Home Blockchain Gerald Heydenreich, Founder of EtherMail, on Web3 Email, Tokenization, and The Future of Email

Gerald Heydenreich, Founder of EtherMail, on Web3 Email, Tokenization, and The Future of Email

Gerald Heydenreich, Founder of EtherMail, on Web3 Email, Tokenization, and The Future of Email

Sead Fadilpašić

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| 8 min read

Gerald Heydenreich, Founder of EtherMail, on Web3 Email, Tokenization, and The Future of Email | Ep. 320

In an exclusive interview with Cryptonews, Gerald Heydenreich, the founder of Web3 email platform EtherMail, talked about his path from Web1 to Web3, the similarities between Web1 and Web3, and reinventing email, which is used by 4.3 billion people globally.

The veteran entrepreneur further explained what EtherMail is and why it’s an industry changer.

In this episode, Gerald Heydenreich discussed:

  • the launch of the new Email-as-a-Wallet product;
  • EtherMail backstory and advertising platform;
  • the upcoming token and mobile app launches;
  • the future of email and how it could change email commerce forever;
  • emails not going anywhere, as 320 billion are sent every day.

You can watch the full podcast episode above or read some of what Heydenreich and Matt chatted about below.

Going From Web1 to Web3

One of the many interesting facts about Heydenreich is that his start was essentially in Web1 with his first business.

It was a crazy time – a new frontier – and it was very similar to what we’re seeing today, he argued.

“It was the same hype, the same craziness, the same crazy parties, the crazy IPOs and everything.”

Heydenreich says he loved this time filled with fundamental changes and “real visionaries.”

There was a “paradigm shift,” offering many new opportunities to those who wanted to seize them.

Web2, he suggests, is different. “A lot of the spaces have been staked, basically. People know exactly where the big players are.”

But then, a new era came. “It’s a blank level playing field for everybody. And you can really start from scratch and re-innovate.”

Gerald Heydenreich found that he was a place in Web3: learning and getting a lot of input on the one hand and, on the other, giving “a little bit back” of what he’s learned over the past two decades in Web1 and Web2 eras.

He can use the lessons he learned in the traditional building and apply them to something new. “So that’s the reason why I made the jump,” Heydenreich said.

The “triggering moment,” he said, was realizing – through Álvaro Morte’s NFT collection – just how quickly some non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can sell for a lot of money.

Following that moment, the entrepreneur dug deep to understand the crypto sector, “realizing, wow, there’s so many opportunities out there.”

Co-founder Shant Kevonian found that many projects don’t have a way to communicate effectively, asking: “Why don’t we try email and connect a wallet to an email?”

EtherMail was born.

Reinventing Email

A major step toward the much-desired mainstream adoption is creating a crypto-focused product that everyone would want to use. And what better than emails, used globally, every day, by 4.3 billion people?

But another question is, Heydenreich said, why hasn’t somebody done it already?

Per the entrepreneur, there is an inherent mindset problem sometimes, specifically with ‘degens.’

“There is a tendency to get away from everything that was there and build everything completely new.”

The assumption is that whatever existed before is inherently bad.

However, many things have the potential to evolve and improve.

Furthermore, it’s really difficult to kill something so widespread: email is the second-largest communication tool on the planet, used by individuals and businesses alike.

And that’s not all. Nobody owns email, said Heydenreich. It’s a protocol.

Communication is a marketplace. There’s a sender and a receiver. So it’s much easier if you already have a communication channel used by millions – who already know what it is – and then upgrade it.

“And that was the initial trigger for us to say, let’s reinvent email. Let’s reimagine email for Web3 by adding the features which are really great.”

With all that said, email is the best-suited product to onboard users from Web2 into Web3, Heydenreich remarked.

This method has proved to be successful so far: people understand how to enter Web3 via email and wallet-to-wallet communication.

For example, when making a purchase, these emails offer users transparency into their actions, security against scams, signing transactions within the email, and a full transaction record.

EtherMail has released the app into the iOS and Android stores. In the beginning, it has “some basic features, but step by step, we’ll actually really fill it out into a [Web3] gateway,” the founder said.

The Three Layers of EtherMail

EtherMail is a Web3-based email communication service that utilizes blockchain to facilitate anonymous, peer-to-peer (P2P) communication among users.

