ProtonMail has revealed it is adding bitcoin as an official payment option and that other cryptocurrencies may soon follow.
The service, founded by a group of CERN scientists, has unofficially been accepting bitcoin since as far back as 2014, when PayPal froze a donation account linked to the project. Since then, users have been able to spend the cryptocurrency in exchange for service credits – but payments required a cumbersome manual approval process.
Now, ProtonMail is making bitcoin official and has developed an automated system to facilitate payments, according to a blog post. The firm cited rising activity on the bitcoin network as a driving factor for the upgrade.
The team wrote:
“The general increase in the number of bitcoin transactions over the years has made that [manual] approach unfeasible and made development of an automated system necessary. We feel this is indicative of a broader trend, where the increased mainstream interest in bitcoin will make it harder for merchants not to support bitcoin, which will lead to more bitcoin support, more transactions, and perhaps the continued appreciation of bitcoin prices.”
The “fragility and uncertainty of the traditional financial sector” was also cited as a reason for the service’s diversification into cryptocurrencies. As a result, ProtonMail indicated that it won’t limit crypto payment options to just bitcoin going forward.
In the blog post, the team indicated that it will look to the community for insight into which “coins or tokens” it should accept next, soliciting suggestions via social media.
“We’re excited to further deepen our connections with the cryptocurrency community with this step, and we look forward to doing our part to ensure that the brighter future promised by blockchain does become a reality,” the team wrote.
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