Coinbase vs Changelly Exchange Review: Are They Safe?

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Coinbase and Changelly are two well-known digital asset exchanges where users can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is particularly geared toward helping new investors buy in and get acclimated, while Changelly is known more as an intermediate or advanced exchange.

This article takes an in-depth look into the specifics of each exchange in order to help users make the best choice for their particular investment needs and goals. We will examine the fundamentals, specific features, and their security and trustworthiness of each platform so that investors will be armed with as much information also possible before they spend their money on one site or the other.

Comparing Coinbase vs. Changelly

Coinbase is one of the best-known and most-used digital asset exchanges in operation today. They are often thought of as the on-ramp to cryptocurrency trading, both because their site is simple and accessible, and because they allow their customers to use fiat currency and a variety of other methods to buy in.

Coinbase is famous within the industry for raising over 110 million USD in start-up capital, which is one of the main reasons that they were able to establish such a powerful presence in the market as rapidly as they did. They are currently valued at well over 500 million USD, making them one of the most valuable exchanges in the world.

Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam, and Ben Reeves. Reeves, however, left the company in the very initial stages citing philosophical differences. Ehrsam has also since left the company, however he did so in 2017, well after the company made its initial splash.

Changelly was founded in Prague, Czech Republic in 2013 and currently claim to have over 1.5 million total users. Their website says that they perform over 15,000 transactions per day, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

It was developed by programmers from MinerGate, a cryptocurrency mining pool that is still in operation today. Changelly is partnered with a number of larger entities including Mycelium, Jaxx, and Coinomi.

Funding methods for Coinbase vs. Changelly

As mentioned above, one of the strengths of Coinbase is the fact that they accept so many different methods of payment. They have their own wallet feature and allow users to add money through bank transfers, bank wires, credit and debit cards, and through any of the cryptocurrencies that they trade in.

Changelly, by comparison, requires users to buy in with cryptocurrency. They also do not have a wallet function directly associated with their site, which means that users need to use an outside wallet company in conjunction with their Changelly account.

Options offered by Coinbase vs. Changelly

These exchanges are both used primarily as locations to trade digital assets. They allow users to act as either market makers or takers and feature an array of tools that can be used for analyzing and tracking their purchases and the market overall.

One difference between these two entities that may be significant to some users is that Coinbase offers an app for mobile devices, while Changelly is only available through a web browser. This makes it somewhat difficult to access remotely, which could be an issue for some users.

Changelly requires far less verification from their users before they allow them to begin trading. This has positive and negative aspects for the brand overall. Some users that may have trouble getting access to other markets may be able to use Changelly’s exchange, which certainly benefits them, however it may also lower the overall quality of the investors on the site.

Consumer Support

Coinbase is known as one of the most consumer-friendly platforms in the industry. There was a time when they had a very poor reputation for customer service, however as a reaction to this reputation Coinbase put considerable effort in to making themselves more user-friendly.

They have added instant messaging bots and even a telephone operating system in addition to the standard FAQ page. For more complicated issues Coinbase has a support ticket system that features some of the better turn-around times in the industry.

Changelly does not offer nearly as many options for customers that have issues. Their FAQ page is somewhat less helpful than Coinbase’s, and their support ticket system takes 1-2 days longer on average. They have no telephone or instant messaging options.

Trust

Coinbase is one of the most trusted platforms in the industry. They have built this reputation on their years of service, the high volume of trading that they do, and all of the steps that they have taken to improve their customer service.

They are also trusted in part because of their backers, which include the New York Stock Exchange and other major financial institutions. They are FDIC insured and have previously shown a willingness to reimburse users who lost funds do to errors and extreme circumstances.

Changelly does not have as widely-known a reputation as Coinbase, due in part to the fact that they have not been operational as long. Despite this, there are some other issues that have compromised Changelly’s reputation with the public, including the frequency of the reports of hidden or unexpected fees.

Changelly has some larger backers, including Jaxx and Coinomi, however these institutions are not on the same level as those that are partnered with Coinbase. Given all of these factors, Coinbase clearly has a better overall reputation within the industry.

Security

Coinbase is known in the industry for having a high-quality security system, which includes keeping their funds in offline cold storage requiring multi-signature authorization and backed up with hard copies. There are few reports of significant hacking attacks of Coinbase, however they are not particularly forthcoming about the nature or extent of any of any breach of their system.

Changelly provides much less information about their security processes as Coinbase, however given that users’ funds are kept in offsite wallets there are very few ways that hackers could steal their funds directly. There are no reports of any major hacking incidents involving Changelly, and they also received some credit for helping Tether spot and stop a 2017 hacking attack on their coins.

Fees

Coinbase charges a fee on every transaction, regardless of whether the user is buying or selling, and their prices tend to range between 1.49% and 3.99%. The exact rate depends on factors like type of currency being used and trading volume.

Changelly promotes themselves as having a 0.5% exchange fee, however they also have a reputation for charging their users additional hidden fees as well. These fees are often not factored in to the cost of the trade by the user and can at times affect its overall value.

There are some reports that can be found online from past Changelly users who felt like they would not have used their exchange or made the types of trades that they did had they known the exact rates that they would be charged. Both Changelly’s and Coinbase’s fees are slightly higher than the average for exchanges of this type, however prospective users are encouraged to consult their exact fee structures in order to determine the exact amounts that they are likely to pay.

Changelly uses a graded system for deciding the exchange limits for their customers. The first transaction for any new customer has a 50 USD cap, the second a 100 USD cap, and the third is limited to 500 USD. Once a user has successfully completed a transaction of this size they no longer have any external restrictions placed on their trading.

Coinbase has a more complicated system that also involves a gradual increase on users’ limits. They use their own proprietary algorithm based on trading history and other factors in order to determine these amounts.

Offered Crypto

Coinbase offers only a select few assets on their exchange. At this time they just carry Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin – far fewer currencies than most exchanges, and in particular fewer than Changelly. There have been a number of currencies that have been potentially tied to Coinbase, however nothing significant has materialized at this point.

Changelly offers nearly a hundred different types of assets, including all of the ones that Coinbase carries. This is one of the largest selections of any market online and makes Changelly the better choice for any user that is looking to invest in smaller profile altcoins.

Summary

Coinbase is one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in operation today. They have done a massive amount of trading since their inception and continue to be one of the highest volume markets in operation today.

Changelly is not as well known as Coinbase, however they do still control a relatively large share of the market compared to the many alt-exchanges that have sprung up in recent years. They are considered relatively secure and they offer a wider variety of coins than Coinbase, so there are some users that may find their platform more appropriate for their specific needs.

Changelly may also offer some more favorable rates than Coinbase on some transactions, however users are cautioned to watch out for hidden fees that may unfavorably alter their transaction decisions. Ultimately any individual investor should consult the fee charts of both platforms in order to determine which platform will be best suited to their unique trading profile.

Peter Lehmann

Peter is a blockchain investor and cryptocurrency writer at Vkool.com. Since 2014 Peter has advised blockchain startups and ICOs on content marketing, strategy and business development.

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