Andy Yen, the founder and CEO of ProtonMail, has cast doubt on whether the firm will continue to hold Bitcoin (BTC) in the future, expressing concern at the current state of the crypto markets.
ProtonMail had added support for Bitcoin back in 2017.ProtonMail’s 2017 Bitcoin Pivot
ProtonMail is an end-to-end encrypted email provider used by millions of users. In 2017, the company added official support for accepting payments in Bitcoin. Support for Bitcoin payments started from version 3.11 of ProtonMail, allowing users to pay for the premium ProtonMail service using BTC. At the time, ProtonMail stated,
“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.”
The company also added that it viewed holding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a hedge against the uncertainty and fragility of the traditional financial sector, stating that it currently holds a significant portion of its reserves in Bitcoin.A Change In Outlook
ProtonMail acknowledged in 2019 that the company had been holding the BTC sent to them by customers. However, the recent downturn in the crypto markets has prompted Proton CEO and founder, Andy Yen, to cast doubt on whether the company will continue to hold BTC in the future. Yen made the comments during an interview with Forbes, published on the 27th of December, 2022.
Yen, while acknowledging that the company held Bitcoin in reserve, added that it isn’t guaranteed that the firm may continue to do so.
“There’s an internal debate: I don’t have the answer to that yet — I’m not sure if we continue to hold Bitcoin or not hold Bitcoin.”A Number Of Concerns
Yen discussed his thoughts about Bitcoin and crypto in general, adding that several factors concerned him. According to the CEO, these were largely tied to fraud, the numerous scams, and short-lived bubbles such as the recent NFT bubble and the ICO craze of 2017. Additionally, he stated that the short-lived interest in crypto is cyclical and short-lived, leading to spikes and crashes that decimate the crypto markets every three to four years. Yen elaborated during the interview, stating,
“People are not going to have faith and confidence and trust in an asset class if it is frequently having 80% crash cycles. We need the crash cycles to be less and less severe over time, and that’s just not happening.”Self Regulation And Moderation Are Key
So how does one address the issue? According to Yen, more robust moderation and self-regulation within the crypto sector are key to confronting the problem, adding that he opposed lawmakers' regulation. However, the skepticism displayed by the ProtonMail CEO does not mean the firm would stop accepting Bitcoin payments and transactions. In fact, reports have suggested that the firm is currently in the process of integrating Lightning Network payments.
Proton’s close association and work with cryptocurrencies in 2018 also saw rumors that it was planning on launching its own token through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). However, the firm categorically denied such rumors at the time.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
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