ProtonMail, a premier end-to-end encrypted email service provider, might well be on its way to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). On July 24, 2018, the firm posted requirement for a “Blockchain developer” on the career portion of their official website, fueling speculations that the company has decided to go for a public ICO shortly.
Earlier March 2018 Hints on Reddit and Twitter
The job section highlights the qualifications required, primarily being an engineer having expertise in “developing secure Ethereum smart contracts” and having “participated in successful ICO.”
The firm’s crypto token is expected to be named “ProtonCoin,” as per the project’s official website. Although there are no details about the exact functionality of the proposed token, the website does provide a well-framed “purpose” for the token. It also briefly mentions the importance of blockchain technology in today’s rapidly evolving fintech world, highlighting the safety of transactions, a trustful network, and decentralized organizations.
On March 7, 2018, Reddit user, now confirmed to be the company’s official Reddit account, posted in the subreddit r/protoncoin that “ProtonMail team does intend to release a cryptocoin in the future.”
Similarly, the token’s official Twitter account posted the following tweet on March 19:
— ProtonCoin (@protoncoin) March 19, 2018
The decision to make an ICO was not an overnight episode, but in fact, a well thought out strategy that had its seeds sown months ago.
ICO Leaves a Bittersweet Taste in Social Media
Even though the ICO might have positive implications for the email service provider in the future, the news has generated a rather mixed reaction from the online community. The internet citizens have called it a weak attempt to rake in huge finances milking the ICO cash cow. Further, the firm has not yet made public any concrete plans as to the utility of a “ProtonCoin.”
Looks like @ProtonMail is planning an ICO. If they do, I’m cancelling my subscription. I know many Bitcoiners are using it… but maybe not for much longer if they go down this road. https://t.co/VGzgvVqEDL pic.twitter.com/7Lmk5UqsMY
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) July 23, 2018
In response, ProtonMail CTO Bart Butler Tweeted on July 24, 2018, that the company was “exploring issuing a token as an alternative to traditional VC funding.” However, the Tweet has since been deleted.
This is not the first time that ProtonMail has tried to make inroads in the world of cryptocurrencies. In August 2017, the company officially announced that it would start accepting payments in the pioneer cryptocurrency, bitcoin.