Based in London, XCH4NGE is a convenient peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform that also offers digital wallet services. Founded in 2018, the main impetus for the founders was their discontent with existing P2P cryptocurrency platforms such as LocalBitcoins. Citing rampant scams, poor customer support, and opaque business practices, they resolved to create a managed platform that provides a more professional P2P service.
Closed testing of the platform began in mid-November of 2018, followed by beta testing of a new transaction method designed to provide added protection for both buyer and seller. Testing has so far been limited to the United Kingdom, with a broader rollout of the final platform occurring in Q1 of 2019. The platform is available in English only at the current time.
Born of discontent with available peer-to-peer options, XCH4NGE has focused on addressing four key issues: customer support, security, compliance, and transaction times.
XCH4NGE offers live support for all users, with clearly posted ticket resolution targets. They aim to send an initial response to your ticket within 2 hours of receipt and resolve tickets in no more than 72 hours from creation. In general, most tickets are resolved within 24 hours (assuming prompt user replies to the support team).
The lack of security users face when using peer-to-peer platforms was a major point of concern for the XCH4NGE team. The first step was to address data security, with buyers often sending passport information, drivers licenses, and other personally identifying information to numerous, completely unknown counter-parties. While many users cite data privacy for using peer-to-peer platforms, this practice leaves personal information at much greater risk of being stolen or used for malicious purposes. Sellers, for their part, are left to request photo ID from their buyers, performing rudimentary checks in the hopes of avoiding stolen or laundered funds. XCH4NGE provides a neat, compliant solution for this issue. After conducting KYC checks on a user, all personal data is encrypted and stored behind industry-leading digital security measures. Users are verified once, and then their personal data is never necessary again while using the XCH4NGE platform.
Asset security is always a priority. To keep their users' assets safe, XCH4NGE offers secure, multi-signature digital wallets. Notably, they have introduced extensive transaction protection in the form of their Verified Transaction System (VTS). VTS is designed to prevent the common scams and fraud attempts that occur across most P2P platforms. Rather than relying on an outdated and unreliable dispute system, VTS allows XCH4NGE to verify the source account of a transfer (as well as confirm that the payment is in full), and then forward the payment to the seller. This not only removes the risk of chargeback or fraud for both users, but it also prevents sellers (and their bank accounts) from being linked to buyers. As a seller, you will only receive payments from the XCH4NGE corporate account.
XCH4NGE is a fully compliant platform, and actively engages with regulators. They are a current member of the EMA, and are in the process of acquiring an FCA license to operate as an electronic money institution. They are also registered with the Information Commissioner's Office as a data controller. As such, a mandatory KYC/AML policy is enforced for all users. This policy requires KYC documentation to the same level as banking institutions, allowing them to thoroughly vet all users from multiple points of identifying information before they begin trading. As well as preventing money laundering, identity thieves, and other forms of crime, this also makes them a highly convenient platform for OTC providers.
Once a user has passed KYC, all identifying information is then encrypted and stored on a secure server.
Peer to peer platforms, while convenient, are often very slow. While power sellers are relatively prompt, transactions on LocalBitcoins can take hours or even days to complete. XCH4NGE addresses this through the use of time limits on various stages of the transaction process. From initiating a transaction, the user has 5 minutes to place their order, and the seller has 5 minutes to accept. Similarly, the buyer has a maximum of 30 minutes to make a payment after the seller accepts, while the seller has 30 minutes to check and confirm payment. Once payment has been confirmed by the seller, the cryptocurrency is released nearly immediately to the buyer. Therefore, a transaction with XCH4NGE can take a maximum of 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete. Currently, most transactions are completed in 5 minutes or less using Faster Payments bank transfers.