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This is an extremely poorly written article. I'm glad most of the comments seem to be ignoring the actual text in it.

What collateral damage is being done? It seems to me the opposite of collateral damage is being done: Mailchimp has banned cryptocurrency-related email lists, and those writing cryptocurrency-related emails have lost that ability.

Beyond the absurdity of the title, email has always been decentralized. Anyone with a server can send or receive email with whatever technology stack they so wish. Of course, because there is no trust framework, there's no guarantee that your email will get delivered… Which is why Mailchimp validated the opposite of the article's conclusion: there is lots of value in centralizing the management of email. They can act as a trusted authority to negotiate with various email hosts and guarantee(-ish) to customers that the emails will get delivered.

> What collateral damage is being done?

The damage is that if you're writing about cryptocurrency as a topic, the same way any media publication would (rather than trying to scam anyone or sell anything) you're still getting shut down.

All of the examples in the article (zeitgeist-style newsletters) fall very clearly under a marketing umbrella by my judgement. They're the TV Guides of cryptocurrency. Maybe they don't (all) have affiliate links, but advertising is far beyond that line in 2018. If it's got the name of a specific currency in any of the emails, it's marketing.

> If it's got the name of a specific currency in any of the emails, it's marketing.

I think this is way too broad and leads to absurd conclusions. For instance there's an MIT research group whose mailing list I subscribe to (not mailchimp) and which would fall under marketing by your criteria. Papers with specific cryptocurrency names occasionally appear in top CS conferences.

Yes, capitalism has infested every corner of our existence. Universities and conferences are massive distributors of marketing materials. They are both capitalistic enterprises.

It is very difficult to find non-marketing content in modern times. Especially in America.

Do you think literally every piece of research which studies for e.g. something about ethereum is marketing for ethereum? Would you use the same logic to conclude that a systems paper that implements some novel kernel architecture by patching linux and running experiments is "marketing for Linux"? That someone implementing a novel language feature in GHC is "marketing for Haskell"? That a paper evaluating QUIC using anonymous Chrome telemetry is "marketing for Chrome"?

The whole business model of MailChimp is to get people to pay to send emails, so obviously they are not averse to marketing per se. The reason people are unhappy is that if I can send "MySQL news this week" updates to my hypothetical subscribers on MailChimp, why can't I send "Ethereum news this week"? Educational and informational materials are significantly different from "Buy my token!11"

If you're paying to send people "Ethereum news this week", it's because you have a financial interest in promoting certain things that happen on Ethereum. There are plenty of places you can discuss Ethereum without paying for it.

Fill me in here: if you're really not selling or promoting anything, what's the use case of MailChimp? MailChimp didn't make all other mailing lists and forums stop existing. It's just the service that's optimized for marketing, for the case where if someone doesn't see your e-mail, it's your loss and not theirs.

Like, if you want to have an erudite discussion of the technical and mathematical underpinnings of zk-SNARKs, there must be a substantial number of people in that discussion who are capable of setting up a Mailman server.

The New York Times has newsletters. They are 'promoting' their content by sending you email updates, but that doesn't mean they are equivalent to ICO scammers.

Here's a response from MailChimp to a nonprofit educational org that suggests they are willing to make distinctions and not just class everyone who writes blockchain-related content as shady: https://twitter.com/MailChimp/status/981554164626010112

I don't know why you'd think I'd be surprised that MailChimp has customers who use it for its purpose, which is marketing.

It seems you're saying that MailChimp should be entirely neutral and should let you promote anything you want, and they disagree. MailChimp does not want to allow cryptocurrency promotions. Cryptocurrency promotions have negative externalities. That's not collateral damage, it's the entire point of their decision.

Whether they are "equivalent to ICO scammers" doesn't enter into it.

Hi, I wrote the article (although not the title). I highlighted this as an issue because MailChimp said it would allow cryptocurrency newsletters that weren't pumping ICOs to keep doing their thing, but didn't follow through on that — or at least hasn't yet.

My biggest problem with the article is that it doesn't even define "ICO". There's this whole community around cryptocurrency trading which seems to have popped up quite suddenly in just the past year or so, with their own jargon and memes.

I own small amounts of Bitcoin and Monero, I've been following the technology with interest for quite some time, and yet the whole "crypto" craze still seems like another alien world.

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