Crypto Exchange ShapeShift Now Collects User Information for Its Membership Program

Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has introduced a new rewards program. Currently, it is optional, but it will become mandatory in the near future and will require the provision of basic personal information.

Photo: MoneyConf / Flickr

Photo: MoneyConf / Flickr

Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has introduced a membership  program which will serve as an advanced loyalty system for its ongoing users.

ShapeShift is a web and API platform created in August 2014 to provide instant Bitcoin and altcoin conversion with the maximum level of consumer protection and efficiency. Recently, the company acquired a software startup Bitfractб famous for a tool enabling the effortless diversification of cryptocurrency portfolios, and can now swap Bitcoin Into other cryptos with one click.

ShapeShift built its reputation on privacy and its USP is that you don’t need to sign up or hand over anything more than an email address to make a transaction. The company exchanges one cryptocurrency for another without collecting customer funds into company accounts, which is unique among digital currency trading companies.

However, with the new membership program, everything will change. According to ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees, the exchange will have to begin collecting basic personal information of its users, and there will be five membership levels. Currently, the program is an option, but it will soon be mandatory. Voorhees noted that he “would prefer if the collection of personal information was not a mandatory element”. He said:

“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.”

Erik Voorhees explained that “Shapeshift Membership is a loyalty program,” and added that the benefits depend on the membership level which “may include higher trading limits, rewards on trading volume, better pricing, private market and trade data, and early access to new coins, products and services.” Currently, Level 1 membership is free and open to everyone. Meanwhile, membership levels 2 through to 5 will be open to users at a later stage, and will enable for a greater level of benefits on higher amounts of volume.

Voorhees further added:

“Membership is, in essence, an advanced loyalty program. It will lead over time both to better pricing and a superior user experience.”

According to the announcement, the first 100,000 subscribers will receive 100 FOX tokens to get them started. FOX is a utility-specific application coin that won’t be publicly traded and can only be used to access services and benefits within the ShapeShift Membership scheme.

The program is expected to lead to both a system of better pricing overall and a far superior user experience. However, not all users like the development.

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