Silicon Angle, "Email marketing service MailChimp joins the crowd banning cryptocurrency-related content"

BY DUNCAN RILEY

UPDATED 22:16 EST . 01 APRIL 2018

Email marketing service MailChimp is the latest company to ban cryptocurrency-related services in what could be a more serious blow to the industry than those already imposed by social networks.

MailChimp has long been one of the most popular providers of automated email response and list management services, used by millions of e-commerce sites, companies and individuals alike. The service are often a key aspect used in promoting and supporting many businesses, so the ban is likely to have a big impact on initial coin offerings in particular.

The ban, which goes into effect from April 30, sees the company change its Acceptable Use Policy to read that MailChimp “does not allow businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing, or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering, to use MailChimp to facilitate or support any of those activities.”

Virtual currencies are “too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing and potentially misleading business practices,” MailChimp said. It added that it had “made the decision to update our Acceptable Use Policy in order to protect the millions of businesses that use MailChimp for their marketing.”

After initially saying that all discussion of cryptocurrencies may be banned, TechCrunch reported, the company later clarified the policy, saying that “cryptocurrency-related information isn’t necessarily prohibited. It can be sent as long as the sender isn’t involved in the production, sale, exchange, storage, or marketing of cryptocurrencies.”

How the ban will be applied is also another question. “MailChimp has failed to comment on how their technologies will differentiate which emails are being used to scam recipients, and which are sharing blockchain news,” a spokesperson for blockchain provider Job.com told SiliconANGLE. “Several blockchain and ICO companies have been vocal about Mailchimp banning their email blasts while claiming their practices are legitimate and follow the email service’s guidelines.”

MailChimp follows in the footsteps of Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. in applying bans of varying degrees against cryptocurrency-related content. In January, Facebook was the first social network of note to bancryptocurrency-related advertising, including anything to do with bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

Google followed March 14, banning not only any advertising related to cryptocurrencies but also third-party advertising for a range of financial products as well. Twitter joined the party March 18, banning initial coin offerings and token sales advertising but allowing cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet advertising to continue if the company is public and listed on certain major stock market exchanges.

Sarah Benichou