Anonymous email service developed by CERN scientists is accepting Bitcoin donations to fund expansion following an overwhelming response to its beta release.
We reported on the service while it was in its infancy, but even shortly following the release of its beta, ProtonMail had already accrued a waiting list of eager users which was more than its servers could support at the time.
While its small team, headed by three co-founders Jason Stockman, Andy Yen and Wei Sun, looks to meet demand, news has come that the ProtonMail project has received over US$270,000 in funding. More than that, however, since launching its Bitcoin wallet on May17, ProtonMail has gained over US$10,000 in Bitcoin donations alone, according to blockchain.info.
“We’d like to offer a special thank you to the many users world-wide who’ve donated to our cause with Bitcoin,” the developers wrote in a blog post, “…we’re happy to support and accept cryptocurrency.” The post further thanked the Reddit community in particular for its support.
“We’d like to offer a special thank you to the many users world-wide who’ve donated to our cause with Bitcoin. We’re happy to support and accept cryptocurrency.”
Bitcoin for ProtonMail is more than an additional feature: aside from stating their disinclination towards PayPal (“honestly, we’re not big fans of PayPal”), the team is offering ‘perks’ specifically for Bitcoin donors.
The scheme will allow contributors who confirm their identity to secure a place at the front of the waiting list to receive a ProtonMail account and begin trialing the service.
Following termination of the beta phase, users’ accounts will additionally be automatically upgraded to ProtonMail+, either for one year or permanently depending on the perk selected previously.
Meanwhile, developers have set out financial goals and the improvements they hope to implement at each stage of funding. Having breezed past the $200,000 mark, all users on the waiting list will receive the ability to send up to 1000 messages per month, or twice the number available thus far.
Long-term, ProtonMail will diversify to incorporate encrypted chat and file storage services once funding reaches $750,000 and $1 million, respectively.
“We will build these features even if the targets are not met, but without additional funding, it will take us much much longer,” developers added.
However, should current popularity continue, there is little reason to doubt the project’s ability to achieve some pioneering advances in encrypted technology which is available to the general public.
“Additional funding will also allow us to build a stronger service that is more resilient to attacks and outside pressure,” the blog post continues. “With your support, we can make internet privacy a reality again and protect freedom around the world.”