Starting from version 3.11 of ProtonMail, it is now possible to pay for premium ProtonMail secure email account using Bitcoin. We have designed the payment system to work seamlessly so that Bitcoin payments are automatically converted to ProtonMail credits which can be used to pay for upgrades, pay invoices, or top up your account. This feature was long overdue, so we are glad to finally introduce this.
Long time followers of ProtonMail will know that we actually have a deep connection with Bitcoin, going all the way back to the very beginning of ProtonMail’s story. We have always been quite interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as they empower the same principles that inspired us to create ProtonMail. These are the principles of freedom, privacy, and an Internet ecosystem where all have an equal opportunity to thrive, free from many of the artificial constructs that control commerce today.
Our appreciation of cryptocurrencies deepened after we had a first hand experience with the potential of Bitcoin. Back in 2014 when ProtonMail first launched, our first community fundraiser was infamously frozen by PayPal, leaving us without access to the funds necessary to run the service. However, thanks to Bitcoin and the support of the Bitcoin community, we were able to continue to receive funds via Bitcoin ensuring the success of the project.
Three years on, ProtonMail has come a long way, and we are still proud to have many users from the global cryptocurrency community. As we mentioned in our guide on how to buy Bitcoins, secure email can actually play an important role in keeping Bitcoins secure, either as an email address to use with online Bitcoin wallets or exchanges, or for the storage of sensitive data.
Over the past three years, we have had an unofficial way of accepting Bitcoins which involved manually sending BTC to our Bitcoin donation address, and manually confirming the transaction with our support team to receive account credits. However, the general increase in the number of Bitcoin transactions over the years has made that approach unfeasible and made development of an automated system necessary. We feel this is indicative of a broader trend, where the increased mainstream interest in Bitcoin will make it harder for merchants not to support Bitcoin, which will lead to more Bitcoin support, more transactions, and perhaps the continued appreciation of Bitcoin prices.
From a business perspective, we have witnessed the fragility and uncertainty of the traditional financial sector, with PayPal, credit card, and bank account freezes, fraud, or hacks becoming increasingly common. For any operating business, cryptocurrencies are an important form of diversification. Whereas companies in the past might have held multiple fiat currencies distributed cross multiple financial institutions as insurance, ProtonMail is now also holding a significant portion of our reserves in Bitcoin. Ultimately, we believe having a more significant portion of our revenue via Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies actually reduces our business risk, by providing more redundancy in the event of the failure of more traditional payment methods. While this is fairly progressive thinking today, we believe that with time, more businesses will also adopt this view.
We’re excited to further deepen our connections with the cryptocurrency community with this step, and we look forward to doing our part to ensure that the brighter future promised by blockchain does become a reality. In the coming quarters, we plan to continue improving cryptocurrency support as part of our mission to build the most secure email service ever. Let us know which coins or tokens you would like us to support next on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Instagram.
The ProtonMail Team
Sign up and get a free encrypted email accounts from ProtonMail.
We also now provide a free VPN service.