On Wednesday, ShapeShift — a Swiss decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) hosting a cryptocurrency trading ecosystem — announced that its centralized corporate brand, ShapeShift AG, has formed the FOX Foundation. The nonprofit organization's stated purpose is to oversee the decentralization of its namesake trading platform and assets.
The FOX Foundation’s charter includes handling tasks such as paying bills in fiat currency, hosting servers, maintaining the platform’s centralized infrastructure until the transition completes, and replacing ShapeShift’s backend node with decentralized infrastructure FOXChain, developed in conjunction with Coinbase Cloud.
According to the company, ShapeShift became the first in the space to fully decentralize its corporate structure and open its source code when it did so in July 2021. Because the move was somewhat unprecedented, the establishment of the FOX Foundation serves as a solution to ensure the neutrality of the ecosystem. FOX Foundation is neither led by ShapeShift AG nor ShapeShift DAO and has the singular charter of decentralizing the platform’s assets as efficiently as possible. Once the task is complete, the foundation will dissolve and distribute the remaining funds to the ShapeShift DAO Treasury.
Regarding the development, Willy Ogorzaly, head of decentralization for the FOX Foundation, said:
“While the necessary tooling and infrastructure are maturing rapidly, it will take time for the DAO to achieve its final, fully autonomous form. The FOX Foundation exists as a stepping stone in this journey, fulfilling the centralized legacy’s responsibilities while supporting the DAO in implementing sustainable, decentralized alternatives.”
ShapeShift is unique among cryptocurrency trading platforms in that it neither collects users’ funds into company accounts, requires registration nor gathers any of its users’ personal data. The company keeps customers’ assets only in case of a failed exchange. The exchange only operates with cryptocurrencies, meaning only coin-to-coin swaps are possible.