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Changelly PRO crypto exchange: trade Bitcoin (BTC)

latest release: 1.0.13 ( 13th April 2021 ) last analysed  19th October 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
4.6 ★★★★★
162 ratings
10 thousand
3rd July 2020

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Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with Changelly PRO crypto exchange: trade Bitcoin (BTC)  via their Twitter!

Do your own research!

Try out searching for "lost bitcoins", "stole my money" or "scammers" together with the wallet's name, even if you think the wallet is generally trustworthy. For all the bigger wallets you will find accusations. Make sure you understand why they were made and if you are comfortable with the provider's reaction.

If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

The Analysis 

App Description

Changelly PRO is an exchange:

Changelly PRO is a crypto exchange platform that serves both professional cryptocurrency traders and novices. The BTC exchange objective is to deliver simplicity to crypto trading — as well as high liquidity, competitive fees, and 24/7 support.

Here is its claim on security:

Top-notch Account Security: Be sure your crypto assets are protected with 2-factor authentication with high-end encryption technology and email confirmations.

However, nothing else really indicates the prescence of a crypto wallet.

It is related to Buy Bitcoin & Crypto Exchange No Wallet  , an exchange that claimed to be non-custodial as it only held funds for the purpose of exchanging them. This seems not to be the case for Changelly PRO.

The Site

On the site, one page has instructions for withdrawing funds on Changelly PRO.

There is also an article on KYC verification.

User Agreement

In 13: Suspension and Termination of Your Account

In the event of termination, Company will return any crypto assets stored in your Account and not owed to Company, unless Company believes you have committed fraud, negligence or other misconduct.

This means the company is in charge of the user’s assets.

Verdict

This app is custodial and thus not verifiable.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

As the provider of this product holds the keys, verifiability of the product is not relevant to the security of the funds!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the product self-custodial? If not, we tag it Custodial! 

A custodial service is a service where the funds are held by a third party like the provider. The custodial service can at any point steal all the funds of all the users at their discretion. Our investigations stop there.

Some services might claim their setup is super secure, that they don’t actually have access to the funds, or that the access is shared between multiple parties. For our evaluation of it being a wallet, these details are irrelevant. They might be a trustworthy Bitcoin bank and they might be a better fit for certain users than being your own bank but our investigation still stops there as we are only interested in wallets.

Products that claim to be non-custodial but feature custodial accounts without very clearly marking those as custodial are also considered “custodial” as a whole to avoid misguiding users that follow our assessment.

This verdict means that the provider might or might not publish source code and maybe it is even possible to reproduce the build from the source code but as it is custodial, the provider already has control over the funds, so it is not a wallet where you would be in exclusive control of your funds.

We have to acknowledge that a huge majority of Bitcoiners are currently using custodial Bitcoin banks. If you do, please:

  • Do your own research if the provider is trust-worthy!
  • Check if you know at least enough about them so you can sue them when you have to!
  • Check if the provider is under a jurisdiction that will allow them to release your funds when you need them?
  • Check if the provider is taking security measures proportional to the amount of funds secured? If they have a million users and don’t use cold storage, that hot wallet is a million times more valuable for hackers to attack. A million times more effort will be taken by hackers to infiltrate their security systems.
The product cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The product might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.