What can we do in the crypto and blockchain space to disrupt traditional finance and empower people? When crypto trading comes to mind, you might think of words like “liberty,” “privacy,” or “innovation,” but we’re guessing that “free,” is pretty far down the list. In November of last year, ShapeShift became the first crypto platform to offer free trading, as we saw the potential benefits that trading with zero commissions, fees, or spread could bring users around the world.

When more tools and services in crypto are free or more affordable, we can offer a global audience better alternatives to traditional finance. That’s why it’s important to make crypto more widely accessible — so more people can benefit from a new monetary system.

Rethinking Traditional Finance & Banking

Many in the crypto space think wide-spread adoption is essential to making cryptocurrencies more appealing to the mainstream. But on the way to the moon, we should keep in mind those who need a new way to manage money. Let’s not forget about the global events that sparked a need for an alternative to traditional finance and, for many, created a passion for cryptocurrency. Review some of the financial crises that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology aim to solve.

  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Venezuela

The Greek Debt Crisis

Greece’s financial crisis occurred from 2008–2018, when the country came close to defaulting on its debt to the European Union. The EU and IMF attempted to cut a deal with Greece, in which they would temporarily bail out the country if it put austerity measures into place.

The government and the people refused the EU and IMF’s measures, leading to a bank run, and banks limiting withdrawals to just 60 euros a day.

Iceland’s Banking Disaster

Iceland’s financial crisis hit during the global recession in 2008, when the country’s three largest banks defaulted on tens of billions of dollars in loans to foreign investors. Foreign investors left the country, the Icelandic currency (the krona) dropped 50%, and the country’s stock market fell by 95%. Bankruptcy was rampant among businesses, and the bank’s debt was too large for the government to immediately intervene.

Venezuela’s Economic Collapse

The Venezuelan economic crisis began in 2013, by 2018 inflation was estimated at 80,000% and has continued to drastically rise. It’s estimated that one-tenth of Venezuelans have fled the country in the wake of the economic crisis, with many now living as refugees in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, throughout the rest of Latin America, and in the Caribbean.

We Believe That Free is the Future of Crypto

While we are building a new financial future, keep these three words in mind: accessibility, stability, and value. Noncustodial solutions allow people to take control of their assets; keeping them out of the hands of potentially malicious governments, unstable currencies, and other forms of financial crisis. Crypto assets provide an alternative to the risk of hyperinflation, and commission free trading allows people in developing nations to keep more of their crypto — rather than diminishing their wealth for convenience.

No Fees, Free FOX & Giveaways

With ShapeShift, free trading is as easy as signing up, claiming your 100 FOX Tokens, and receiving $1,000 of zero-commission trading every month. And we don’t want to stop there. We’re putting crypto back in the hands of the community by giving away 30 ETH this month, with more to come in March.

We welcome you to join us in building a better financial system. Find out more here and discover the benefits that free trading can bring.