Tech 19 February 2018

Vince Dioquino

ProtonMail asks Bitcoin Cash users to help with integration

Before all the hype and media attention, cryptocurrencies were created with significant consideration for anonymity and security. One could even claim that it is the cryptographic layer of privacy and utility that placed it at the forefront of transforming how we do peer-to-peer digital transactions today.

In the wake of state strategies that undermine citizen’s privacy, cryptocurrency users need secure and private solutions for their day to day dealings. In a tweet mentioning CoinGeek, an anonymous Twitter user said “the BCH community still doesn’t have a paid email service to go to. We should change that!”

In this same tweet, the anonymous user mentioned ProtonMail, Switzerland-based secure email service developed by scientists and engineers from CERN and MIT. ProtonMail’s social media team promptly replied to the emerging comment thread, saying: “It is planned, but we just haven’t gotten around to doing it. If there are some volunteers from the community, that would definitely speed things up.”

While not as mainstream as other email services, ProtonMail has an avid following from security-conscious users. It has also been featured in various information security-themed TV shows like Mr. Robot. In ProtonMail’s user forum, an anonymous user first shared the idea of having Bitcoin Cash as a mode of payment for the email service, which other users agreed to.

The proposal for adopting Bitcoin Cash as a payment option for ProtonMail has been widely discussed in a Reddit thread, prompting the email service provider to issue an official response. The ProtonMail team stated that they “would like to add Bitcoin cash support,” although noting that their “experience with Bitcoin [BTC] has shown us that doing this right is actually quite complicated, and will require developers that we can’t really spare right now since the team is already stretched quite thin working on existing features.”

ProtonMail said previous experience with outsourcing third party payment processors carried certain issues.

“Not only is it a potential privacy risk, crypto payment processors have proven to be less than reliable. Some have killed crypto support arbitrarily (Stripe with BTC for example), are susceptible to govt influence (and could be asked to stop accepting for ProtonMail), and others are just run by technical teams with dubious ability,” according to the team.

This is why the ProtonMail team has asked for “community help” from Bitcoin Cash users and developers, to “make this process go faster.” The team urged the Bitcoin Cash community to collaborate on adopting the cryptocurrency as a means of payment for the email service.

Using an unsecure email service to sign up to online exchanges or store cryptocurrency details on the cloud is not good practice when it comes to making sure that one’s crypto funds are intact and usable anytime for fast, peer-to-peer transactions. There are end-user license agreements which most users don’t bother to read, and the lack of transparency with how states conduct surveillance on their citizens poses a risk for cryptocurrency users. The proposal for integrating Bitcoin Cash with ProtonMail is a welcome addition to the suite of security features that BCH users already utilize.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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