Cryptocurrency digital asset exchange, ShapeShift, has just announced the release of their new membership program which has created a bit of a frenzy in the crypto community.
The new tiered membership program is touted as a loyalty program with benefits including discounts on exchange rates, volume-based rewards, higher trading limits, and early access to new coins.
The new program will also eventually require basic personal information (KYC) to be collected. At the moment users can still use ShapeShift with out membership, but they have stated that soon membership will be mandatory, thus requiring KYC information for all users. The reason on the recent decision to collect KYC information is not specifically given, all though ShapeShift states it was a decision they would have preferred not to make.
We would prefer if the collection of personal information was not a mandatory element. We still firmly believe that individuals, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, deserve the right to financial privacy, just as they deserve the right to privacy in their thoughts, in their relationships, and in their communications. Such privacy is a foundational element of a civil and just society, and should be defended by all good people. We remain committed to that cause and it is best served if we are smart about our approach.
Many people in the crypto community have voiced their complaints viewing the decision to enact KYC as ShapeShift giving in to government demands or a cash grab since higher tier membership levels require possession of the new FOX tokens that ShapeShift is working close with.
Very disappointed that @ShapeShift_io is implementing KYC.
Just goes to show that any centralized entity will be pushed in that direction, which is why LN, atomic swaps and Decentralized Exchanges are the only way to resist surveillance economics.
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) September 5, 2018
“Today, Membership is optional, but it will become mandatory soon.”
“We still firmly believe that individuals, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, deserve the right to financial privacy …”
Sounds contradictory to me, no?
— Mario Lazaro (@mgurpeguila) September 4, 2018
RIP Shapeshift. You will not be missed. https://t.co/Jwx8fyx3P8
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) September 4, 2018
The community seems to be split on the news as some are looking forward to the added benefits, particularly if they’re already holders of FOX tokens. Others believe the new KYC requirements violate the foundation of anonymity that cryptocurrency was built on and are turning to other decentralized exchanges.
Read more about ShapeShift’s Membership program here.