PayPal Shuts Down Secure Messaging Service ProtonMail’s Crowdfunding Account

In another example of why Bitcoin is probably best for online transactions, the mercurial PayPal has shut down ProtonMail’s account, freezing $270,000 in limbo until “questions” are “answered” regarding the cash. PayPal is quite good at shutting down popular funding efforts including, most notably, Wikileak’s donation provider a few years ago.

Writes Andy Yen, co-founder of the platform:

While the $275,000ProtonMail has raised in the past 2 weeks is a large amount, it pales in comparison to many othercrowdfunding campaigns that have raised sums in excess of $1,000,000 so we can’t help but wonder whyProtonMail was singled out. When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whetherProtonMail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails. We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees:“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….”It seems PayPal is trying to come up with ANY excuse they can to prevent us from receiving funds.

ProtonMail, you’ll recall, is a secure mail program designed to encrypt messages in the browser before they reach the mail server. They raised $284,008 on Indiegogo so far. Folks interested in avoiding the black hole of PayPal can send pledges to ProtonMail’s Bitcoin wallet and get the same perks. This also points to the urgent need for BTC adoption by both major crowdfunding organizations because PayPal is dangerous.

Paypal had this comment:

PayPal recently made changes to the way it handled accounts of people who were using crowdfunding sites to support their ideas. In response to customer feedback we established a streamlined process to specifically support crowdfunding campaigns. This process involves engaging crowdfunding campaign owners early on to clearly understand their campaign goals and help them ensure their campaigns are compliant with our policies and government regulations.

In the case of ProtonMail, a technical problem this week resulted in PayPal applying restrictions to the account. We have contacted ProtonMail today to solve this and can confirm that ProtonMail is able to receive or send funds through PayPal again. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.