In a move that further restricts entertainment and technology startup fundraising efforts, email service provider Mailchimp has declared it will no longer allow emails related to blockchain and initial coin offerings (ICO).
Mailchimp announced its policy change in an email to users, and has already begun shutting down accounts, including some from tech journalists and analysts who cover the nascent blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. The move comes on the heels of advertising bans from Facebook, Google and Twitter, among other services, making it more difficult for startups to gain market traction.
Initial coin offerings are a way for startup companies to fundraise without surrendering equity. Users contribute cryptocurrency and are rewarded with tokens that can perform various tasks in the startup ecosystems. Some may even appreciate in value if they are listed on an exchange. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has recently been investigating ICOs, claiming many are unregistered securities and thus illegal.
Mailchimp has indicated they will review journalist and analyst accounts that may have inadvertently been caught up in the purge. “MailChimp’s Legal team will take a closer look,” said a company statement on the matter.
Mailchimp’s “Acceptable Use Policy” now dictates that the company will not allow cryptocurrency related messaging through its system. “The promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies is too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices at this time,”said the company.