Mass-email service MailChimp has updated their acceptable use policy, putting a moratorium on newsletters promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. As you can imagine, everyone's taking it well.
.@MailChimp I've spent thousands of dollars with you and sent hundreds of subscriber emails on crypto over the past five years.
I'm restarting my Daily Bit Monday. I don't shill ICOs. Don't fuck with me. pic.twitter.com/XHdWBUQGPF
— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) March 30, 2018
It's unclear how popular MailChimp's service was among ICO and cryptocurrency promoters. Either out of an abundance of caution, or an uptick of users being scammed through their service, MailChimp seems to have washed their hands the whole thing. Updated last night, its acceptable use policy now includes the following language:
[W]e cannot 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.
This follows similar, though less restrictive bans by Facebook (and Instagram by extension), Google, Linkedin, Twitter, and Snapchat on ICO ads, and country-wide bans in China and South Korea.
MailChimp previously held policies prohibiting multi-level marketing, "make money online" businesses, and "industries have higher-than-average abuse complaints," and earmarked "online trading, day trading tips, or stock market related content" for "additional scrutiny." The ban on cryptocurrency promotion isn't out of the blue so much as a clarification of existing use policies.
All that being said, it hasn't stopped scorned users from extrapolating that MailChimp "hates blockchains".
So @MailChimp is closing the Week In Ethereum account in four weeks because they hate blockchains.
Centralized capricious power is exactly why we need blockchains
— Evan Van Ness (@evan_van_ness) March 29, 2018
In a statement to Gizmodo, MailChimp further clarified: "We recognise that blockchain technology is in its infancy and has tremendous potential. Nonetheless, the promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies is too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices at this time."
A spokesperson also noted that the revised policy still allows "journalists and publications may send cryptocurrency-related information as long as they're not involved in the production, sale, exchange, storage, or marketing of cryptocurrencies." That may not be heartening news, given that all too often those writing about or hyping up products in the blockchain space are investors themselves.