Your favourite Crypto Newsletter may be Suspended anytime, unless...
MailChimp's unannounced account suspensions of crypto newsletter leaves publishers dumbfounded and scrambling for new options.
MailChimp, the email marketing platform has suspended many accounts of crypto-related media platforms and content creators, and it continues the crackdown as I write this letter.
Multiple people and companies realised their accounts were deactivated when they were trying to log into Mailchimp to send their periodic Newsletter to their email list. Some have reported not having access to their contact lists as well.
This brings us to the two most important questions:
If MailChimp can do it, what is stopping other providers, including Substack where you are reading this letter?
What is the alternative to avoid this?
The short answer to these questions is we don’t know. A slightly longer answer is, that we don’t know yet, but a solution may be on its way.
Let’s explore together.
But before that, would you please subscribe to the newsletter if you haven’t already? It is free and I really appreciate the support.
MailChimp Suspends Crypto Newsletters
The email marketing platform Mailchimp appears to have suspended the accounts of several crypto-related firms, according to some of the affected platforms.
Some prominent customers affected by this include self-custody crypto wallet Edge, crypto intelligence firm Messari, NFT collection Cryptoon Goonz, and Tech News platform Decrypt, which says they were using the service for over four years among many others.
Here’s Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari Intelligence tweeting at Mailchimp on Wednesday.
More representatives of companies and Crypto content creators took to Twitter about the abrupt deactivation of their accounts. NFT artists Jesse Friedland and Ocarina, founder of Akash Network Greg Osuri, are few amongst many affected.
MailChimp is owned by the tax software giant Intuit. A Tax tool’s allegiance against crypto should not be surprising. What is surprising about the move is that these creators cannot even access their subscriber list. This is more akin to creating a bulwark against information sites that write about crypto and less of a move to simply not support crypto-related content.
And there is no guarantee that platforms like Medium and Substack, or services like Elastic email will not one day shut their doors in the face of crypto content. Even then why are people that predominantly side with crypto using services that are hosted on centralised infrastructure?
If Web2 is our enemy, we shouldn’t be in bed with them in the first place.
Maybe because it is easy. You can start your newsletter in a minute and it will rely on battle-tested infrastructure to ensure that it is delivered to the inboxes of your subscribers. Web3 on the other hand is not that easy to use.
Web3 Native Alternatives to MailChimp
Meet Richa Joshi, she’s the co-founder of Ethereum Push Notification Service. Using EPNS, one can create channels that send a notification to subscribers in their wallets on-chain - i.e decentralised notifications. She suggested this alternative to Ryan Selkis. The latter is yet to respond.
The headline of this section is a fallacy. There are no Web3 Native information platforms to compete with MailChimp.
What Richa Joshi is suggesting is sending information over a network, much like email, but nothing like an email.
There is no Web3 replacement for emails, yet. And as long as you want to communicate with your audience via emails, you have to rely on these centralised services to do so.
If you find a service that is open to crypto content, tomorrow, a relayer like Gmail may decide to shut it down.
We have Web3-centric publications, that use distributed infrastructures like IPFS to store content and are further secured by access control on smart contracts. Arcana is one such project that is working towards building decentralized Authentication, storage and access.
But it still cannot beat emails. The only move away from such issues is to move away from emails.
As Daniel Kuhn puts it,
Is crypto just this abstract thing you talk about on podcasts or emails or Discord? Or is it truly a seismic shift between powers? It would probably be clearer if crypto’s proponents actually used the platforms they proclaim to support.
As long as crypto’s proponents use services built on Web2 infra, we reserve no right to criticize it so vehemently.
What MailChimp did seems preposterous to those affected, but objectively, it simply chose to enforce its policies, which prohibit content on crypto.
Readers, none of us here can see in the future, but shaping Web3 as the successor to Web2, is a distant dream with many hurdles along the way. The only question is, are we ready to make the change?
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