Seamless, decentralized cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift launched a new membership program to bring added features to the platform, but will eventually become part of a mandatory account structure for all users. To be a member, Shapeshift collect some personal information from its users, and ultimately the "exchange without accounts" model will be lost.
ShapeShift's model was made around providing a safer and more convenient way for people to exchange digital assets. The exchange process on the platform will remain the same, where funds are never held by Shapeshift in any way. Members will receive discounts on exchange rates, volume-based rewards when using the FOX token, and higher transaction limits.
The exchange was founded in 2013 in Switzerland, funded by $525,000 seed-stage investment. Additional funding of $1.6 million came in September 2015 from investors including Digital Currency Group, Bitfinex, Bitcoin Capital and Mardal Investments. In March 2017, another $10.4 million was raised in a round led by the European venture capital firm Earlybird.
ShapeShift demonstrates an important niche in the competitive exchange market. Users are given the ability to trade any digital asset easily without waiting for deposit confirmations and putting up bid orders. Many other companies, such as Overstock.com, are plugging into the ShapeShift APIs, so all of their users are potentially introduced to cryptocurrencies.
Adapting or Giving up?
In a blog post CEO Erik Voorhees noted, "that last detail sucks… we would prefer if the collection of personal information was not a mandatory element," in reference to eventual move to a mandatory account structure sometime later this year.
"We still firmly believe that individuals, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, deserve the right to financial privacy, just as they deserve the right to privacy in their thoughts, in their relationships, and in their communications. Such privacy is a foundational element of a civil and just society, and should be defended by all good people. We remain committed to that cause and it is best served if we are smart about our approach.” - Erik Voorhes
CEO and founder of Shapeshift believes the current monetary system has serious systemic problems, and advocates the separation of money and state. He has been in the cryptocurrency world since 2011. He was the founder and former CEO of Coinapult, a system that allowed transfers of bitcoin via SMS and email. He is a true visionary of decentralized currencies to revolutionize the monetary system.
“Crypto blockchains are decentralized, so there's no party that can get shut down. What that means is that people all over the world are creating all types of different monies based on blockchains, and they're going to compete in the open marketplace. And that's how it should be. Money should be no different than food or shoes or cars; it should be a product of the marketplace and people should be able to buy and sell whatever is most attractive to them.
By: BGN Editorial Staff