Erik Voorhees Wiki, Net Worth, Bio, Politics

Erik Voorhees.
Courtesy of ShapeShift.com.

 

Who Is Erik Voorhees?

According to CoinMarketCap, Erik Voorhees is an “American and Panamanian crypto entrepreneur and startup developer”. He is most famous as the founder of the ShapeShift digital asset trading platform. Another notable organization Voorhees founded is the SatoshiDICE crypto gambling platform.

 

Erik Voorhees Wiki/Bio

Erik Voorhees’ LinkedIn profile states that he graduated from the University of Puget Sound with BA, Business Leadership and Political Economics.

After graduation and prior to founding his first business, Voorhees served as Communications Manager at Better Homes (March 2008 to November 2009), Communications Lead, Project Manager, and Outsourcing Aficionado at Podium Group (February 2010 to September 2011), and Head of Marketing at BitInstant (January 2012 to February 2013).

Forbes adds that Voorhees became “the employee number three” at BitInstant, serving as a founding chief marketing officer. At BitInstant, one of Voorhees’ key responsibilities was to explain how “nascent cryptocurrency could enable a new financial paradigm without banks”.

Key members of ShapeShift.
The key members of ShapeShift. ShapeShift is Voorhees’ latest crypto-focused enterprise. Courtesy of ShapeShift.com.

 

Voorhees’ views of cryptocurrency and state financial regulation

Erik Voorhees is an “outspoken libertarian who is against taxation, anti-financial regulation, and generally anti-government”, in the words of CoinMarketCap.

Forbes writes that the Great Recession in 2008 set the foundation for the anti-governmental views in Voorhees and his childhood friend Justin Blincoe. Voorhees said:

It just became really obvious that government should have nothing to do with money whatsoever. The government would never give up the control of money. So what were we going to do?

To pursue his beliefs that government and banking power should be limited, Voorhees moved to New Hampshire, “the Live Free or Die” state. In New Hampshire, Voorhees worked with the Free State Project – described as:

…an American political migration movement founded in 2001 to recruit at least 20,000 libertarians to move to a single low-population state (New Hampshire, selected in 2003) in order to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideas.

There, Voorhees also met local politician Keith Ammon.

According to Forbes, Ammon introduced Voorhees to Bitcoin via a series of articles posted on Facebook in 2011. At first, Voorhees thought cryptocurrency to be “sort of weird”, but he was soon attracted by the fact that no one owned the open-source blockchain technology behind Bitcoin. Additionally, with enough users, Voorhees thought that cryptocurrency could weaken the influence of traditional banks.

As per Voorhees:

This had to be the most obviously useful invention that I’d ever seen. And I just totally fell in love with it.

Voorhees remains a fierce proponent of libertarianism to this day, and often discusses politics and economics on his Twitter account:

 

Voorhees՛ early business activity and legal issues

Homepage of SatoshiDICE.
Courtesy of SatoshiDICE.com.

 

In April 2012, Vorhees launched SatoshiDICE, allowing users to place bets on the roll of a dice with Bitcoin. CoinDesk writes that by 2013, the company had processed over 4.6 million bets worth over 3.6 million BTC ($419 million at the time).

In May 2013, SatoshiDICE closed its website to all US-based IP addresses due to legal uncertainty around online gambling in the US.

In July 2013, Voorhees sold SatoshiDICE for 126,315 Bitcoin, or $11.5 million at the time, marking the first major acquisition of a company in the Bitcoin space.

In 2014, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined Voorhees for unregistered offerings of shares of SatoshiDICE and FeedZeBirds (Voorhees’ “Bitcoin Twitter advertising platform”), including selling 13 million shares and raising 50,600 Bitcoins (worth $722,659 at the time). Voorhees agreed to settle with the SEC: the SEC writes in this regard:

Voorhees agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying full disgorgement of the $15,843.98 in profits plus a $35,000 penalty for a total of more than $50,000.

Additionally:

(. . .) Voorhees agreed that he will not participate in any issuance of any security in an unregistered transaction in exchange for any virtual currency including Bitcoin for a period of five years.

