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