This week began a private beta testing phase of the new Shapeshift exchange platform. Over the past several months, the company’s achievements have been overshadowed news of government probing and employee layoffs. CEO Eric Voorhes announced the company’s rebrand at the EthDenver Conference this past weekend while speaking on a panel this about leadership “in times of ambiguity” with co-founder of cryptocurrency micropayments service Earn.com Lily Liu, CSO of ethereum venture capital studio ConsenSys Sam Cassatt, and co-founder of decentralized application platform Holochain Arthur Brock
Late last year, Shapeshift.io was force to drastically alter the model of their exchange platform. The goal was to provide a way for cryptocurrency users to be able to exchange their coins without having to deposit them onto a centralized exchange, while providing strong liquidity through sourcing prices from many exchanges, rather than just their own. However, the company receive strong criticism from U.S. government regulators who claimed that ShapeShift could be held at fault for illicit use of cryptocurrencies, because their platform did not require any KYC process.
“I felt like I had to do something morally wrong to allow the company to persist…It’s a really awful position to be in,” said Voorhees.
ShapeShift now requires users to make an account and verify their identity to make exchanges. And the company still highlights 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. Other companies, such as Overstock.com, are plugging into the ShapeShift APIs, so all of their users are potentially introduced to cryptocurrencies.
Roots In Crypto-Freedom
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.
“Society is comfortable about this idea that people should be able to talk freely with each other … the fact that money is treated differently is a huge injustice. I hope that crypto breaks that discrepancy.” - Erik Voorhes
CEO and founder Eric Voorhes 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.
By: BGN Editorial Staff