Cryptocurrency traders who use the ShapeShift app will soon have to sign up for membership and provide “basic personal information.”
The company’s CEO Erik Voorhees, in a blog post, outlined the reasons the company was making “the exchange without accounts” membership-only.
“Membership requires basic personal information to be collected. Today, membership is optional, but it will become mandatory soon… Yes, that last detail sucks. We would prefer if the collection of personal information was not a mandatory element,” he said.
Requiring ShapeShift membership, which Voorhees characterized as “a loyalty program,” would facilitate the company’s move to provide account-related features such as transaction history, saved addresses and e-mail notifications, he said. Voorhees added he was interested in offering “tokenized loyalty programs.”
“The practice of requiring customers to hand over personal private information is one we’ve struggled with since inception. To the extent that digital asset technology remains a legal grey area, we need to be prudent and thoughtful in our approach as we navigate the regulatory environment,” Voorhees explained. He didn’t give a specific date for the shift to mandatory membership.
Among the membership benefits Voorhees enumerated were the issuance of Ethereum-based ‘FOX’ tokens, totaling about 1 billion in all.
Voorhees was among those who initially supported a ‘SegWit2X’ hard fork last November that would have increased the block size of BTC. The plan was abandoned due to lack of consensus, leaving the block size of BTC as it is now, at 1MB.
ShapeShift was first launched in 2014, and provided users with access to numerous cryptocurrencies, that is, the ones available at the time, for trading, with limited disclosure of personal information.
It was only last June that Voorhees’ co-founder of ShapeShift, who is only known as ‘Jon,’ told CCN that cryptocurrency regulation in the U.S. was getting worse, what with attention from the increase in prices of cryptocurrencies in 2017. “The more regulators push hard, the more things become unregulatable,” Jon warned.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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