“I am always sceptical when people say someone shouldn’t be allowed to talk. Saying someone should never be allowed to talk is a lazy way of trying to close down discourse.”
— Erik Voorhees
Interview location: Denver
Interview date: Wednesday 20th March, 2019
With the growth of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, there has been a growing pressure from regulators for exchanges to implement KYC/AML policies. The privacy afforded to users through cryptocurrencies is under attack from fear of these blockchains being used for nefarious means.
Erik Voorhees has long been a supporter of the right to privacy and with Shapeshift users were able to trade digital assets anonymously. The business was put under pressure by regulators to implement KYC/AML policies, which when activated drew criticisms from users.
What could Erik do? Close down the business? What about his fiduciary duty to his investors and his duty to his employees?
In this interview, I talk to Erik about the pressures of implementing KYL:/AML, the impact on the business and what this means for privacy. We also discuss the Wall Street Journal hit piece on Shapeshift, maximalism and market conditions.
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