ShapeShift, one of the oldest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the crypto market, is pivoting. It announced the integration of a decentralized exchange, adding Ethereum and ERC20 tokens first.
Since it is a decentralized exchange, it will not be able to immediately process Bitcoin trades. Hence, ShapeShift said it would integrate Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2021. The team wrote:
“Ethereum and ERC20 assets are available as of today for decentralized trading through ShapeShift’s interface. Bitcoin—the world’s largest and most liquid digital asset—will be added in Q1 2021 (native BTC, non-wrapped). By using ShapeShift to trade through DEX protocols, users get the best rates across multiple venues and earn FOX Tokens on every trade.”
Why this switch and what does it mean for Ethereum?
Cryptocurrency platforms, in general, inclusive of ShapeShift, have faced strong regulatory pressure for user data for many years.
ShapeShift’s change in direction to a DEX makes sense in this environment where the usage of DEX is rapidly growing.
Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, described the pace of innovation in decentralized technology as “inspiring.”
The ShapeShift team also pinpointed the rise in popularity of decentralized exchanges, stating:
“Over the past year, decentralized exchanges—which are software protocols for individuals to trade transparently and without any intermediary—have grown in popularity. They give users unprecedented auditability and control over their digital assets, offer generally lower fees and reduce counterparty risk.”
ShapeShift has also introduced a new token called FOX, which users would be able to earn by trading through ShapeShift.
Voorhees sees a massive catalyst in 2021
In an interview with CryptoSlate, Voorhees said that the biggest catalyst to Bitcoin and crypto in 2021 would be the bull run itself.
As the value of cryptocurrencies increase, he noted that the ecosystem would go from 50 million to 250 million crypto users. He said:
“Well maybe this is tautological, but the biggest 2021 catalyst will be the bull run itself. The price rise gets interest more than anything else, and will bring millions of new people into the ecosystem. I think we go from around 50 million crypto users in the world to around 250 million by end of the year. The whole industry better be ready to scale.”
This prediction goes in line with many industry executives who anticipate the total value locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) to achieve $100 billion.
Out of the millions of users that newly enter the cryptocurrency space, analysts expect the DeFi space to continue to see exponential growth throughout the year.
As DeFi expands throughout 2021, the positioning of ShapeShift to a DEX and to a token that rewards users based on utility and trading activity could be a positive mid to long-term shift.
Like what you see? Subscribe for daily updates.