Business 3 October 2018Ed Drake
ShapeShift hits back at ‘deceptive’ Wall Street Journal report
Erik Voorhees, the founder of ShapeShift.io, has responded robustly to claims made in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that he says are “factually incorrect and deceptive.”
In an article entitled ‘How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency,’ two WSJ journalists who had been working with Vorhees alleged the firm was involved in money laundering, the latest hit piece from a mainstream media outlet to target legitimate crypto businesses.
The WSJ piece implied Voorhees’ firm had been engaged in laundering money for scammers and North Korean spies, claims the ShapeShift CEO flat-out refuted as untrue.
According to the report, “A North Korean agent, a stolen-credit-card peddler and the mastermind of an $80 million Ponzi scheme had a common problem. They needed to launder their dirty money. They found a common solution in ShapeShift.”
In response to the allegations, Voorhees revealed how the company had been working with the journalists on false pretenses for as long as five months, as well as highlighting a number of areas in which their report had deceived or misled on crucial facts around the business.
In a blog post, the ShapeShift chief claimed, “Overall, the article contains factual inaccuracies, omits significant details about how ShapeShift operates, and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how blockchain transactions work.”
“Blockchains and cryptocurrency represent a new, fast-evolving technology and industry. For those who are not real experts, it can be confusing. And the WSJ reporters appear to have gotten confused about how our platform functions. Based on our own analysis of the transactions cited in the article, the WSJ erroneously attributed vast sums of allegedly illicit transactions to ShapeShift in a way that exhibits a profound failure to grasp how blockchains, in general, and our system in particular, really work,” Voorhees said.
Roundly condemning the hit piece, Voorhees said ShapeShift’s record in fact compared favourably to its peers.
“The WSJ article’s implication that ShapeShift is somehow negligent or complicit on this issue of money laundering is false and absurd; emblematic of a media industry that cares more about clickbait sensationalism than it does about improving the financial state of mankind. But we should not expect the Wall Street Journal to change Wall Street,” he said. “An objective observer will find no complacency here; ShapeShift’s record (based on facts) compares favorably against any peer, within the crypto industry or without.”
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