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Today, we announced that ShapeShift is decentralizing. Unorthodox, but it is the only way to maintain fidelity to the most important principles of crypto; specifically, self-sovereignty over money. Without that principle upheld, we’re all just LARP’ing. A thread…
ShapeShift has been a centralized company for 7 years. We pioneered the self-custody revolution, enabling people to trade assets without counter-party risk. It has always been our goal to protect users, while making self-custody easy and fun.
We have investors, a board, an exec team, corporate entities, bank accounts, an HR department, a beautiful office overlooking the mountains to the west, paid “our taxes,” and like proper conformists we even followed all OSHA workplace signage requirements in our break room.
This corporate model is standard for all economic organization at scale, persisting through the 20th century and into the 21st. Every company is structured roughly in this way, with a plan to IPO, acquire, or be acquired.
But if you’re familiar with the Fourth Turning paradigm, you may understand that the organizational format that succeeded during the Industrial Age may not be the optimal format for the digital age. There is a new kind of “firm.” The decentralized autonomous organization #DAO
DAO’s are emerging from their trough of disillusionment. They are dynamic, they are non-jurisdictional, and they are shockingly powerful. They have no center. They rely on no bank account. They demonstrate anti-fragile, emergent order.
But why should we, an established and well-funded for-profit corporation, consider such a model? Simple: centralization has become a liability against the realization of our vision.
ShapeShift’s vision is the establishment of an immutable, borderless financial system. Let’s be direct: money and finance shall not be operated by coercive government among free people. They shall—like language, mathematics, and love—emerge voluntarily and without central rule.
Money shall emerge from markets, and this is what crypto has always been about. It’s a destiny unlocked by the invention of #Bitcoin, & by the blooming ecosystem of assets and crypto-economics that #Ethereum unleashed. We love these systems & must build with fidelity to them.
Upon much reflection, we’ve come to the conclusion that the vision of an immutable, borderless financial system can only occur upon open, decentralized protocols. So we’ll start with ourselves. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
Starting today, we begin open-sourcing the ShapeShift project, dissolving our corporate structure toward zero, and re-organizing around a borderless, decentralized community governed by the holders of the FOX token.
Tokens, more than equity ever can be, are borderless and immutable. To build a global platform for crypto finance, this is the appropriate base of economic arrangement. Tokens have been abused, but they are the future.
We’re stepping into that future, & away from the trappings of equity and incorporation. Equity and incorporation fasten an organization to jurisdictional friction. Appropriate for industrial companies in the 20th century. Inappropriate for digital companies in the 21st.
We have granted tokens to our beloved employees, our supportive investors, and as of this morning, over one million ShapeShift customers and defi community members. In terms of recipients this was the largest airdrop in history. Many projects have been inspirational to us…
@Uniswap @THORChain @gitcoin @AaveAave @BalancerLabs @SushiSwap @iearnfinance @compoundfinance @MakerDAO @AlchemixFi @1inch @0xProject @CurveFinance @BadgerDAO Tens of thousands of members from these communities have all received FOX. Thank you for pioneering.
We now continue transforming ShapeShift from a central entity into a decentralized autonomous organization, governed marginally at first, and then completely, by FOX holders. A DAO treasury of roughly 1/4 of the FOX supply has been placed in the hands of these holders.
After this transformation, there is no corp. No CEO. No board. No shareholders. No employees. No banks. No office. No statist OSHA posters. What remains is pure technology in the service of users: an open-source, non-custodial, cross-chain crypto interface for all mankind.
To all the individuals and projects that have pioneered this path of decentralization, we salute you. To those who have a passion for an honest, transparent, immutable, borderless financial system, please join us in this next phase of ShapeShift. #ViresInNumeris

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Erik Voorhees

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