XCH4NGE Review (2020)

XCH4NGE.com
  • Ease of Use
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Payment Options
  • Speed
  • Fees
2.6

Summary

XCH4NGE is a UK-based P2P platform which lets you buy and sell bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies). Unlike LocalBitcoins (the leading Bitcoin P2P marketplace), XCH4NGE verifies everyone before they can use their platform (which makes it safer and quicker to buy/sell).

Not many sellers are using their platform though, and the rates offered by those that are isn’t great.

I’m excited to see how XCH4NGE develops. But right now? I won’t be using it.

Introduction

XCH4NGE is a cryptocurrency platform based in the UK. They allow you to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP).

In this XCH4NGE review, I’ll give you my hands-on experience of using this new UK P2P exchange.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Support available 24/7 (via live chat).
  • P2P platform that only requires verification once.
  • Account setup (incl. full verification) takes about 15 minutes.
  • P2P platform for multiple supported cryptocurrencies.

Disadvantages

  • Fewer sellers than alternatives (e.g. LocalBitcoins, Paxful, or LocalCryptos).
  • Prices aren’t competitive (more than 2%).
  • The website is quite simplistic and doesn’t look great.

What Is XCH4NGE?

XCH4NGE is a UK limited company (based in London) which was established on 22 January 2018. The sole listed director is Sarfraaz Patel.

Their mission is “to make cryptocurrency accessible for everyone” and “become the ideal entry point to the digital asset ecosystem”.

But what makes them unique? When I asked, they told me they wanted to be a “one-stop-shop” for everything crypto-related. Ambitious goals are good, but they’ve not made much progress in the time that it has been online.

They launched their peer-to-peer (P2P) platform in November 2018 to UK residents. This appears to work a lot like LocalBitcoins, where you’ll buy cryptocurrency from other users – not directly from XCH4NGE.

I’d previously been told that they were working to get mobile app sorted in early 2019, but that doesn’t look like it happened. I was also told that they wanted to facilitate crypto-to-crypto trades in late 2019, but I can’t see any evidence of that either.

How’s It Work?

After beta testing their P2P platform in October 2018, they launched their peer-to-peer (P2P) platform in November 2018 to UK residents.

Signing up and verifying your identity doesn’t take long (15-20 mins when I did it). You’ll need to provide:

  • Your name, address, email, and phone number.
  • Bank details.
  • Scanned copy of your ID (passport or driving license).
  • Selfie of yourself, holding your ID, and a piece of paper with ‘XCH4NGE’ and the date.

XCH4NGE utilise a “leading UK credit agency” to perform KYC verification, which means that there’s less of a chance you’ll be exposed to stolen or laundered funds when buying or selling bitcoin (BTC). Because everyone using their platform is verified, buyers and sellers can save time and make transactions with less risk of fraud (e.g. chargebacks once a trade has been completed).

Once I signed up, I was disappointed to find that XCH4NGE’s P2P platform was quite bare. When I checked, there were only three Bitcoin (BTC) sellers online.

The Ripple (XRP) market was a little more active, but not by much.

When I tested the buying process (about 10:00 AM on a Sunday), I wasn’t actually able to find a seller online (even though their opening hours said otherwise). That’s not great

What’s the Buying Process?

When you want to purchase from a seller, you’ll see something like this.

When you’re input how much you want to purchase at that Price / BTC, just select ‘Request Purchase’ and you’ll be taken to a screen like this.

Before any payment details are released, you’ll now need to wait for the seller to confirm the order. If they don’t confirm the order within 5 minutes, the order is automatically cancelled (and you’ll see something like this).

If the seller does confirm your order, you’ll be provided with payment details (account number, sort code, and a reference). Once you’ve paid the seller and they confirm receipt on XCH4NGE, the coins should be released shortly after to your XCH4NGE wallet.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

XCH4NGE currently supports the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ripple (XRP)

When I spoke to them in late 2018, they said they were looking to support more cryptocurrencies in the near future. However, in 2020 it’s still just the cryptocurrencies listed above.

XCH4NGE Fees

Buyers don’t directly pay any fees to XCH4NGE when buying cryptocurrency on their platform. However, XCH4NGE charges sellers a fee of 1% when they make trades on their platform. That’ll get passed along to the buyer in the form of an inflated Bitcoin (BTC) price.

When I checked, the best price available on XCH4NGE was £2899.06 (per BTC). At the time, that was about 2.6% above the mid-market rate (as determined by Preev). If I wanted to buy more than £18, the next best price was 4.6% above the mid-market rate. This will fluctuate. I managed to find someone selling at about 2.5% above the mid-market rate when I checked on a weekday.

That’s not great. There are numerous alternatives which offer more competitive rates (between 1% and 2%). Here’s an overview of your best options in the UK.

To be absolutely clear, that’s not the fault of XCH4NGE. The competitiveness of the prices on XCH4NGE are dictated by the users on their platform, not them. If they’re able to attract more people to their platform, then I expect their rates will become more competitive.

Since I last checked in with XCH4NGE, they have got slightly more sellers. However, it’s still quite bare and not competitive with alternatives like Localbitcoins or Wirex.

While the above is not technically untrue (they don’t directly charge buyers anything), I think claiming that there aren’t any hidden fees for buyers is misleading – it’s just baked into the market rate for each cryptocurrency. If they wanted to be transparent about this, I’d expect something which highlights the % above the Bitcoin Price Index (or similar) in the interface. This is exactly what Paxful (another P2P marketplace) does.

XCH4NGE Limits

These are the limits documented on the XCH4NGE website.

Supported Fiat CurrenciesGBP
Daily Transaction LimitUnlimited
Deposit MinimumSet by blockchain*
Deposit MaximumUncapped
Withdrawal Minimum (BTC)0.002 BTC
Withdrawal Minimum (Altcoins)See Here
Withdrawal MaximumUnlimited

*If the blockchain allows you to send/receive that amount, it will be accepted into your XCH4NGE wallet.

Payment Methods

XCH4NGE currently only supports GBP UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments).

GBP payments between UK accounts utilising Faster Payments means that most transactions shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes (usually a lot faster).

Supported Countries

Only UK residents can use XCH4NGE’s platform.

However, it looks like they rolled out support to parts of Europe and India beginning early February 2019.

Alternatives

XCH4NGE’s closest competitor is LocalBitcoins

Localbitcoins screenshot

Localbitcoins is a popular and well-recommended P2P platform which allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) with whatever payment method you want (in-person or online).

Although it is cheaper than XCH4NGE, you will need to verify your identity (which usually requires sending them a picture of yourself and an ID) with most people you deal with on LocalBitcoins.

This sucks, as it does add time/effort to the process (unless you buy/sell to the same person). It also represents a security concern, as you’re giving sensitive ID documents over to people who might not handle it incorrectly or maliciously.

Looking for the best UK options?

Check out my post about the 5 best ways to buy bitcoin (BTC) in the UK.

Conclusion

I’m excited to see how XCH4NGE’s platform develops.

But in its current state? I won’t be using it and wouldn’t recommend it.

When I can buy Bitcoin (BTC) from verified brokers on Bittylicious and Solidi (who both have great reputations), what’s the advantage of using XCH4NGE? It seems like LocalBitcoins, but with all the best things about it removed (e.g. privacy, choice of payment method, etc.).

The rates offered to buyers (when I checked) weren’t as competitive as alternatives either (at least 2%). I couldn’t find a seller who was online to take my buy order too. Double whammy.

Looking to buy Bitcoin (BTC)? Check out these alternatives instead:

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