Have you ever tried to sign up for a Github account? Last I checked they made you perform a bunch of scary crypto stuff on your local machine before they'd let you in. I gave up at that step, as it would have required downloading and installing a bunch of random software to pull off. No idea why they would make people do that (and it's why I still don't have a github account), but...
To limit your service to only accept customers who have navigated that minefield? Sounds like the ultimate form of adding friction to your signup process.
> Last I checked they made you perform a bunch of scary crypto stuff on your local machine before they'd let you in.
Generating an SSH key is 'scary crypto stuff' ? One would hope anyone using git, and really any developer would have already done this many times before.
> I gave up at that step, as it would have required downloading and installing a bunch of random software to pull off.
You mean install a single program, git, which is sort of a perquisite for using, well, git? The windows installer includes the programs needed to create an ssh key and macos / almost any *nix distro will already have them installed.
I think its pretty clear that elastic.io is targeted at developers and I can't possibly imagine a developer having any issue signing up for github, installing git and generating an ssh key. If such developers exist they are likely very new to development and thus probably aren't a good match for a beta signup anyway.
Do you really have no idea why they would make people do that, though? Maybe it's so that your source code can be securely protected so that only you can access it and modify it?
If it wasn't a joke of some kind I'd like to make a note to never trust any sensitive data of any kind to his products.
Considering generation of an SSH key 'scary' is a pretty strong indication to me that there is no tangible level of security being implemented.
For example, I'm a ruby developer, so yes most of the open source development I do involves Github. But even I know about (and use) projects like zip-ruby  on Bitbucket or redmine  on svn.
But you must be kidding about GitHub signup? There's nothing to install locally for a GitHub signup.
Also, saying the "crypto stuff is scary, I won't do it" is similar to the old "math is hard, lets go shopping."