading platforms is that their speed is very blockchain-dependant - it becomes tough to predict when your transaction will be processed in minutes and when it might take up the whole day.
When it comes to the variety of choices, this is truly a case-by-case scenario. Some people just need one or two cryptocurrencies (usually those are something like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin - some of the more known and mainstream ones), while others want to hold at least a few coins in 200 different cryptos each. Depending on which category you fall into, this might be significant criteria for you or an unnoticeable one.
These are the main criteria that I chose when it comes to picking a good cryptocurrency trading platform. Naturally, there are many more variables, but if a platform has all of these covered, most of the other factors become secondary, preferential choices.
Now, let’s get into the actual ShapeShift vs Changelly comparison and analyze these two platforms through the lens of the above-given criteria.
Changelly vs Shapeshift - Which is Better?
Let’s start with the most important factor - security.
Which is more secure?
As I’ve mentioned probably ten times already, security is the most important factor when choosing a cryptocurrency trading platform. So, on the topic of “Changelly vs Shapeshift”, which one of these two platforms is more secure?
As I’ve mentioned before, Changelly can currently boast themselves as being almost perfectly secure. There have been minor issues, but the general opinion that you'll encounter on the web is that people seem to be relatively happy with the current state of the platform.
Even if someone were to try and hack Changelly, the company always requires it’s users to provide an email address when performing a transaction. This is because Changelly offers its customers a 2-factor authentication - this eliminates (or at least drastically lowers) the possibility of any fraud or ill-intent.
ShapeShift, on the other hand, truly did have security issues. The choice of not asking clients for any personal detail might have been a clever one from a marketing standpoint, but sooner or later it was bound to surface as a shortcoming. And it did so sooner - even though the company states that their current security if up-to-date, many people still don’t trust ShapeShift and are reporting various issues with payments going missing, failed transaction, etc.
Which has Better Fees?
The ways that the two companies go about their fees are quite different.
ShapeShift’s fees are dependant on the currencies that you want to trade and the situation of the market at that time. The company takes what is called a "miner fee" from your transaction. Naturally, deposits and withdrawals are completely free. All of that being said, some speculations ShapeShift includes a fixed, specific fee into the transaction, but just doesn't state it - this way, they can make a profit, while still claiming low transaction fees. However, do keep in mind that these are just speculations - they have no hard evidence to support them.
Changelly, on the other hand, offers a flat 0,5% fee every time you buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies. The main issue, as I’ve stated before, arises when you want to mix fiat currencies like USD or EUR into the equation. That being said, the platform has truly become more transparent over time. Furthermore, the fact that Changelly allows you to track your exchange history provides that extra layer of security and assurance.
Which is Faster and Has a Wider Variety of Choice?
In the comparison of Changelly vs Shapeshift, both platforms offer relatively good transaction speeds. These depend on many different factors, but there aren’t many people online complaining about the speed of either of these companies.
However, when it comes to the variety of choice, Changelly comes on top - the company offers its users more than a hundred different altcoins to choose from when it comes to cryptocurrency trading.
As you can probably see, it isn’t easy to compare Changelly vs Shapeshift - both of these platforms have their strengths and shortcomings.
If after reading this Changelly vs Shapeshift comparison you think that security truly is the most important factor, then Changelly would be the logical choice for you. On the other hand, ever since ShapeShift has dealt with the internal-breach hacking situation, they have yet to suffer another similar event. In addition to that, they have eliminated the whole “no personal information” stick and are now asking people to sign up if they want to make a transaction. This could be a good example that they have started to take things seriously and have brushed up their game.
Furthermore, if Changelly’s “fiat currency exchange” issue didn’t scare you, the platform is a very decent option for people looking to trade multiple different cryptocurrencies. Changelly has established its name and is already seen as a reputable cryptocurrency exchange company.
Well, this has been the “Changelly vs Shapeshift Comparison” tutorial. I hope it was useful for you, and that now you have a better understanding of these two crypto exchange platforms!