Blockchain Non-Profit Trips Mailchimp and Youtube’s Anti-ICO Clause

Blockchain Non-Profit Trips Mailchimp and Youtube’s Anti-ICO Clause

Mailchimp’s anti-ICO policy from 2018 targeted a registered blockchain non-profit

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Youtube and Mailchimp appear to be continuing their policy of indiscriminate bans in the crypto sphere. The Blockchain Education Network, or BEN, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, saw its Mailchimp account temporarily restricted due to alleged violations of its terms of use.

According to a tweet published on April 9, Mailchimp’s automated scanning tool concluded that BEN violates its “acceptable use” policy, which notably restricts marketing of initial coin offerings, or ICOs.

The non-profit pointed out that it does not promote ICOs in any way, and noted that this ban adds on top of a similar restriction from Youtube.

Specifically, Youtube appears to have cut its livestream short after just six minutes, claiming that its content was against community guidelines. The video was related to The Giving Block’s charity initiative

BEN is an organization that connects university students who are interested in blockchain. It provides support to blockchain student clubs, in addition to organizing mentorship programs and other community development initiatives, to users around the world.

Although the non-profit’s founder, Erick Pinos, told Cointelegraph that Mailchimp lifted the restrictions on April 9 following an appeal, he revealed that this is BEN’s second account. Its initial profile was banned in 2017 and still remains locked. An appeal with Youtube regarding the livestream has not been answered for almost a week.

ICOs are dead, but the bans remain

Most of the restrictions found on popular content platforms date to 2017 and 2018, when the ICO market was in full swing.

Many offerings were reported to be scams, so the restrictions were justified as a way of protecting users. By late 2018 however, ICO funding dried up almost completely. 

While a short revival occurred in 2019 with initial exchange offerings, or IEOs, crowdfunding performance has been overall lackluster since the end of the ICO boom. 

Youtube renewed its “crypto purge” bans in late 2019. By early 2020, many influencers had seen their accounts suspended without warning. While decentralized alternatives do exist, they are far less popular among normal users.

Automated bans were largely rolled back, as happened with BEN, but these recent events indicate that prejudice against the crypto industry still remains rampant.


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Mailchimp’s anti-ICO policy from 2018 targeted a registered blockchain non-profit

Anti-ICO Chairman of South Korean Financial Regulator Resigns as Expected

Anti-ICO Chairman of South Korean Financial Regulator Resigns as Expected

The anti-ICO chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission has resigned, just before the end of his term in office

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Financial Services Commission (FSC) chairman Choi Jong-ku, a governmental official in South Korea who took a hard line on domestic Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), has tendered his resignation. The Korea Times reported the chairman’s decision on July 18.

„I recently tendered my resignation to President Moon Jae-in to widen the scope of his choice before the expected reshuffle,“ Choi said.

According to the report, officials in the finance sector expected Choi Jong-ku’s resignation, since historically the finance chair does not complete their term in office. There are also reported rumors that Choi will run for a National Assembly seat in 2020, but the former chairman says he is not planning on it. 

As previously reported by Reuters, South Korea decided to ban ICOs, and any means of crypto fundraising, in September 2017. The FSC reportedly made the decision with Choi chairing the commission at the time.

In January, the FSC said it would uphold the country’s ICO ban. South Korea originally banned ICOs due to concerns over stability and manipulation. In upholding the ban, an FSC spokesperson reportedly commented on issues the commission sees with enforcing ICO-related laws in a timely manner:

“If there is an unlawful act, a third party has to intervene, but it is difficult to intervene until the transaction volume or price soars.” 

Choi is skeptical on ICOs, but not opposed to crypto and blockchain innovation

Choi also voiced opinions in favor of crypto exchanges holding bank accounts during his term, with the stipulation that such exchanges have sufficient Anti-Money Laundering  and Know Your Customer regulations. Choi’s statements were welcomed by the Korea Blockchain Association — an organization that promotes the dissemination of education on blockchain technology, according to its website

In March 2018, Choi spoke on the possibilities of the fintech sector, as the FSC pivoted from simply regulating emerging technologies to taking a more supportive role. Choi then said, “Fintech is an area that requires new technologies, and it will solve the youth job problem by increasing job positions for young people.”


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The anti-ICO chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission has resigned, just before the end of his term in office