Spam email could be a victim of the blockchain revolution, after software giant Salesforce was granted a patent for a blockchain-based anti-spam platform. While spam filters have improved hugely in recent years, spam still accounts for 45% of all emails sent, costing businesses a colossal $20.5 billion every year in wasted resources and lost productivity. Many businesses therefore would be grateful for a system that prevents its arrival in the first place.
Email Matching Service
Salesforce’s solution to email spam involves a matching service, where a component of a sent email is recorded on the blockchain that the receiving server checks when the email arrives. If the components match then the email continues to the recipient, and if it doesn’t it gets blocked. Used properly, Salesforce claim, “…the immutability and distributed nature of the blockchain can make it impossible to modify information once it has been committed to the blockchain.” They also envision other uses for the system such as the transfer of medical records, property deeds and rights, legal documents, educational transcripts and more, adding a layer of authenticity to such critical information transfers. With blockchain already being used to verify the transfer of diamonds and confirm authenticity of event tickets, authenticating email and documents is a natural use-case for the technology.
And the Winner is…
Salesforce has competition in this arena from email management platform Credo whose BitBounce token launched in September 2017, and was backed by well-known investor Tim Draper. BitBounce adopts a very different approach to solving the spam problem, allowing recipients of emails from unknown senders to request payment in cryptocurrency before the email is released from the server, ensuring the email sender is genuine. Whether either of these approaches, or a different one entirely, solves the issue of email spam, whoever finds the right formula may just have struck gold.