Strike CEO Jack Mallers tweeted a thread explaining how he was able to significantly mitigate spam mail to his email. Mallers cites a 2012 study that found that 88% of all emails being sent are spam or unsolicited. In 2022, that percentage is now around 85% but there are now significantly more email accounts when compared to 2012 and a 3% decrease would be considered by most to be an insignificant improvement for email filtering.
Mallers goes on to explain that the best way, in theory, to limit emails would be to include a cost for the sender. This method would monetize the receiver’s time and attention. Costs for legitimate senders would be affordable but very expensive for spammers.
Blockstream CEO Adam Back’s original idea for this was HashCash when he proposed it in 1997. Unfortunately, at the time there was no native internet currency that could be transacted quickly and at very small amounts.
With Bitcoin, transactions across the globe may now be done instantly with Lightning and at near zero cost for settlement.
Mallers explains that all Strike users may now claim a free email account with reacher.me. With their reacher.me account, the receiver may set the amount required for senders to pay in order to send emails. The reacher.me email essentially forwards all traffic to the receiver’s personal email that they signed up for with Strike.
For example, Jack signed up for a Strike account with his firstname.lastname@example.org account (the email is not a real account and is being used for this example). He may then claim a reacher.me email by signing in with his email@example.com email. Jack claims the firstname.lastname@example.org email and will only share his email@example.com email with close friends and family. Jack may then decide that his firstname.lastname@example.org email will be available for the public and anyone willing to pay a $1 fee to send an email will have their message sent and read.
Anyone sending an email to Mallers will first be emailed a Lightning invoice for $1 to be paid. Once paid, the sender's email will be seen and read by Mallers. Of course, Mallers is under no obligation to reply back but it is now guaranteed with Lightning that he will receive the sender’s email.
Mallers has also released the code as open-source for other developers to use and implement in other platforms. At this time, Strike’s new feature is only available for current Strike users.