by Cindy Huynh
Email marketing platform MailChimp is banning newsletters and closing accounts that promote, sell, trade, store, or market initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies. Their new policy closely resembles the actions of other social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat in 2018.
“We recognize that blockchain technology is in its infancy and has tremendous potential,” said MailChimp, in a statement to Gizmodo. Nonetheless, the promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies are too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially, misleading business practices at this time.”
While MailChimp banned cryptocurrency campaigns, journalists and publications may still send cryptocurrency-related information. The email marketing platform confirmed this in a tweet mentioning that, “cryptocurrency-related information isn’t necessarily prohibited.”
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. Our Acceptable Use Policy goes into more detail: https://t.co/JnHajBEUNk
— MailChimp (@MailChimp) March 29, 2018
The policy will come into effect on April 20, according to an email MailChimp sent to a customer obtained by CoinDesk.
Cryptocurrency Promotions Banned Due to Increases in Scams
In an interview with Futurism, MailChimp mentioned that it was forced to change its acceptable use policy because of the sheer level of scams and frauds associated with cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The email marketing company previously banned multi-level marketing on its platform to protect their users from potential scammers and fraudsters.
While it’s uncertain how many cryptocurrency and ICO promoters used the email marketing service, MailChimp “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.”
MailChimp’s decision to ban cryptocurrencies does not come as much of a surprise considering around $9 million is lost to cryptocurrency scams every day.
Following Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s crypto ban
MailChimp is now the newest member of the growing group of social media and online companies to ban cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements. While Facebook was the first to enact a cryptocurrency ban in January 2018, after several weeks of rumors, on March 27, Twitter soon followed. Twitter announced that it would “be cutting out advertising of initial coin offerings and their token sales as well as global cryptocurrency wallet platforms if they are not publicly listed on select stock exchanges.”
Despite CEO Jack Dempsey’s positive stance on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the cryptocurrency community’s fondness of the Twitter platform made it a haven for scammers who impersonated popular members of the cryptocurrency and tech community like Vitalik Buterin and Elon Musk.
“We’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
Google’s updated its financial services policy which will rule out all “…cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)” advertising, unless certified by the company to advertise through AdWords. After Google’s announcement of the cryptocurrency ad ban, the price of bitcoin fell to its lowest in more than a month to $8,238.
Industry Associations to Sue Over Crypto Advertisement Ban
While MailChimp’s decision to remove cryptocurrency-related promotions was to protect its customers, many individuals were upset at their decision and expressed this frustration on Twitter. For instance, Evan Van Ness is the journalist behind the popular and informative Week In Ethereum newsletter. Despite implementing a screening process for which ICOs should appear on his newsletter many months ago, it has not kept Week In Ethereum clear from the ban.
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
Industry associations in South Korea, Russia, and China are however taking their frustration to the next level with the plan to sue these social media and online companies. These associations state that there’s a “cartel collusion” among Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
While it is uncertain whether MailChimp will be apart of this lawsuit to be filed in May, many individuals expressed great anger towards the falling bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices as a result of these cryptocurrency advertising bans.