Shapeshift is Fighting KYC by Going Full DEX

Plus the Lightning Network goes global

Happy Wednesday, Blockfolians

The Lede

Man, there is a lot going on today. Bitcoin was juicing up over $35,000 last night, Lightning Strike is going global (more below), the UK’s crypto derivatives ban is beginning…so much happening.

One of those many fascinating things was the announcement today that Shapeshift would be moving to a model that was entirely supported by decentralized exchanges in an attempt to allow users to move away from KYC.

Said CEO Erik Vorhees:

“ShapeShift’s original model was designed to protect users, providing instant liquidity without requiring them to trust a custodian. We had to be the counterparty – the market maker – to provide that service at scale. The decentralized protocols are now providing a superior service, so we’re embracing this evolution and helping our customers easily connect with them.”

In case it wasn’t clear what the goal of the move was, here’s another statement from the press release.

“Because ShapeShift is no longer acting as any form of financial intermediary or counterparty, this new, frictionless [user experience] frees users from having to provide personal, private information."

Of course, whether the US Government agrees with this assessment remains to be seen, but its hard not to read this as a major indication of just how much DeFi is growing, as well as why it matters.

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Community Commentary

More on the Strike Global announcement
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A Really Big Number We Should Be Paying Attention To

196.17M

That’s the number of visits to exchange websites in December, up 23.5% from November and the highest The Block has ever recorded.


Final Thought

Who is right?