Erik Voorhees

From CryptoCurrency Wiki


"SatoshiDice was just like a side project, basically a way to let people gamble with Bitcoins and to show them a way of gambling that was provably fair so that they would know what the odds were and they would know that the rolls were actually fair. The reason it was cool is because anyone in the world could play the game without signing up, with no account. They didn't have to trust the system. The system didn't need to trust them. It was a demonstration of how Bitcoin in cryptography could be used to let two unrelated parties who didn't know each other actually transact.

That got totally carried away and became like half of all the Bitcoin transactions back then. It was pretty, pretty crazy. I realized that if I was going to be an outspoken proponent of Bitcoin, then I probably shouldn't also be running the world's biggest Bitcoin casino, just from an optics perspective. I felt like Bitcoin had plenty of reputational issues it had to overcome, and so if I was going to be one of its advocates, I didn't want to be running a casino. So sadly, I decided I needed to sell it and just focus on Bitcoin advocacy itself.

That was all around the same time as BitInstant. I left BitInstant after the Winklevoss brothers invested because I had a falling out with them, which I won't get into, but left BitInstant and went down to Panama and I was running this little wallet company called Coinapult for a year, decided I didn't want to be in Panama anymore and didn't want to be part of Coinapult. So I left, moved back to Colorado, and started ShapeShift.

The whole impetus for ShapeShift was just as a simple tool to allow people to convert one digital asset into another as safely and easily as possible. This was pre-Ethereum, but I saw that there were going to be more and more tokens in the world, there will be millions of digital assets eventually, and the world needed an easy way to move between them. So that was really the first idea for ShapeShift. It wasn't meant to be like a big business or anything, it was just meant to be kind of a useful tool. But as crypto grew, ShapeShift itself grew. After Ethereum, certainly, the number of tokens just boomed, and so we've been trying to ride that wave ever since."