23 September 2020
The nature of blockchain technology has brought an evolution in the space of innovation and technology. One of the key features of blockchain is ‘decentralization’ - meaning its process is not controlled by a central or an authoritative entity or organization. Thus, blockchain technology can be used in various industries - one such service being - “Email”. When a new technology is introduced in any industry; it might not resolve or fix all the problems, rather the approach is to improvise the existential process or system.
The digital world today connects every person from any corner of the world but this same boon also has downfalls like cyberattack, hacking, or issues related to security and privacy. Likewise, email - Electronic mail - faces privacy and security issues, almost every day the users report security breach while many install additional security software or move to a different email client. Changing passwords, installing additional software, or checking in additional security features like 2FA is counterproductive but it isn’t enough for the cunning hackers to deflect from their tricks.
Yahoo - a web service provider, had reported a hack in August 2013 of one billion user accounts which they announced in December 2016 while it had also reported about 500 million user accounts being stolen in 2014.
The use of blockchain in email can boost security and efficiency in the process, also the underlying technology cannot be manipulated or tampered with plus it is an automated system that will also emphasize the user account’s security, privacy, and confidentiality. Since the use of blockchain is going to be decentralized emails - the benefits it provides are that there are no central servers like the traditional ones rather the emails are stored in the blockchain, and blockchain is free of intermediaries that means third parties will not have access to your email.
In this blog, we are going to talk about the 10 known decentralized email service providers:
CounterMail is a secure and easy-to-use online email service where the user accounts will stay encrypted and anonymous. The encryption protocol is called OpenPGP which has 4096 bits encryption keys to protect data. CounterMail states itself to be the first email provider that facilitates features like diskless web servers, MITM protection, Active aliases, anonymous email headers, custom domain name, supports Windows, Linux & macOS X and many more.
Criptext is an encrypted email service that provides security, privacy, and control to the user’s account, it does not store any emails on its server and all the emails are locked with a unique key giving access to the user (sender) and the recipient. It facilitates the users to send encrypted emails through Open-Source Signal Protocol Encryption. It includes various other features like real-time email tracking, supports Windows, Android, macOS, iOS and Linux, an option to un-send emails, and user interface across platforms.
CryptaMail is one of the most popular decentralized email providers and it is built on the NxtCoin protocol. It does not consist of any central server, central point, or third party attachments. Only the user that has the password can access the account meaning even CryptaMail cannot locate or derive a password, the messages are stored in the blockchain, all the emails are encrypted.
CryptaMail has even stated on its official website, “Even we cannot locate your messages or derive your password, ever. ONLY those who know your password have access.”
Disroot facilitates online services that are based on strong principles focusing on privacy, decentralization, federation, freedom, and offer its users with no ads, no data mining, no tracking, and no profiling. The platform is free to use and provides a secure email account and it is not limited to an online email client, cloud storage by way of Nextcloud, decentralized instant messaging, editing of the document with the use of Pads, and a private online and open-source paste bin.
Hushmail is an email service provider and mainly focuses its services for business owners and organizations. It keeps its clients’ communication confidential and provides encrypted email, secure web form with built-in electronic signatures. Hushmail facilitates the users who use it for the ability to read and construct emails online along with their smartphones. The features it provides are appealing user interface, encryption, built-in web hosting, ready-made templates, and secure web forms that are personalized and can be used to create a drag-and-drop builder. It enables users to add a custom domain for businesses and create web forms.
Mailfence is an email service provider that focuses on privacy and security for email and provides features of end-to-end encryption for emails. The other features it facilitates are 2FA (2-factor authentication), spam blocker, applications for file storage, and calendar-usage, free of ads, and digital email signatures. Mailfence also provides no tracking feature- no ads, no spams, no backdoor, no trackers, no solicitations, and it is free from government surveillance. The user can create, import, publish, and manage with OpenPGP keys.
POSTEO is an email provider that is based in Berlin facilitating services like email, address books, and calendars. Their service is ad-free and self-financed and aims to provide a secure, private, and sustainable environment for its users. The other features it facilitates are 2FA, 2GB email account, open-source email, comprehensive encryption, OpenPGP encryption support, green electricity from Greenpeace Energy.
Proemtheus is a decentralized email project and provides encryption, control over your account, immunity to ransomware, personal cloud, backup and retrieve feature, borrowing space from others
Proemtheus on its website has stated, “We are creating a new internet where everything revolves around the user. An identity that will enable the user to control all his data and open unprecedented business opportunities.”
ProtonMail is an open-source email service provider based in Switzerland while the project receives its funds through donations and paid accounts. It facilitates ad-free model, privacy, security, end-to-end encryption protocols, zero access encryption for the security of emails, no storage of IP logs, custom domain and 2FA. It also enables its users to establish an expiration time for the email to self-destruct itself
Tutanota is one of the popular decentralized email providers that focuses on the security of the email. It is easy-to-use, designed to provide privacy and security, end-to-end encryption, custom domain, calendar, 2FA, and a whitelabel for businesses. It also offers various payment plans for professional and enterprise use.