The idea of cryptocurrency is a novel one that has a ton of amazing merits, but it's kinda like trying to use the internet to purchase something in the late 90's; It's slow, hard to use, and confusing at best! While the entire industry is toiling away to try and change this, there are some "hidden gems" out there that have successfully reduced the learning curve for a few of the popular cryptocurrency task like exchanging one crypto for another instantly. These "instant swap" exchanges make it super simple for a beginner to trade one crypto for another without having to jump on a full fledged exchange. Follow along with The 'Stache as I break down the top 3 popular instant swap cryptocurrency exchanges!
The Benefits Of An Instant Swap Exchange
Unlike a standard centralized exchange like Coinbase or maybe even Binance, an instant swap exchange does not take custody of your funds. You might hear me say over and over again, but holding your own private keys, or keeping custody of your own funds, is one of the key rules in crypto. "Not your keys, not your crypto" is the saying and the way most instant exchanges work is in a non-custodial way. You get to keep your crypto in your own wallet and swap from there. Today I am going to look at the top 3 most popular instant swap exchanges (Change NOW, Changelly, & Shapeshift) and how they differ. (note that some of these are my affiliate links, clicking on them comes at no additional cost to you and helps to support my work)
Change NOW Review
Like all the instant swap exchanges here, Change NOW is a non-custodial exchange where you can swap out over 100 tokens very quickly. Exchanges take about 5 minutes on average, which is typical for these types of exchanges because the "instant" part is grabbing the best price from actual exchanges. Change NOW offers a huge set of coins to swap and there are quite a few smaller coins here to swap that the other exchanges don't necessary offer. Of course, you do have to pay a fee for this service, which is a comparable fee of 0.5% flat fee no matter the volume which is great since they don't have any hard limits on the amount of crypto you can exchange. They also offer buying crypto using a Visa or Mastercard, but I don't really recommend this for any of the exchanges as the fees are very high.
My favorite feature of Change NOW is that, unlike Changelly & Shapshift, they only require you to input your email address. Both Changelly & Shapeshift require you to sign up for an account! Removing the extra step of required account creation puts Change NOW at the top of my list for instant swap exchanges.
Changelly has been around for quite some time and is one of the oldest instant swap exchanges. They offer over 100 coins to swap instantly, and while they have a large set of coins there are not as many "lesser know" options to choose from. In comparison both Changelly and Change NOW have a similar feature set, but you are required to setup an account with Changelly before you can actually make a purchase. The fees at Changelly are a standard 0.5% no matter the volume. Changelly also allows purchases using your Visa or Mastercard, but the fees are just too high for me to recommend doing it this way.
When I first really got into crypto I actually used Shapeshift quite often, as it was built into my favorite wallet Exodus. They offer a much smaller amount of coins that you can swap in comparison to Change NOW & Changelly which is the first downside. For a long time they allowed you to swap with no account just like Change NOW, but since 2018 they now make you register an account AND go through KYC to do any swaps! While this may not be a deal breaker, it certainly makes it a lot harder to do things quickly in comparison to the other two exchanges reviewed here.
The other downside of Shapeshift is that they do have limits on how much of each crypto you can swap at one time. Similar to the other exchanges Shapeshift does charge a fee of around 0.5% on all swaps. These are mainly to cover mining fees and their cut of your swap.
If you are looking for a quick way to swap one coin for another, are a beginner that is still a little aprehenisve about using a big centralized exchange, or maybe you just have one of these services built into your favorite wallet, instant swap exchanges are a good option to consider. Do make sure to consider your tax implications if you are in the US as swapping one crypto for another IS a taxable event!
Out of the three reviewed here, Change NOW has the best stats and is my recommendation. Quick and simple without the need for an actual account, no limits, and tons of coins to choose from. You can even try them out right here in this cool widget that I created from their site!
Give them all a try and let me know which one is your favorite in the comments, until next time...
'Stache That Crypto Friends!