Forbes shares Voorhees’ comment about the SEC fine:

It was a terrifying experience for me. And for all that to happen after having created something that was cool and useful and revolutionary and that made investors a bunch of money seemed like such an obvious injustice to me that it was really validating.

Forbes adds that Voorhees would have to make a series of compromises “in order to stay on the right side of the law”.

Voorhees would soon invest his SatoshiDICE profits into about two dozen other crypto projects, including the short-lived Coinapult wallet and ShapeShift.

In 2018, the US SEC reportedly launched a probe into Voorhees after Salt Lending – a loan platform where Voorhees had served as a board member – was subpoenaed regarding the $50 million ICO the company held in 2017. Bitcoin.com writes with reference to The Wall Street Journal:

The report states that the SEC aims to determine whether the ICO constituted an unlicensed securities offering, while also investigating how the proceeds were spent.

Voorhees characterized The Wall Street Journal’s claims as “inaccurate and misleading”.

In the below interview with Andrew Henderson from Nomad Capitalist, Voorhees articulates the injustice of the charges against him and the traumatic nature of the ordeal:

 

What Is ShapeShift Crypto?

Homepage of ShapeShift.
Courtesy of ShapeShift.com.

 

ShapeShift is a digital asset marketplace founded by Voorhees in April 2014. As of April 19, 2021, Voorhees was the company’s CEO. Here’s how the ShapeShift platform is briefly characterized on its website:

The ShapeShift platform gives you the power to quickly swap between assets in a seamless, safe, and secure environment.

In 2015, the ShapeShift iOS app was released, becoming the iOS first cryptocurrency trading app in the App Store, according to Forbes.

ShapeShift has a YouTube channel where its main features are showcased to viewers, among other things.

In March 2015, ShapeShift received $525,000 in seed funding from investors Roger Ver and Barry Silbert. In September 2015, the company raised $1.6 million from Digital Currency Group, Roger Ver, and angel investors Bruce Fenton, Michael Terpin, and Trevor Koverko.

In March 2017, ShapeShift closed a $10.4 million Series A funding round led by Berlin-based Earlybird Venture Capital. Participants in the round included Voorhees himself, as well as Access Venture Partners, Blockchain Capital, and Pantera Capital.

 

Erik Voorhees vs Peter Schiff Debate

On July 2, 2018, The Soho Forum and Reason hosted a debate between Erik Voorhees and Peter Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital. CoinDesk characterizes Schiff as “an infamous Bitcoin detractor”.

According to CoinDesk, among other things, Peter Schiff argued that “people are not currently buying into bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to use them; they’re here to get rich.”

Schiff also said that the volatility of Bitcoin makes it an unreliable store of value.

The biggest problem with bitcoin and why it can never be used as money is because [currency] has to be a reliable store of value, not just a medium of exchange.

In response, Vorhees said:

I remember when it was a big deal when bitcoin moved 50 percent. Today, it’s a big deal when it moves 10 percent. I think in a few years it’ll be a big deal when it moves 2-3 percent. While bitcoin is volatile today, I think this problem is self-correcting.

Remarkably, Schiff and Voorhees did find common ground at the event. For instance, Schiff doesn’t believe in fiat currency:

The fiat system that we have now is not going to work, but replacing fiat currency with digital currency is not an improvement.

Erik Voorhees Net Worth

As with many well-known cryptocurrency investors, there is much speculation online regarding Erik Voorhees net worth. At this time, however, no concrete sources are available on the subject.

With that being said, in November 2016, Voorhees wrote on Twitter that 85% of his net worth was in Bitcoin.

 

Erik Voorhees Online Presence & Publicity

Erik Voorhees is active on Twitter. He has Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles as well, but doesn’t appear to be actively using them as of the time of this writing.

Voorhees also has an author profile on Medium where he occasionally publishes opinion pieces on the state of cryptocurrency.

In January 2021, Real Vision founder Raoul Pal interviewed Voorhees. The interview recording can be viewed on the Real Vision website.

 

 

 

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