The crypto community speaks at length about making it easier for people to access and use their money, no matter where they are in the world. ChangeNOW, with its limitless exchanges, makes this a reality. We spoke with their Chief Communications Officer, Pauline Shangett, to learn more about ChangeNOW’s mission.
BitIRA: I know you actually started out in music marketing and promotion, and you joined crypto in early 2018. What attracted you to the crypto industry?
Pauline: It’s kind of a funny story, actually. I’ve been sort of interested in crypto for quite a while now—probably since 2015—and it was actually my mom who got me interested as she kept pestering me about investing in bitcoin. I was an idiot and I didn’t listen to her, which in hindsight would have been a really good decision. Three years forward, I was in grad school and one of my professors said that her friend was looking for employees for an IT startup. The only thing a candidate needed to do was to be good with their head and to know English.
So I went to an interview. I talked with my future boss, who is now our CEO. We had a talk. She was like, “Oh, you know, the startup that we’re working with has to do with crypto and blockchain. Would you be interested in working for something like this?”
And I was like, “Of course! Yes! It’s amazing! Crypto is probably the future of any kind of finance.” So that’s how I started. I joined the company in a very, very junior position in marketing; a year passed, and here I am.”
BitIRA: How does ChangeNOW differ from other exchanges or exchange-type solutions out there?
Pauline: Let’s start by talking about how ChangeNOW is different from exchanges. In order to exchange your crypto with a business like Binance or Bittrex, you would need to create an account, you would need to get verified. You would want to know at least a little bit about trading to be comfortable with it. ChangeNOW allows you to do the same thing that an exchange, like, again, Binance or Bittrex would do for you, but with a far simpler UI and a far simpler and smoother UX.
With ChangeNOW, all the customer has to do is to come onto our website, pick the cryptos they would like to swap, leave their recipient wallet address, then press two more buttons to send in their deposit—and that’s it.
If we’re talking about how we’re different from other exchange-type solutions, the main thing that I would like to point out is that we are entirely registration-free. You don’t need to create any sort of account while using ChangeNOW.
We also have more coins. Right now, the service supports over 200 coins—and only continues to grow.
Our service quality is, I would say, a lot higher than anything you might have seen in the market.
And the is currently right wing and our service quality is I would say a lot higher than anything you might have seen in the market.
Another important detail that I would like to add is our KYC policy which exists. We do comply with AML/KYC regulations and we do have a risk management system implemented that checks every transaction for suspicious activity. If a customer doesn’t want to pass KYC, they have a solid right to refuse and they will receive a refund. To my knowledge none of our other direct rivals provide the kind of service.
BitIRA: What have been the biggest challenges that you faced and had to overcome within the world of blockchain and crypto?
Pauline: If we’re talking about direct challenges, I would say it’s making the service as good as it can possibly be in this particular place, at this particular moment, and at this particular state of the industry.
Our main priority is to make sure that if people come to our service, they never leave again—because they don’t have to and they won’t want to. We’ve been doing our best to make it so that the customer comes to us and falls in love with us instantaneously— and we’re still working on it. We’re still working out all the kinks that might exist.
Actually, just last week a major event happened in ChangeNOW history. We have lowered the minimum exchange amounts to around two dollars for BTC-ETH swaps.
This makes our services just that much more accessible for people who do not need to swap big amounts of crypto, but who may just need to replenish their bitcoin wallet to pay for a coffee, or, you know, get some Ethereum to get gas or for some transactions.
We’re planning on expanding the list of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs for which the minimal exchange is as low as it gets. So, in a very short period of time, our service will be available to virtually anyone—no matter how much or little crypto they have.
BitIRA: What about personally. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in the blockchain and crypto world?
Pauline: Personally, as someone who does marketing, the biggest challenge is to sort of open ourselves up to the community.
We’re working hard right now to gather a dedicated community of users around ourselves; you know, in the world of crypto, traditional methods of marketing don’t really work. So, for example, we can’t just buy banners or buy paid ads in various media outlets because it just doesn’t work.
Instead, we mostly market ourselves through social media, through word of mouth, and stuff like that. This is still something we have to work on. This is still something we have to refine and polish up. And I think we have a pretty good idea what we have to do next; it’s just the execution is still underway.
BitIRA: What problem would you like to see crypto and blockchain tackle next?
Pauline: For me personally, the main problem that I would like to see crypto tackle is donations.
I’m a big advocate for using crypto for donations. I’m on Twitter a lot, I’m on Tumblr a lot, and I have a lot of people with whom I’m in contact who are in dire financial situations, especially marginalized folks. These are people who are having trouble, for example, getting some money to eat tonight, or to pay the rent, or anything like that.
I live in Europe and would love to donate, but in order to do that, pretty much the only option available for me at the moment is Paypal, who charges absolutely inhumane fees for even small amounts. So, for example, if I were to donate five dollars to my friend who lives in America, I would have to pay almost half of that extra in fees. With crypto, I would have been able to do that instantaneously almost for free.
I think that one of the most powerful use cases for crypto is helping people who do not have access to traditional finance management and fiat funds. We actually do have a solution for that (sorry for plugging one of our products!). It’s called NOWPayments and it allows people to set up donation buttons so that anyone from all over the world can come in, press one button, and send money to an address. The person In need
can receive that money instantaneously with very low fees, and they can accept any type of cryptocurrency from a list of about thirty that we currently support (and that list only continues to grow). So I think donations and giving are the future.
(We’ve covered donations as well!)