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ShapeShift CEO strikes back at WSJ, says they prevented victims of scams from recouping funds

Anirudh VK

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ShapeShift CEO says they prevented victims of scams from recouping funds
Source: Unsplash

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article about ShapeShift being used by criminals to carry out money laundering activities. The CEO of ShapeShift, Erik Vorhees, responded to the article, stating that it was riddled with “factual inaccuracies”.

He also stated that the report withheld information about suspicious wallet addresses, causing individuals to have difficulties in recouping their funds from these criminal wallets.

The report alleged that ShapeShift was being used to convert Bitcoin [BTC] into Monero [XMR] for money laundering, and that it continued to process “millions of dollars in criminal proceeds”. However, Vorhees confronted the numbers present in the article, stating:

“$9m (even if it was true) is 0.15% of ShapeShift’s exchange volume during the described time period.”

He further said that the WSJ chose to not include such information in their article, even after “lengthy discussions” for over 5 months as they collaborated over the article. Moreover, as the article’s main gripe with Vorhees was that the exchange did not implement KYC, he also made the point that ShapeShift has since implemented this procedure.

The CEO went on to say:

“The article singled-out ShapeShift and implied that the company is a bastion of illicit activity because it hadn’t previously required user information–despite that same data showing that other exchanges (which did take user information) had similar figures.”

He accused the news portal of “omit[ting] significant details about how ShapeShift operates”, calling it a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how the blockchain works. Vorhees also pointed out the existence of a “self-policing group”, which monitors suspicious transactions on the exchange.

ShapeShift works with other exchanges, has collaborated in over 30 investigations, and blocks countries on sanction lists, reiterated Vorhees. He also spoke about the internal, “industry leading AML” procedure that ShapeShift follows, stating that it utilizes blockchain forensics to identify suspicious transactions.



Reportedly, the Journal withheld information regarding the existence of suspicious transactions on the exchange, leading to a lack of information on ShapeShift’s side. Vorhees stated on this:

“It is likely victims of these thefts lost their chance to recoup some of the funds due to this opportunism.”

He also made the point that ShapeShift publishes all the transactions that go through the platform. He went on to say:

“Based on our own analysis of the transactions cited in the article, the WSJ erroneously attributed vast sums of allegedly illicit transactions to ShapeShift in a way that exhibits a profound failure to grasp how blockchains, in general, and our system in particular, really work.”





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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

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Coinbase is a huge net positive for not just cryptocurrencies, but for the world, says Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver

Priya

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'Coinbase is a huge net positive for not just cryptocurrencies, but for the world', says Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver
Source: Unsplash

Roger Ver, a well-known Bitcoin Cash influencer and CEO of Bitcoin.com, spoke about the controversy surrounding #DeleteCoinbase campaign, where he stood by the exchange. He also explained the reason behind why he does not consider BTC to be Bitcoin, in an interview with BreakerMag.

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, recently made an uproar in the cryptocurrency market over acquiring Neutrino, a blockchain analytics firm. This acquisition resulted in the majority of the cryptocurrency space joining the #DeleteCoinbase movement as the Neutrino team was previously associated with Hacking Team. More so, it was further revealed that the acquisition took place because Coinbase’s providers were selling its data to outside sources.

However, while the majority of the space was chanting #DeleteCoinbase, Roger Ver, on the contrary, spoke in favor of the exchange. On his official social media handle, Ver had stated that the exchange has made a lot of contribution towards driving the adoption of the cryptocurrency space and that space should “be grateful despite a few poor decisions along the way”, adding “Don’t #DeleteCoinbase”.

In the interview, Ver was asked whether Neutrino’s association with Hacking Team did not bother him, and the reason behing why he chose to stay beside the exchange. To this, Ver stated that he was “incredibly troubled” with the association, adding that this was a “really stupid mistake”. He went on to state,



“But people make mistakes sometimes, and I don’t think that it was an intentionally bad mistake on Coinbase’s part. Once they saw the error of their ways, they fixed that. And Coinbase has onboarded millions and millions of people to cryptocurrency. I think Coinbase is a huge net positive for not just cryptocurrencies, but for the world.”

This was followed by Ver speaking about the reason behind his belief that BTC is not Bitcoin. Ver has been previously criticized because of the same topic, so much so that there were people who were considering taking legal action against him. This was because of propagation that Bitcoin Cash [BCH] was the real Bitcoin.

On this, Ver stated there were several people who have called him a “scammer” because of this, adding that there were barely any who was up for an argument, instead of name-calling. He also stated that there was a possibility of him believing that BTC was indeed the real Bitcoin, but stated that there weren’t “any arguments that are compelling at this point”. He said,

“I came to those conclusions based on the logic and reason and evidence and arguments that favored those positions. And if someone wants to try and convince me that BTC is bitcoin, even though it’s not a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, I will listen to those arguments and evaluate them based on their merits.”





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