Digital currency exchange [ShapeShift’s]contentiousdecisionto obtainuser identities wasn’t forced upon ithowever significantlya “proactive” stepto scale backlegal risks, as per theCEOand founder of the company ‘Erik Voorhees’.
Explaining more Erik offered somesoleprinciplesbehind a move that prompted criticism from somewithin thecryptocurrency community who’d seen the site’sprevious policy of not requiring formallyVerified accounts asthe wayto shieldprivacy.
Some had speculated that ShapeShift’s new, soon-to-benecessary“membership” model –proclaimedin earlySep.– was theresults ofdirect or indirect threats from regulators. (This speculationcouldarefiredpartially by Erik’s own official tweetduring whichhedetailedthe newclientID system as “something we’re buildingunderneathforce.”)
But Erik, a vocal advocate of privacy rights and a critic of know-your-customer [KYC]laws, told that “KYCwasn’tintroducedas aresults ofanyregulatory controlaction,howeverrather as a proactive stepwe tend totook to de-riskthe corporateamidunsureanddynamicinternationallaws.”
Adding further he mentioned:
“It was a strategiccallaswe tend tobelievethe dangerof not doingsohad gotten toogreat.It had been notcreatedgently.”
Erikmentioned thatthe firm had spent “months of legal work and over1,000,000dollarsof legal expenses onthis subjectalone.That’smoneyand time that would’ve beeneffectivelyspent building thingsto shieldand serve customers.”
While his commentsbelievethatrestrictiveconcernswere a drivingfactor aboutthe choiceto form account identitiesnecessity, Erikframedit as a later addition to a program originally developed asanextrafeature.
Explaining this he said:
“KYC wasthereforestuck on to the Membership platform, andwhileextramembership and account-basedoption featuresareactuallydesired byseveralof our customers,there’sno one(including us)whowishes for theforced KYC.”
In a Twitter exchange that occurredwhenErik posted officially thata number ofweekspastdetailing the “tokenized” membership model asthe wayto producespecial perks for loyal users, criticsmentionedheought tohavesimplyshutthe corporatedowninstead ofcompromising his pro-privacy principles.
But in his statement adding further, the CEO of ShapeShiftreiterated that hecreatedthemodificationwith the utmost reluctance as a steadfast opponentof govt. surveillanceinfinancialaffairs.
“Westaycommitted to the struggle formonetaryprivacy and sovereignty for all humans,and wouldstillplan actionregarding about howfurther that cause,” he said.