ChangeNOW is a scam! ChangeNOW illegally holds my money! ChangeNOW are thieves! These are some of the hostile comments that have been making rounds on the internet. These accusations got the crypto community looking closely into it, and some have gone ahead and seemingly done a detailed analysis of things leading up to the entire scenario.
Crypto exchange and processing service ChangeNOW entered the crypto market in 2017 and has developed a wide range of products around its flagship platform. It seems to have a vibrant presence on Twitter, with a healthy following and regular tweets. Their representatives are active, responding quickly to customer feedback on Trustpilot (4.8 stars based on 7,338 reviews), the App Store (4.6 stars based on 934 reviews), Google Play (4.6 stars based on 2.92K reviews), Reddit, and other sites. Also, members of ChangeNOW’s team are in the limelight, especially their head of PR, who is often contributing to popular crypto media outlets with his crypto market analysis and taking interviews with various crypto experts and celebrities.
On the surface, this looks like a legitimate business. What is the reason for scam accusations against ChangeNOW when it has a reputation like this?
What Is ChangeNOW?
ChangeNOW, a non-custodial crypto exchange platform that has been around for almost 5 years and has been used by over 3.5 million clients. With the choice of over 400 cryptocurrencies (according to the most recent reviews), the service provides crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto swaps. People from almost anywhere on the globe can use this platform, which offers 24/7 customer support and a wide range of crypto solutions. Some of them are crypto loans, an in-house wallet, and nodes explorers. Based on ChangeNOW’s claims and users’ feedback, the average transaction time is about five minutes. Both the swap service and the wallet are available in the form of mobile apps, making it easy for users to conduct transactions.
Unlike custodial platforms, ChangeNOW does not hold private keys, so users have full control of their funds. It’s as simple as picking the cryptocurrency you want, depositing the funds into the generated address, and receiving your coins – there are no intermediaries involved. Your funds are safe unless the exchange asks for your seed phrase for your wallet. We haven’t found allegations of this kind relating to ChangeNOW.
However, describing all the merits of ChangeNOW is not the point here. An important factor to consider in this context is the platform’s score on Trustpilot, an independent service accumulating reviews of millions of users around the globe.
The fact that Trustpilot isn’t simply averaging reviews, but also factors in rating age, as well as whether the business asks for reviews, leads us to believe it is unlikely ChangeNOW would be a scam project given its 89% rating of ‘excellent’ based on 7,290 reviews as of this writing.
The following are the ratings of other similar services:
And here’s what really bad reviews look like:
What Makes Some Users Think ChangeNOW Is a Scam?
Even though most ChangeNOW users share positive reviews, there are still some negative comments online. Here are some of the most frequent reasons why users claim ChangeNOW is a scam or express discontent with the service. Also included are the responses from the platform’s representatives:
|A transaction took quite a lot of time.|
|A liquidity provider had an issue that caused the delay. In a Telegram chat, ChangeNOW’s community was notified of possible delays.|
|The amount of crypto received did not match the sum shown before the transaction took place.||The user swapped crypto at a floating rate, so the exchange rate difference was caused by high market volatility. There are two types of rates offered by ChangeNOW: floating and fixed. Despite being higher, the latter protects users from market fluctuations like the one the user experienced.|
|Waiting for a refund for too long.||As part of its Terms of Service, ChangeNOW stipulates refunds may take up to 20 business days if the issue is complex, such as a user choosing the wrong network. Most of the time, however, it takes up to 24 hours.|
As you can see, all complaints are addressed with sound explanations. Importantly, the users who complained about waiting for their refunds for too long further updated their review and admitted that they received the funds after all. A review of dozens of negative reviews reveals no evidence that ChangeNOW had deceived or scammed anyone.
Is ChangeNOW a Scam or Legit?
The lack of regulation and the decentralized nature of crypto makes the issue of legitimacy a bit complicated. But digging a bit deeper should sort things out.
The platform is registered in Seychelles under the name CHN Group Limited. As already mentioned, the number of ChangeNOW clients amounts to over 3.5 million already. It is highly unlikely that so many people would continue to use a service alleged to be a scam and rate it positively. This kind of loyalty can’t be artificially created and maintained for so long. ChangeNOW mobile app and NOW Wallet are also quite popular with users judging by the number of downloads. Specifically, the iOS app is rated 4.6 out of 5.
Some might argue that they’re buying positive reviews. This would be the case if we saw a ton of negative reviews as well since they can’t be removed. The opposite is true – the vast majority of the reviews are positive.
A wide recognition from the majority of crypto users is the best proof that ChangeNOW is a trusted platform.
