With the announcement of our new requirement for United States citizens to complete identity verification, we are now managing the reality we’ve prepared for. The requirement will no doubt see the loss of users who are unwilling to provide their information, as well as critiques from community regarding present circumstances with previous marketing of the project. We’re ready to accept the consequences of both.
Regardless, we are resolute in moving forward – but not without first recognizing our US users for collectively taking a chance on a young, anonymous and unproven product to help CryptoBridge become what it is today. Thank you!
For clarity, we would like to reiterate that while a social security number is required to complete verification a screenshot of the card itself is not. Users also have a choice between either a passport or driver’s license for the primary method of verification.
All user-submitted data is stored by Fractal with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance measures in place. Data is stored in a European data storage facility. GDPR holds personal data privacy to significantly higher standard than any previous national or international legislation and sets the bar very high for the handling of private data. Consequently, CryptoBridge does not have access to any user information other than their UUID associated with a successful completion identity verification. This information is not stored in servers in the United States and remains outside of reach from the US government unless there is a court order mandating Fractal to release it.
Putting this requirement in place, however, enables us to offer a more secure trading platform for everyone.
Whether or not you choose to submit your information is entirely your choice as a sovereign individual, and you are under no duress from our project to do so. If you wish to have your submitted information removed, you may contact Fractal at [email protected] any time and they will supply you with the required legal documents to process the request.
Balancing the Outcome
Along with growth and success has come the serious looming threat of regulatory scrutiny. As the premier gateway to the BitShares blockchain ecosystem (accounting for around 80% of its total activity), CryptoBridge had positioned itself as a primary target should such attentions arise.
While the development of CryptoBridge has been a particularly enjoyable experience, a high degree of risk remains with us as a singular entity without a greater degree of decentralization (something which will be solved by implementing the Federated Gateways). Should the aforementioned scrutiny come to pass, the results would almost certainly destroy the project and irrevocably erase the entirety of our efforts. This is something we found to be plainly unacceptable, and in need of a serious response.
This potentiality began to bear an unacceptable weight on the team’s conscience, and a decision to diversify the risk led to where we are now. The risk is now spread out among the individual users themselves. In particular, the risk for the US user is in supplying personally identifying information should they decide to continue to using their account. In such a rearrangement, each person’s individual responsibility takes precedence. The massive reduction of liability which CryptoBridge gains from it will more fully support our ability to continue serving our users and community projects.
Choosing to employ compliance measures is not a surrender to failure. It is instead a more difficult (but far safer) route to tread in an environment which shifts in unexpected and threatening ways on a daily basis. The high road is long and steep, but the alternative is riddled with landmines.
Among the greatest advantage among the benefits we gain with the ability to offer the widest possible range of digital assets. This is a crucial benefit which we saw as a unique long-term addition which outweighed the short-term downsides.
Those who cite our choice as a fatal error are ignoring the endgame we’re after: to design and implement the Federated Gateways. These will effectively decentralize the process of making deposits and bring an entirely new approach to trading on and interacting with the BitShares ecosystem.
We cannot contest the problematic nature of our initial presentation of the project as it relates to where we are today. Some decry us as frauds; kinder judgments indicate misguided enthusiasm, or an error in judgment. Regardless of your perspective, we remind critics to consider our humble beginnings as a bootstrapped project built on a proof-of-work altcoin. No venture capital, angel investment or corporate sponsorship brought us to where we are today. Instead, we have arrived due to the harmonious confluence of good timing, diligent work and community enthusiasm and support.
To add a measure of goodwill back into the community, we will be collaborating extensively with our educational partner, CoinYou, to create and publish educational course material for newcomers to orient them to the complicated topic of decentralization and approaches to the fabled decentralized exchange, or DEX.
Finally, the issue with BridgeCoin which is locked in staking positions is a serious and foremost concern as we approach the end of the grace period.
US users will not lose the funds that they may have in locked in BridgeCoin staking positions. We are actively exploring multiple ways to resolve this issue and will be announcing our plan of action as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience in this regard.
Yesterday version 0.16.7 of the local client was released and should allow for many who have submitted verification to have their accounts regain functionality. Users are encouraged to approve their Fractal account by logging in and following the prompts (despite whether or not similar attempts have been unsuccessful in the past). Applicants should have either an “initiated”, “pending” or “verified” status and we are in contact with Fractal to continue improving the process by which accounts have their verification finalized. We appreciate your patience and are confident that the system will be optimized shortly.