ShapeShift Unrolls Optional Membership, to Become Mandatory Soon

ShapeShift, the exchange service that does not require an account, will create tiers for trading larger orders, but only after providing some personal information.

Decentralized cryptocurrency conversion platform ShapeShift, which provides anonymous, no-registration crypto trading services, said on Tuesday it will abandon this model and introduce account-based trading. In the beginning, accounts will be optional, but will become mandatory, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees said in a blog post.

The exchange has seen rising demand for account-based services like a personal exchange and transaction record, Voorhees explained, adding that membership will also provide a possibility for a tokenized loyalty rewards for customers. In fact, membership will represent an “advanced loyalty program” set to secure “better pricing and a superior user experience”. For this reason, Shapeshift will launch one billion Ethereum-based FOX tokens, which will be used for volume rewards.

Additionally, ShapeShift is increasingly aware of the need to think about regulations and disclosure:

“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 wrote.

ShapeShift’s plans have stirred criticism among the crypto community. Some prominent crypto proponents have even declared ShapeShift a defunct project, failing to live up to the expectations.

ShapeShift, which is also integrated into the Exodus wallet, is a service that takes a small fee in cryptocurrency. ShapeShift has wallets of some in-demand currencies, and keeps sufficient balances for small-scale orders. Now, membership requires an email disclosure, as well as Google two-factor authentication. The Exodus wallet has tweeted it has “other exchange options”, suggesting that ShapeShift may not be the only solution within the wallet:

During boom times for altcoins, ShapeShift has been used as a fast option, especially during times when large exchanges were closed for new registrations due to overwhelming traffic. However, ShapeShift does not ensure that all assets are available at all times, and wallets are often depleted.