Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has introduced a new rewards program, which will eventually become a mandatory membership model for the exchange’s users, according to an announcement published September 4.
Erik Voorhees, founder and CEO of ShapeShift, stated that today the exchange released a loyalty program entitled ShapeShift Membership. While ShapeShift is known as “the exchange without accounts,” the newly developed account-based membership model will be integrated in order to “reduce friction and protect customers.”
Per the statement, the program is currently optional, though it will become mandatory in the near future and requires the provision of “basic” personal information. Within the rewards program, users can reportedly experience better pricing and receive benefits in various forms across all ShapeShift products and services. The company notes that the benefits will change over time.
Until now, users were not required to sign in or register to execute trades. In the recent statement, ShapeShift asserted that “while the account-based format is new, we remain committed to consumer protection via our non-custodial model – we do not and will not hold customer deposits.”
Another non-custodial crypto exchange, LocalBitcoins, was harshly criticized by users earlier this year, who protested the apparent introduction user identification requirements on the platform. Some traders took to social media after one redditor posted a screenshot of a message from the peer-to-peer marketplace which read, “Error! Your trade volume has been significant in the past 12 months. Please, verify your ID to continue trading.”
While the platform was well-regarded in the crypto community since 2012, some traders thought that introducing ID requirements at certain trade thresholds violated the crypto industry’s ethos of anonymity. One user wrote, “RIP localbitcoins. [sic] Hi, another centralized exchange.”