The UpTake: To mark Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, bitcoin millionaire Erik Voorhees announced that ShapeShift.IO is now on the Apple app store. Which Apple would have never let happen just a few short months ago.
T he first entrepreneur with a major exit for a bitcoin startup would not be cut out of this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Even if he believes most of the people there aren’t quite ready for bitcoin just yet.
So while there’s not a formal event at the San Francisco-based WWDC built around bitcoin, Erik Voorhees chose today to launch the ShapeShift.IO app on Apple’s app store.
“The final goal is for Shapeshift to be the central way that humans and machines exchange digital assets,” Voorhees told me during a phone call yesterday. “I expect that to be a multi, multi billion dollar industry as digital finance acquires traditional finance. ShapeShift is supposed to be the fastest and easiest engine to do all those digital conversions of assets.”
The app is available as an online exchange and API, allowing users to trade bitcoin with other assets from their iPhone. But what sets the tool apart from more traditional bitcoin markets like BitPay or Coinbase is it doesn’t require an account, username, password, or email address.
The process, which Voorhees calls “shifting,” lets users select the desired digital asset or coin, specify the payout address, and convert the asset to any of about 36 different cryptoassets, including bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple.
“It’s really like a vending machine,” said Voorhees, who in 2013 sold bitcoin gambling site Satoshi Dice for 126,315 bitcoins. “You don’t sign up at a vending machine. You just stick your coins in and a Snickers bar pops out.” At today’s btcoin rate of $231, the Satoshi