Media Reviews of ChangeNOW
Furthermore, it is important to analyze what different trustworthy media outlets have to say about ChangeNOW.
Review of ChangeNOW by CryptoNewsZ
CryptoNewsZ reviewed the platform as follows:
“After reviewing ChangeNOW, we can conclude that there are no issues with it. Its user interface is quite simple and straightforward. One of its best features is that users don’t have to create accounts to use the service. It is superior to other competitors due to the secure non-custodial nature of the platform, the ability to buy Bitcoin and other digital assets with a Visa or MasterCard, as well as the comprehensive ecosystem of products and services provided by ChangeNOW.”
Review of ChangeNOW by EthereumWorldNews
This is what EthereumWorldnews said about ChangeNOW:
“Overall, ChangeNOW is an exceedingly useful and favorably rated app that every crypto veteran should try out.”
Review of ChangeNOW by Benzinga
ChangeNOW was also reviewed by Benzinga, a financial news and analysis site favored by Wall Street’s top traders:
“Not only is ChangeNOW safe, it is fast and efficient. It is more secure than most centralized cryptocurrency exchanges since it does not keep your funds.”
Review of ChangeNOW by HedgewithCrypto
In its review of ChangeNOW, HedgewithCrypto.com, which has an audience of 1.5+ million readers, said:
“ChangeNOW appears to be a safe cryptocurrency exchange that is non-custodial.”
Review of ChangeNOW by TheMerkle
ChangeNOW was rated by TheMerkle.com as follows:
“Due to the secure non-custodial nature of the platform, the availability to purchase Bitcoin and other digital assets using a Visa or MasterCard, and the extensive ecosystem of products and services, ChangeNOW outperforms its rivals.”
Review of ChangeNOW by 99bitcoins
In its review of ChangeNOW, 99bitcoins.com concluded:
“A scam allegation does exist against ChangeNOW, but on further research, it doesn’t appear valid.”
“Cyber Hygiene? I’ve Never Heard of It.”
Alas, such an attitude persists among some members of the crypto community. So many words about the importance of cyber hygiene have been posted and outspoken. Still, some people fall for fraudsters’ tricks, ignoring the simplest safety rules.
There’s one case that deserves to be mentioned separately. A misfortunate user shared their 12-word safety phrase on some phishing website which enabled scammers to steal money from the user’s wallet. It was Atomic Wallet actually, but ChangeNOW got involved as a third party. In fact, it was ChangeNOW that prevented the money from going to the hands of scammers. While acting for the best interest of the user, the platform was still accused of “holding money illegally”.
The victim shared a 12-word backup phrase on a phishing website for God-knows-what reason and blamed ChangeNOW for their misfortune.
There is also the issue of user incompetence to consider. While exploring the intricacies of the crypto world, some newcomers can make mistakes like setting the wrong network or sending coins to the wrong address.
These things aren’t uncommon, but why blame a crypto platform for one’s own mistakes? It’s a rhetorical question.
ChangeNOW’s Efforts to Combat Scammers
A page called Corporate Responsibility on ChangeNOW’s website outlines its stance on cybercrime. Representatives of the platform also stress the effort they put into building up their reputation:
According to ChangeNOW, it is committed to making the crypto space safer, as evidenced by its ability to recover over $19 million stolen in cyberattacks and fraud. ChangeNOW claims it always monitors suspicious activity, so AML and KYC procedures are applied when users’ actions raise concerns. The platform boasts an in-house AML system, and its anti-fraud team cooperates with police across the globe to investigate cryptocurrency crimes.
One of ChangeNOW’s successful asset recovery cases was the return of $15 million worth of COMP tokens that had been mistakenly sent to users by Compound.
Similarly, ChangeNOW returned $1 million in MATIC coins, which had been stolen as a result of the 2020 Eterbase hack.
ChangeNOW also returned $100K in XRP to deceived users who had lost their Ripple coins in a scam giveaway. Steps like these mean its genuine concern for the crypto community, proving its words with action.
So it looks like ChangeNOW has experienced some seemingly unfounded accusations while having a tolerant attitude to scam victims.
Given all of this, there’s no reason not to believe ChangeNOW’s head of PR, Mike Ermolaev:
Is ChangeNOW a scam? Well, the above-said facts prove quite the opposite. Considering the speed of transactions, a user could realize they’ve been scammed within a matter of 15 minutes. Negative reviews would be plentiful if ChangeNOW were a scam. This is not the case, as there are overwhelmingly positive user reviews. In light of this and other factors like ChangeNOW’s large crypto ecosystem, the platform’s efforts to combat cybercrime, its responses to scam accusations, and high-profile media coverage work in ChangeNOW’s favor to establish that it is definitely not a scam.