ProtonMail, which is one of the most prominent end-to-end encrypted email providers, has recently dropped hints that it may be working on an initial coin offering (ICO).
The email provider, which was founded by three scientists at CERN, one of the ambitious projects in human history, has gained widespread support from the cryptocurrency community, as many community members have been attracted to the service due to its support for Bitcoin payments and encrypted messages.
ProtonMail just recently revealed that it had a job opening for a “blockchain developer.” The job post made on the ProtonMail website elaborated, highlighting what qualifications the prospective hire would need, and what he or she would be doing at the firm.
The job description reads:
The crypto community has supported ProtonMail since 2014 when we raised over half a million dollars and many Bitcoins through crowdfunding. Over the years, we have integrated Bitcoin as a form of payment and became the go-to email for cryptocurrency users demanding the best security. Looking forward, we have some exciting blockchain-related ventures underway. You will join our team to lead these projects, which will ultimately make the blockchain easy to use and empower millions of people around the world.
Although this doesn’t sound like much on its own, the job qualifications and prerequisites seem to tell another story, which are as follows:
- Operated full blockchain nodes and wallets
- Participated in (a) successful ICO
- Expert in developing secure Ethereum smart contracts
- Deep understanding of blockchain on a code and math level
- Software engineering experience
Although it wasn’t directly stated in the job posting, from the looks of the aforementioned qualifications, ProtonMail may be beginning to develop their own cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum network for an upcoming ICO.
ProtonMail Receives Widespread Backlash From The Community
WhalePanda, a well-known cryptocurrency expert and personality, called out the email service, alluding to the fact that it doesn’t make sense for the firm to start an ICO.
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
Others called it a blatant attempt to rake in large amounts of financial capital in a space filled with so many unneeded ICOs, as it isn’t even clear how a “ProtonMail Coin/Token” would function or work in the firm’s encrypted ecosystem.
Responding to WhalePanda’s tweet, a user going by Clement Thibault put it best when he stated:
I’m all for raising funds to grow and an ICO is probably not a bad way to do it, I just hope that we avoid the recent BS ICO phenomenon. I’d invest in @ProtonMail in the ‘regular’ equity way if I could.