While the broader crypto ecosystem has struggled, some startups in this flowering space have kept their pedals to the metal. ShapeShift, one of the longest standing exchanges in this space, recently revealed that it has begun a major rebrand, which will not only bolster the company bottom line but the user experience too.
ShapeShift has long been a mainstay in this space. The company, which is headquartered in Switzerland, launched in 2014 under the direction of Erik Voorhees, deemed “Bitcoin’s Last Gunslinger’ by Forbes. While the company has seen resounding success so far, Voorhees has remained ambitious, making it clear he doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels.
ShapeShift Looks To Get Back On Its Feet
According to a recent report from CoinDesk, the company will be undergoing an extensive rebrand and shift in direction in the coming months.
Voorhees took to ETHDenver, an essential part of the Ethereum ecosystem’s calendar, to divulge more about the plan. The long-time crypto entrepreneur noted that starting Monday, selected users will have access to the ShapeShift exchange’s beta, centered around bolstering the user experience. Voorhees also quipped on Twitter that this newfangled platform is the “foundation for financial self-sovereignty.”
The new ShapeShift is at https://t.co/HKX62MUmGm. We built it to give the world a true non-custodial crypto platform in an easy and beautiful package. This is the foundation for financial self-sovereignty. https://t.co/UTkPXsdUF6
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) February 17, 2019
The startup also intends for this beta to bolster the connections between hardware wallet provider KeepKey and analytics provider CoinCap, two of ShapeShift’s non-exchange arms. While this is all well and good, the company has also decided to undergo a subtle but noticeable aesthetic makeover. In a blog post released last Wednesday, the company revealed that it had overhauled its logo, typeface, color palette, and imagery. ShapeShift new logo is reminiscent of its previous one, but purportedly gives the company “space for the brand to grow.”
As a seeming part of this shift in strategy, ShapeShift also recently announced it intends to release a crypto-centric documentary series. Down The Rabbit Hole, as the six-part series has been fittingly titled, will be launched on February 26th, allowing consumers to get an insight into the lives on crypto’s foremost revolutionaries and diehards. Erik Voorhees, along with Meltem Demirors of Coinshares, ZCash’s Zooko Wilcox, and three others will be put under the spotlight.
Voorhees has also made it clear that his company still intends to go ahead with its controversial Know Your Customer (KYC) integration. For those who missed the memo, in September of last year, the company divulged that it would be launching its own digital asset, FOX, and formal account system, which allows verified users to enter a membership with the exchange.
ShapeShift isn’t the only industry entity that has opted for a major rebrand amid this market downturn. Kraken, a U.S.-centric platform headed by Bitcoin pioneer Jesse Powell, recently employed a full redesign, while also making a “nine-figure” acquisition deal of a European company to launch crypto-backed futures contracts.
The Litecoin Foundation has also kept its head high. Charlie Lee’s brainchild recently replaced its old, grey logo with one centered around the color blue, as the foundation has divulged plans to push Litecoin adoption through events like UFC matches. Lee also announced plans to integrate privacy and fungibility onto the Litecoin network.
Crypto Winter Gives Startups Frostbite
While ShapeShift evidently has good intentions with this recent move, the release of this plan comes after the company laid off a handful of employees. As reported by Blockonomi in early January, the multi-faceted conglomerate laid off one-third of its team, 37 employees, to start 2019.
In a saddened blog post, Voorhees remarked that ShapeShift has “felt the bitter frost” of the “crypto winter.” The company chief executive added that this drastic cut was mostly a byproduct of ShapeShift’s “greatest and worst financial decision” — the embrace of significant positions in crypto assets. He added that the layoff was also caused by his firm’s acquisitions of CoinCap, among other ventures, as that stretched company resources, complicated logistics, and “changed hiring priorities.”
And while it has only been a mere month since the layoff, Voorhees’ master plan for 2019 is an evident sign that ShapeShift intends to get back on its feet.