Tutanota, a provider of an encrypted email service, has begun to accept donations in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and monero in order to test payment processing using cryptocurrencies, the company announced in a blog post. The German firm noted that it wants to support decentralized payment systems that are independent of centralized processors such as credit card companies and banks. The company believes decentralized payments could support an anonymous email service for human rights activists, whistleblowers, and journalists who require special protection.
Tutanota originally planned to offer cryptocurrency acceptance last year for its professional and premium-level plans. This feature was postponed, however, on account of the need to recreate the company’s encrypted email client to upgrade performance and add features more rapidly. The company’s new email client and its new Android app are presently in beta, with an iOS app scheduled to follow.
A Reddit and Twitter poll to gauge support for ether, bitcoin cash, or monero among users revealed support levels for these cryptocurrencies ranging from 16% to 27%, which the company did not find encouraging. Some users wanted the service to also support verge and litecoin. Tutanota nonetheless decided to test the three cryptocurrencies from the poll, along with bitcoin. The company intends to use the donation wallets to determine how to manage payments with cryptocurrencies and how to automatically process the payments.
Tutanota automatically encrypts all users’ data on their devices, allowing them to keep their emails and contacts private. The company’s business service also helps companies become GDPR compliant. Tutanota would not be the first encrypted email service provider to accept cryptocurrency.
Nearly a year ago, ProtonMail began accepting bitcoin for its premium-level accounts. The system automatically converts the payment into ProtonMail Credits, allowing users to pay for their subscriptions once the transaction is confirmed. ProtonMail previously allowed users to pay for subscriptions by sending payments to a bitcoin donation address, a process that required the team to manually confirm every transaction. ProtonMail also allowed users to prefund their accounts with credits for later use or purchase premium-level subscriptions using bitcoin.