A new feature developed by Proton Mail will allow users to verify email addresses with the help of blockchain technology.
Swiss end-to-end email provider focused on encryption Proton Mail is piloting a new blockchain-based feature allowing users to verify email addresses.
In an interview with Fortune, Proton CEO Andy Yen highlighted that the new Key Transparency product has nothing to do with crypto and is essentially a “blockchain in a very pure form.” The idea is to solve the “man-in-the-middle” attack, a type of cyberattack when the attacker intercepts and controls the entire conversation.
“Maybe it is the NSA [National Security Agency] that has created a fake public key linked to you, and I’m somehow tricked into encrypting data with that public key. In order for the verification to be trusted, it needs to be public, and it needs to be unchanging.”
Andy Yen, Proton CEO
The feature will automatically compare users’ public keys — generated once they create an email on Proton — with intended recipients to ensure that emails go to the right destination.
The feature is in beta mode on Proton’s private blockchain network as of press time. However, Yen did not rule out moving the product to a public blockchain (e.g., Ethereum) once the team is sure the product is ready. The Proton CEO did not provide a timeframe for the product launch.
In late 2022, Yen publicly expressed his dilemma concerning the fate of cryptocurrencies. In an interview with Forbes, Yen revealed his uncertainty regarding Proton’s crypto reserves, saying he was unsure if the company should continue holding crypto on its balance sheet.
Proton Mail has been holding Bitcoin (BTC) on its balance sheet since 2017 and continues accepting crypto as a payment method.