Rethink, Renew: ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees to Rebrand Crypto Exchange

Cryptocurrency trade startup ShapeShift is organizing a important rebrand this yr.

Announced at ETHDenver, an ethereum developer convention being held in Colorado this weekend, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees mentioned that beginning Monday the business will be opening up a closed beta time period for picked users so they can try out a new edition of the cryptocurrency trade platform focused on simplifying the person expertise.

That includes better interoperability with ShapeShift’s cryptocurrency components wallet KeepKey, CMO of ShapeShift Emily Coleman informed CoinDesk that the revitalized platform aims to provide collectively all of the company’s disparate merchandise, which include cryptocurrency pricing tracker CoinCap.

Voorhees was joined by co-founder of cryptocurrency micropayments company Lily Liu, CSO of ethereum venture cash studio ConsenSys Sam Cassatt, and co-founder of decentralized software platform Holochain Arthur Brock on a panel this Saturday about leadership “in periods of ambiguity.”

All keeping (or acquiring held) positions of govt-amount leadership, every single panelist was questioned to cite a single of the most difficult choices they’ve experienced to make with their respective crypto enterprises.

“If you’re going to be a business in the crypto sector, you’re connected to the intense current market cycles of the sector. That is total of superior and terrible,” mentioned Voorhees.

Voorhees admitted that a single of the most difficult choices of his career was the decision very last September to introduce know-your-shopper (KYC) safety measures to cryptocurrency trade platform, ShapeShift.

“I felt like I experienced to do some thing morally improper to permit the business to persist…It’s a definitely awful posture to be in,” mentioned Voorhees.

Detailing that he remained “ethically opposed” to necessitating users of the investing platform to relinquish particular information about them selves, Voorhees conceded the decision to introduce KYC came down to figuring out “what fights we want to fight” and imagining about “the extensive-time period.”

To this, Voorhees has not given up any hopes for a new future where “any two people today freely and with out censorship” can quickly take part in monetary transactions, saying:

“Society is at ease about this notion that people today should be equipped to speak freely with every single other … the fact that money is treated in different ways is a enormous injustice. I hope that crypto breaks that discrepancy.”

ShapeShift lately noticed a third of its staff laid off as a end result of the ongoing current market downturn.

‘A refocusing of priorities’

Other organizations that have experienced to make challenging choices in crypto wintertime had been also represented, including venture cash studio ConsenSys, which declared a 13 percent staff cut in early December. Nonetheless, both equally Voorhees and CSO of ConsenSys Sam Cassatt continue being adamant that the sector as a full – exterior of current market fluctuations – is booming.

“Pretty a great deal all indicators other than the wildly fluctuating crypto price ranges are terrific. We have more ethereum builders than ever. We have more federal government and large business enterprise getting us severely than ever before… Except for that a single variety, everything’s terrific,” mentioned Cassatt.

In fact, ConsenSys is by no means remaining idle with their investments. Announced Friday during ETHDenver’s opening ceremonies, founder of the business Joseph Lubin uncovered ConsenSys options to invest $150,000 in the cryptocurrency DAI to blockchain-primarily based employment company Opolis.

This in addition to opening the ConsenSys Grants Program to new applicants, Lubin highlighted exciting options for the new yr saying that people today should “expect a number of token launches in 2019.” All this being encompassed in “a refocusing of priorities,” Lubin place in a previous interview with CoinDesk that the next iteration of Consensys – Consensys 2. – is focussing on business enterprise viability and success “in a true business enterprise ecosystem.”

Leveraging several ShapeShift merchandise, the revitalized platform will boast included functionality for users to not only covert a single cryptocurrency to yet another but retail store and control their belongings all on the exact same non-custodial trade.

“The target is to produce fluidity among merchandise,” mentioned Coleman to CoinDesk.

Erik Voorhees image via CoinDesk archives