You’ve Got Mail
Most people have only used free-email. I remember using Juno and Hotmail in the late 90’s. The status quo today is Gmail, with more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Well, what is email? It’s data held on computers, owned by someone else, somewhere else. It’s sitting on physical hardware belonging to companies who have unfettered access to it. In the case of AOL, Gmail, or God forbid, Yahoo, those companies own your emails. They own your data. They will read it, categorize it, sell it, store it, and then sell it again. And don’t forget, digital records don’t degrade.
In the case of ProtonMail, your login password is actually the only private key that can access and decrypt your account, so if you lose your password, ProtonMail can’t help you. Once logged in, client-side encryption protects the contents of a message before it hits the company’s servers. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t access your messages. The servers, holding only encrypted data, are exclusively in Switzerland, under the protection of Swiss privacy laws, the strongest in the world.
At the moment, a basic paid account on ProtonMail starts at 5 euros per month or 48 euros per year, payable by credit card, bank transfer, Paypal, or Bitcoin. You can also get a subsidized free account. If you wish to encourage ProtonMail to add Zcash ($ZEC) as a payment option, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can vote or comment on the feature request.