Per the website, its foundational principles are:

  • anonymous communication must be possible;
  • users should be compensated in proportion to how valuable they are to advertisers;
  • users should be able to communicate with each other freely.

So, EtherMail is essentially three different things at the same time, Heydenreich told the viewers.

Number One: The Inbox Email

The wallet address at EtherMail.io is used as any other email with additional benefits that only Web3 allows. You can receive token- and NFT-related emails in your inbox.

Depending on the type of wallet used, the founder said, users give out only the amount of information they want. Using the purchase example from above, they provide only the information necessary to buy what they want to.

Furthermore, instead of a 12-or-so-step process to buy something through an email offer, this solution can do so in two steps. “So it makes a huge difference because all of a sudden, the email is payment, identification, and encryption.”

Whatever currency the two parties agree on will be sent. “At the beginning, perhaps it’s USDC because the company might not be willing to accept cryptocurrencies. But in the future, they might also accept ETH.”

“And the beauty” is that there is no reason to urge businesses to change systems: they already use emails.

Another example is that users can send money via email because it’s a wallet-to-wallet transaction.

Number Two: The Company Side

On the sender side, the email looks at what the wallet contains and, based on activity, can send customized emails, Heydenreich said.

The system can also look at the smart contract layer and provide the company with a self-updating registry of all the emails of the current holders of that company’s token and NFT.

“It is ensuring that you always have an updated information connection to the people who own your assets.”

Another example is the future tokenization of assets, stocks, and bonds, among other things.

The wallet will enable a direct communication channel between the issuer of those assets and the holder for as long as the holder has them in the wallet.

Number Three: Changing The Way Advertisement Is Done

“The EtherMail solution allows advertisers and users to collectively provide a high-quality email marketing and communication experience in which both parties know what they’re getting from each other,” the website says.

Today, we receive a lot of spam in our inboxes, and if we are interested in a service/product, we need to subscribe and give permission to receive promotional content. We also lose track of these permissions.

Companies may also decide to sell our data, or it can be stolen in a security breach.

Web3 changes this, says Gerald Heydenreich. The permission layer will go to the user. EtherMail’s privacy wall lets users define from whom they’re willing to receive advertisements.

“We essentially give back advertising money to the users because today, of course, Facebook, Google, they don’t share their advertising with you.”

EtherMail converts a significant portion of the advertising revenue into the soon-to-be-launched email token (EMT) and gives it to the users, Heydenreich said.

They aim to make it a universal email token, Heydenreich noted. They will be releasing it, not on a time-based schedule, but on a user-based schedule, to ensure that there is a supply and demand.

“We believe that the invasion of your privacy in your inbox means your time,” Heydenreich said. This is compensation for the time you took to open it, read it, delete it, interact with it, invite other users, etc.

Also, the team is in the process of negotiating that the EMT can be used in the ecosystem’s third-party applications.

In the future, the AI could also use this communication channel to interact with other protocols that do things on your behalf, Heydenreich said. It’s a transaction and a payment layer, and it knows what you need. “It will just do things automatically.”

Therefore, email is not going anywhere, the founder said. “It will definitely stay, provided that actually can also evolve into something new. And, of course, we hope that EtherMail will be the next Gmail of the future.”


About Gerald Heydenreich

Gerald Heydenreich is a seasoned entrepreneur who has consistently demonstrated his ability to innovate and grow businesses across various sectors.

Starting at age 25, he founded Portum, the first European B2B reverse online auction and sourcing events platform with more than $1 billion trading volume. He later sold it to CapGemini/IBX.

Heydenreich then co-founded BuyVIP, a European private sales club that scaled to over 8 million users, with $120 million in revenues. It was acquired by Amazon.

Heydenreich also created Pippa&Jean, a social selling community with more than 3,500 female entrepreneurs.

Currently, Heydenreich is serving as the President and co-founder of EtherMail, a Web3 email platform building the bridge between Web2 and Web3 to bring full inbox ownership, control, and sovereignty back to users.

He also leads the Barcelona Blockchain Network, which he co-founded with Shant Kevonian, a venture studio focusing on Web3 and AI start-ups.

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