This week, ShapeShift.io CEO Erik Voorhees announced that the company's investment product "Prism" will be shutting down.
Prism was a platform that allowed investors to create Ethereum-based portfolios with a variety of crypto-assets without having to hold their coins on exchanges.
When the project first rolled out, Voorhees told CoinDesk that it would mitigate the risk of keeping coins on an exchange, and lower the barrier to entry for more casual traders.
"If you want to get 20 different coins today, you have two ways of doing it. What most people do they make an account at the exchange, they make an account at the exchange, and they just leave them there. It causes a huge counterparty risk," Voorhees said.
The project was in close-beta since its inception and was scheduled to go into open-beta later this month. However, a notice posted on the company's website notified users that the service will be closing down in the coming weeks.
The statement read:
With the work we’ve done over these past 18 months, it’s become clear to us that there is actually a different (and likely superior) product to be built with this underlying technology. It requires more than a pivot: a reimagining of the product itself. At the same time, we are deep in work on ShapeShift’s core technology, CoinCap, KeepKey, and the inundation of activity involved in building a 120+ person organization in a graceful, cohesive, and productive manner. These reasons combined have led us to the conclusion that we should sunset the current Prism product, both in order to focus on our core platform, and to clear the pallet for a potential reimagining of what this technology can do later on. Therefore, we are shutting down the Prism.exchange product over the coming weeks.
Users have been advised to close all Prism in their account. The site will be live until October 11, at which point they will shut down and automatically close all remaining Prisms.
Turbulent Time for ShapeShift
It has been a tumultuous month for ShapeShift, as the company just announced last week that they will be switching to a mandatory membership model. The new membership model will require users to register with their personal information, which contradicts ShapeShift's longstanding philosophy of privacy and anonymity.
As CryptoGlobe reported last week, Voorhees expressed regret about the new policies, saying that:
We would prefer if the collection of personal information was not a mandatory element. We still firmly believe that individuals, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, deserve the right to financial privacy, just as they deserve the right to privacy in their thoughts, in their relationships, and in their communications. Such privacy is a foundational element of a civil and just society, and should be defended by all good people. We remain committed to that cause and it is best served if we are smart about our approach.
In conversation with friends on social media, Voorhees suggested that ShapeShift was playing the “long-game,” alluding to pressure from financial regulators.