Shapeshift, one of the leading companies dedicated to the exchange of digital assets has taken an unexpected turn in its business model, generating controversy within the ecosystem.
Since its inception, Shapeshift has had a business philosophy focused on protecting the users’ privacy. The exchange allowed those who used its services to exchange cryptocurrencies and tokens without having to give out personal information.
This feature earned the exchange worldwide fame, and due to its convenience, ease, and speed of service, its technology was integrated into numerous wallets such as blockchain.info and coinomi.
A “Neccesary” Change
However, in a decision that puzzled the community, Eric Vorhees, Shapeshift’s CEO stated that the company would move to a membership model in which users must provide the company with some personal information in order to use its services.
In an Official Press Release, Mr. Vorhees explains that despite being known as “the exchange without accounts” the membership model will allow some users who are willing to pay more to have certain benefits established:
“Members receive special benefits. The benefits will be available both through the website and through the API and will evolve over time. Benefits include:
Discount on exchange rates (Lvl 2+)
Volume-based rewards in FOX
Higher transaction limits.”
Another important aspect is the promotion of FOX, an ERC20 token issued by Shapeshift. There is no greater knowledge of the uses that can be given to this token; however, it is clear that it will serve to acquire a higher level within the community, thus allowing a higher volume of trading.
“There are five levels of Membership (Level 1-5).
Level 1 is available now and is free and open to everyone.
Levels 2-5 will be available later and enable benefits on higher amounts of volume. Possession of specific amounts of FOX tokens (rather than spending or “burning”) grants access to these higher levels of Membership.
FOX tokens are standard Ethereum-based token. There are 1,000,001,337 FOX tokens in existence (and never more).
Membership benefits in various forms will accrue across all products and services of ShapeShift. The benefits can and will change over time.”
Vorhees assures that the changes are due to several requests from users who asked for the enablement of certain features that could not be provided following the current model. Among these features are a record of transaction history, saved/whitelisted addresses, and email notifications”.
Shapeshift Does Not Received The Best Feedback
According to the official statement, the membership “will be mandatory soon,” so those who do not agree with the new policies, eventually must change service
The actions of Vorhees were not to the liking of the community, which especially in twitter expressed its displeasure in this respect:
RIP Shapeshift. You will not be missed. https://t.co/Jwx8fyx3P8
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) September 4, 2018
They sell it as a "a loyalty program" that gives you "benefits", but it's a poorly covered introduction of KYC. @ErikVoorhees – you might be forced to do it – but please don't put wool over our eyes. Why not to change this blog post to – "we have to do KYC now, really sorry!"
— Irek Zielinski (@irek_zie) September 4, 2018
lovin the new shapeShift rebrand pic.twitter.com/7QoNEqXfNh
— dark pill (@DanDarkPill) September 5, 2018
Well, I guess atomic swaps between different chains and currencies are just around the corner… So this is @ShapeShift_io ’s way of telling us to go and use that instead?
— jan romme (@deromme) September 4, 2018
— Dennis Parker⚡️ (@Xentagz) September 4, 2018