ShapeShift.io Refutes BitLicense, Halts Services in New York Area
The Bitcoin regulation in New York will be affecting many digital currency companies for quite some time to come. And by the looks of it, one company is already halting all of their services in the state of New York, as a protest against the BitLicense regulation. ShapeShift feels the time has come to take a stand against this “immoral and unethical” regulation of Bitcoin.
ShapeShift.io – No Longer Available In New York
When the final version of New York’s BitLicense was revealed, many Bitcoin enthusiasts were rather unhappy with the outcome. It goes without saying this regulation could be very harmful to Bitcoin-related companies offering their services in the New York state. In fact, we may see more and more Bitcoin companies halting their operations in this state in the near future.
ShapeShift.io is one of the more popular digital currency exchange services these days, as the platform allows you to trade Bitcoin and a few dozen altcoins intermittently. Because ShapeShift does not require its users to create an account, the platform is praised for its ease-of-use and respecting user privacy.
That being said, BitLicense is forcing Shapeshift.io to do things completely different from what they have been doing since day one. Recording the personal information of all customers is just one of the aspects enforced by BitLicense, a rule that ShapeShift.io chooses not to comply with. Granted, Know-Your-Customer requirements are a valuable tool in terms of combatting fraud, terrorism and money laundering, but they also expose ShapeShift customers to a potential data breach.
ShapeShift.io CEO Erik Voorhees told the media that:
“We either would have to do something we’re not comfortable with or leave New York, It’s a moral and ethical stand we’re going take. We’re not going to spy on thousands of people purely to make their job a little bit easier. Disclosing customer’s IP and wallet addresses is one thing, but names and home addresses are a different matter entirely. “
New York’s Department of Financial Services expected a backlash from their BitLicense proposal. Even though ShapeShift.io is the first Bitcoin company to reject openly the regulation, several other companies have been seeking approval for a license to legally operate in the state of New York.
From this point forward, users from the New York area who try to access the ShapeShift.io website, will be redirected to PleaseProtectCustomers.com.
What are your thoughts on ShapeShift’s decision to shut down operations in new York? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of ShapeShift.io