Erik Voorhees — April 2021
The Exchange of Immutable Bitcoin
It will soon be my tenth anniversary in crypto, and in the span of this decade, Bitcoin has risen from obscurity to nearly mainstream. By market value, it has grown 10,000x in 10 years.
This ascent was not random or unpredictable: the world was in desperate need of borderless, immutable money. Bitcoin is in the early stages of satisfying that need for eight billion people.
And yet, any money is useless without the ability to trade it. This is why exchange, too, must become immutable. …
It’s Time to Fully Embrace Decentralized Protocols for the Protection and Dignity of Our Users.
Today, ShapeShift is announcing that it has integrated decentralized exchange protocols and is sunsetting its 6+ year business of trading with customers. Because of this fundamental change to our business model, ShapeShift’s users no longer need to provide personally identifying information to us.
But first, let’s remember what this is all about…
With Bitcoin’s genesis, economic interaction became possible upon three principles:
The advent of these sparked a renaissance, and now all finance is being reimagined. It is a global, community-led initiative…
There’s an important axiom in crypto: “not your keys, not your coins.” Its meaning is simple: if you don’t have custody of the private keys which hold your digital assets, then you are beholden to a 3rd party. You have access to your assets only with their permission.
Why is this important to understand? Because for the world’s new financial system to be honest, open, and resilient, it must be sovereign down to an individual level. Every person on Earth must have the ability to interact openly, without political prejudice or arbitrary restraint. …
What a day. Global markets are down by record levels. Europeans can’t enter the U.S. Virus numbers are jumping everywhere. Even Dogecoin is much collapsing. The world appears on fire. Things are looking dark.
It bears mentioning that, like Bane from the Batman movie, Bitcoin was born in the dark.
Crypto’s fundamental virtue is the ability to enshrine self-sovereignty in the realm of digital value; to grant to each human on Earth the inalienable right to control what is theirs.
Self-sovereignty is thus essential to a borderless, digital financial future. It is the whole point. Yet, most people still trust their crypto to a 3rd party. The big exchanges are unanimously custodial.
ShapeShift’s goal — today as it was five years ago — is to make self-custody a seamless and enjoyable experience, because this will help the world move toward self-sovereign finance, and away from fiat. …