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Logo for ShapeShift company page.png
Type of site
Area servedWorldwide
Created byErik Voorhees[1]
IndustryDigital Currency
Alexa rankDecrease 39,137 (May 2018)[2]
Launched2013; 6 years ago (2013)
Native client(s) oniOS and Android

ShapeShift is a company that offers global trading of a variety of digital assets via web and mobile platforms. It is headquartered in Switzerland, but run out of Denver.[1]

The company does not collect personal data on its customers and exchanges one cryptocurrency for another without ever collecting customer funds into company accounts,[3] which is unique among digital currency trading companies.[4] However, the company will begin requiring such information as of October 1, 2018.[1]

If an exchange fails (by fault of user or company) and the user does not make a refund claim within 90 days, the company will keep all assets.[5]


The company was founded in 2013 in Switzerland by Erik Voorhees. In March 2015, it received a US$525,000 seed-stage investment by Roger Ver and Barry Silbert.[6] Additional funding totaling US$1.6 million had been provided by September 2015, from investors in a second funding round including Digital Currency Group, Bitfinex, Bitcoin Capital and Mardal Investments.[4][7][8] In March 2017, ShapeShift has raised $10.4 mln in a series A round led by European venture capital firm Earlybird.[9]

ShapeShift released initially on the iOS platform in June 2015, initially allowing users to swap 25 digital currencies and value tokens.[10] As of September 2015, there were over 40 different digital currencies available for trade, providing "940 trading pairs, ... greater than any single exchange on the market."[4]

On 11 June 2015, ShapeShift "cut off service to New York in response to the state’s new regulatory policy for digital currency businesses, ... BitLicense," which was released in June with the final regulations approved in August.[11][12][13] The company stated that if they had complied with the New York BitLicense regulations, then significant personal and private data would also have been in the hands of the hacker.[3]

Since March till April 2016 Shapeshift experienced a total of 3 attacks which resulted in 469 BTC, 1900 LTC and 5800 ETH stolen from their hot wallets. As a result, the Shapeshift team put offline till April 20 to rebuild Shapeshift's infrastructure with enhanced security protocols.[14]

In August 2017 ShapeShift announced it would stop functioning in the Washington State because of BitLicense-style regulations imposed by the passage of Senate Bill 5031.[15][unreliable source]

In October 2017, ShapeShift partnered with Civic to deliver a secure user access experience for Prism platform users.[16]

A 2018 investigation by the Wall Street Journal found that ShapeShift had processed $9 million in funds from criminal activities over a two-year period.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Shifflett, Shane; Scheck, Justin (2018-09-28). "How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  2. ^ " Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Torpey, Kyle (2016-05-18). "Erik Voorhees: Complying With BitLicense Would Have Made ShapeShift Hack Much Worse". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  4. ^ a b c Donnelly, Jacob (2016-09-09). "Instant Cryptocurrency Exchange ShapeShift Raises $1.6 Million". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-29. What makes ShapeShift unique is that exchanges are instantaneous and require no personal information. Further, ShapeShift doesn’t actually hold any of the currencies; it simply facilitates the trade from one coin to the other.
  5. ^ "Terms and Conditions" (PDF). ShapeShift. Retrieved 2017-12-23.
  6. ^ Caffyn, Grace (2015-03-10). "ShapeShift Raises $525k, Reveals Erik Voorhees as Creator". CoinDesk. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  7. ^ Biggs, John (September 8, 2015). "ShapeShift, A Cool Cryptocurrency Converter, Clinches $1.6 Million In Cash". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  8. ^ Wilhelm, Alex (September 17, 2015). "This Week On The TechCrunch Bitcoin Podcast: Million-Dollar Electric Bill". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Raises $10.4 Million Amid Rising Altcoins Popularity". Cointelegraph. 30 March 2017.
  10. ^ Vinton, Kate (2015-06-09). "ShapeShift Founder Erik Voorhees Launches First iOS Cryptocurrency Trading App". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  11. ^ Roberts, Daniel (2015-06-11). "Bitcoin company ditches New York, blaming new regulations". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  12. ^ Roberts, Daniel (2015-08-14). "Behind the "exodus" of bitcoin startups from New York". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  13. ^ Rosenfeld, Everett (2015-06-11). "Company leaves New York, protesting 'BitLicense'". CNBC. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  14. ^ Leung, Angus (April 19, 2016). "Shapeshift Rebuilds After Losing $230,000, Promised to Be Back Wednesday". Cointelegraph. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  15. ^ ""Reckless" Regulations Force Bitcoin Exchange ShapeShift to Exit Washington State". CCN. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  16. ^ "ShapeShift partners with blockchain startup Civic to enhance Prism's security". EconoTimes. October 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-19.