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Crypto exchange ShapeShift launches new membership programme

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Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has announced the launch of a new membership programme that would eventually replace its current user-account-free model.

Describing the new system as an “advanced loyalty program”, ShapeShift’s chief executive officer Erik Voorhees said yesterday in a blog post that it would provide members with a variety of benefits, which “depending on level, may include higher trading limits, rewards on trading volume, better pricing, private market and trade data, and early access to new coins, products and services”.

For now, ShapeShift membership remains optional, but the company intend to makes it mandatory in the near future. This essentially means that the ShapeShift is abandoning the user-account-free model that it pioneered to “reduce friction and protect customers”. The development might be viewed as negative by some users, especially given the fact that the membership programme would require “basic personal information to be collected”.

However, as Voorhees explained, the change was in part driven by the requests of many users to have account-related features, such as a record of transaction history, saved/whitelisted addresses and email notifications, among others.

The move will also give the company the ability to develop tokenised loyalty programmes, “in which the engagement between a business and its customers can itself become an asset”. With this in mind, ShapeShift plans to issue its own token called FOX, which will be used to incentivise membership (the first 100,000 members will receive 100 FOX tokens upon the release of the token later) and for volume-based rewards. In addition, possessing specific amounts of FOX tokens will unlock higher levels of membership. According to the blog post, the programme will consist of five levels of membership, the first of which is available now and is free to everyone.

Ultimately, the company’s vision is for the programme to “lead over time both to better pricing and a superior user experience”.

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