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If you are an avid user of the Shapeshift Currency Exchange, then tomorrow you may be about to witness its service very differently.
It was today announced by the CEO of Shapeshift, Erik Voorhees, that he has intentions to rebrand his organisation, with the intention to release a Beta version with a more simplistic service to a select handful of players. It is then expected that based on its performance the intention will then be rolled out this new and improved version to a wider audience. The news came while speaking at the Ethereum Developer Conference in Colorado, ETHDenver, where he outlined that plan and told listeners the new look will be first available as early as Monday (18/021019) to their selected user, but it unclear when the new version will be available to all users.
The intention seems to be to make Shapeshift a more user-friendly site on multiple levels. One of the main intentions of the updated version is to increase cohesion with KeepKey, ShapeShift’s cryptocurrency hardware wallet. Not only this, but all the different elements of shapeshifts operations are expected to be brought together to increase cohesion on their site, this will extend to the price tracker, CoinCap, which will be welcomed by users.
This is not the first change we have seen from the Shapeshift currency exchange’s service in recent months either. Back in September, they incorporated Know Your Customers (KYC) precautions, an implementation that he took with a heavy heart. He explained in the same talk at the ETHDenver that was “ethically opposed” to the practice which asks people to divulge personal information to the site if they wish for their account to be verified. This procedure is used by many other exchanges, however, due to the nature of cryptocurrencies and the preference of their users to stay private it is not welcomed by all investors. He noted he made the decision at the time, with a “long-term” picture in mind but also indicated it may be subject to change in the future. He expressed a wish for “any two people freely and without censorship” and said it was a “huge injustice” that money is treated differently in this sense, something he hoped cryptocurrencies would change. While there were other internal issues in the company that saw a third of its employers laid off as they struggled as the crypto market took a downturn throughout 2018 and also saw 175% Increase of Law Enforcement Requests in the latter half of 2018.
This re-brand of their company may then be an attempt to fight back against these elements and provide a new future for the company in the industry. An industry he believes will survive far into the future, despite the rough patch that it has seen of late. He and another speaker, CSO of ConsenSys Sam Cassatt, whose organisation also saw a cutback in staff last year, agreed that the industry will carry on past the Crypto Winter. Casannt explained;
“Pretty much all indicators except the wildly fluctuating crypto prices are great. We have more Ethereum developers than ever. We have more government and big business taking us seriously than ever before… Except for that one number, everything’s great.”