Echangere has shutdown

It is with a very heavy heart that we regret to inform you that Echangere has shutdown operations for now. As some might have noticed, we have been very quiet for the last month. The reason being that we found out, our current model for operations was unlawful. In order for Echangere to become lawful we would be required to do full KYC on our users. This means we essentially need to become eyes and ears for the government and inform them every time a user would do anything out of the “norm”. Now as most of you know, we did not require full KYC, only basic information. This is because we believe it is wrong for a private company/business to hold such sensitive information like a government ID on its users.

Acting as cops and giving into the already huge surveillance is not something we want to participate in. The way the regulation and rules are put together breaks with the principals of the western world. Instead of being innocent until proven guilty, it turns things around making everyone guilty until proven innocent. This is not something we want to support. We believe the systems we had put in place were more than enough to determine the validity of users, and the funds moving in and out of our platform. The absurd thing is, Echangere never got off the ground. We never had any money flow through our platform, but we are apparently still required to abide by the same rules as centralized exchanges. We believe it is wrong that the law does not have minimum amounts before a business needs to become regulated with full KYC on its users. With regulation acting as such on Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces we essentially lose our number one market advantage of not being full KYC. If Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces are regulated in the same way as centralized exchanges, then the end-user would almost always pick the CEX, as that removes the risk of dealing with another person. Even though the P2P has the escrow that protects the end-user, then not dealing with another person is preferred by most. Therefore it no longer makes sense for us to run Echangere, when we need to be regulated as such with full KYC. We believed that since we did not touch fiat currency in any capacity that, that would make it all be clear. Most governments do not recognize cryptocurrency in any sense of the word. But apparently, they recognize it enough to the point that if you touch it, you must follow all kinds of crazy rules… This does not make sense. As stated from the beginning we are committed to comply with rules and regulations as long as they are possible to follow. We would like to be compliant with AML and KYC, but we will not participate in the surveillance state. In order to comply with AML and KYC we had various systems put in place to prevent fraud, money laundering and other illegal activities. We believe KYC is not only looking at a government issued ID, as our approach was determining users based on the information they submitted. We live in 2023 and most people leave all kinds of digital footprints behind, that can be used to determine the validity of a user, therefore KYC.

We have spent the last month going over each and every possibility in order to keep being in operations, such as: going offshore, going decentralized, raising capital and going full KYC. Now none of these sound particularly interesting in our ears. As you know Echangere was made from scratch as a father and son project, and we intended to keep it as such. We are very sad that Echangere has not even reached the broader market, and even proven its worth. We had to shut it down before the party began.

The future of Echangere is uncertain, but since all our infrastructure is made from scratch, we will properly pursue what we already had planned such as launching a variety of bi-products like payment gateways, donation gateways, B2B custodial service, B2B escrow service and more. But all this requires a lot of time spent in development and comes with its own challenges in terms of regulation. The difference being B2B would be a KYB and not KYC.

Right now with the sad closure of Echangere our new focus will be on a bi-product we had planned called depouch. depouch is an upcoming Cross-Chain DeFi application and wallet with focus on user-experience. It will allow people to swap layer 1 cryptocurrencies without KYC and registration. You will have full self-custody and depouch is 100% decentralized. It is a mere interface to the blockchain. We look forward to bringing this to the market in these times of darkness. If you want to stay updated on depouch you can do so by following our twitter @depouch.

We thank you for your understanding, and we hope you will join us in this freedom fight we are all fighting.
It is time we say stop to the crazy rules and regulations that destroy innovation and free market competition.
With that said, we hope to see you all trying depouch sometime in the future.

Best wishes
Thorbjørn “BubbiByte” Breum
Carsten Breum