Exclusive: ProtonMail Refutes ICO “Unsubstantiated” Rumours, Confirms no Plans of Token Launch
Recent reports of privacy-email provider ProtonMail planning an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for its product were widely circulated in cryptocurrency communities. However, the firm has since refuted such claims.
ProtonMail ICO Rumors
As per a job listing on ProtonMail’s careers page, the company is searching for a blockchain developer to join the team. The full-time position calls for an “expert” to help build their 5 million member-strong mailing service that prides upon its cryptocurrency userbase.
Candidates must possess knowledge of operated full blockchain nodes and wallets, Ethereum smart contracts, and an understanding of blockchain on a “code and math level.”
A significant point in the list of responsibilities was of the candidate mandatorily participating in a “successful ICO” – a feature which made ripples in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
However, CryptoSlate reached out to ProtonMail to confirm the development, and the Swiss company shot down all such reports.
ProtonMail Refutes Development
As stated in a letter to CryptoSlate, ProtonMail noted all “unsubstantiated” rumors remain a subject of media speculation, with the official announcement from the company.
The company pointed out that several proton-suffixed mail services are under the direct ownership of ProtonMail, yet the “hundreds” of such domain names have been purchased merely to protect ownership rights and protect trademark infringement.
In particular, the company called out reports of a “ProtonCoin” ICO and added while Proton Technologies indeed owns the protoncoin.com domain, there are no plans to pursue any related business in the near future.
The company told CryptoSlate:
The existence of a site should not be taken to signify our immediate intention to launch a product (indeed some of the sites have existed for years before only recently being “found”). It does however indicate that we are using the trademark and consider that to be protected IP (intellectual property).
Proton’s Blockchain Technology
The letter noted that the company holds blockchain technology in high regard, especially in the domain of email security, and remains committed towards research in the sector. To conclude, ProtonMail stated it “could take years” for such a feature to be fully integrated and current statements are premature.
Meanwhile, the job listing confirms the company is pursuing “exciting blockchain-related ventures” that make the technology accessible for general use and “empower millions of people around the world.”
Interestingly in 2014, the encryption-based email service raised over $500,000 via public crowdsale, initially in fiat currency and eventually Bitcoin after PayPal blocked their company accounts. In August 2016, ProtonMail added a Bitcoin payment option for users to upgrade to the “premium” service.
As stated on their website, ProtonMail was developed in 2013 by scientists and engineers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).