Submitted by Emily on Monday, April 02, 2018
TL;DR - ShapeShift will begin tailoring its products and services to fit the evolving requirements of specific jurisdictions. Your ability to purchase certain digital assets on the ShapeShift platform may change depending on where you reside.
Many of our customers have noticed that the rate of new assets being added to the ShapeShift exchange platform has drastically slowed over the past few months. This is due to regulatory uncertainty in a number of jurisdictions, primarily as it relates to securities laws.
Nobody knows where the line will be drawn regarding which tokens are securities and which are not, and the line will be drawn differently in different jurisdictions. Switzerland and Wyoming recently took important steps in more clearly defining where and how these lines should be drawn.
As this question arose in the US, and in the wake of the SEC’s report on the DAO (which they believe to be a security in their analysis), ShapeShift released a blog post in August 2017, stating that we would engage in deeper analysis of tokens from a US securities perspective, and then another post in October noting that several assets were being removed from the platform. These specific assets appeared to have a high risk of falling into the security classification in the US, so we took a proactive step to remove them.
As various jurisdictions continue to mold their regulatory regime governing these topics, we have decided to make technical changes that would allow us to remain in compliance to the best of our ability. We take our position as a leader in this industry very seriously, and will not allow the actions of one jurisdiction to affect our customers residing in other jurisdictions.
Thus, ShapeShift will begin to tailor our product and service offerings based on the location of the customer over the coming weeks and months. Your ability to purchase certain digital assets on the ShapeShift platform may change depending on where you reside.
In the US, where our customers may be most affected, we certainly applaud several of the recent SEC enforcement actions, in which token sales involving fraud and deceptive practices were targeted. We hope to see more of that, as one of the primary goals of the blockchain industry is to remove fraud from finance.
We further hope to see the SEC and other governments around the world embrace the innovation occurring within this ecosystem and provide clarity on the scope of securities regulations as they apply to blockchain-based property.
To our customers, we appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we navigate the current regulatory landscape, and for customers residing in jurisdictions with governments supportive of innovation, this should come as good news as you will see more assets available soon.
Customers or partners with questions are welcome to contact our support team.
For media inquiries on this topic, please email us here.
Toward an honest and open financial system,
- The ShapeShift Team
How does ShapeShift determine which assets to offer?
ShapeShift considers a large number of factors encompassing considerations from leadership, operations, finance, business development, and legal. We will soon have a formal process for third parties to apply for addition to our platform.
How will this affect ShapeShift API partners?
API-based orders will be treated the same as website orders based on where they are originating from, which may include access to differing asset sets. Partners are encouraged to contact us directly to discuss.