Via BitPay, Avira Shifts to Crypto Starting With Phantom VPN Pro
German multinational internet security maestros Avira have onboarded with crypto payment processor BitPay and will now accept both bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) for the Avira Phantom VPN Pro. The company told Bitsonline it’s considering opening up other products to crypto payments in the future.
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‘Fits Very Well to Our Overall Privacy USP,’ Says Avira
Avira, which boasts more than 100 million customers, is accordingly the first in its industry to embrace cryptocurrency payments — specifically BTC and BCH for now — and have said their own “successful borderless model supports cryptocurrency’s global influence.” The Avira Phantom VPN Pro is the first of the products up for crypto, but more may be coming.
“Yes,” noted Avira Director of Commercial Systems Manjunath Jakkur Munigowda to Bitsonline, “We are taking into consideration the possibility of opening up this new payment option for other products as well in the future.”
When asked about “why crypto, why now,” Munigowda further explained:
“Cryptocurrencies eliminating the risks of credit cards is one of the selling points. The main selling point is the ‘pseudo-anonymous’ nature of cryptocurrencies, which fits very well to our overall privacy USP and especially to our Phantom VPN product.
In terms of timing we actually wanted to have payment by cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2018. However, due to other operational priorities, we had to delay the implementation and the roll out.”
Munigowda’s privacy remarks echo those of Avira CEO Travis Witteveen, who said of the crypto embrace:
“We are in the business of protecting people’s privacy, in the connected world and the inherent nature of cryptocurrency is a natural fit. Accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash from BitPay demonstrates Avira’s commitment to innovation and payments and proves Avira’s constant effort to offer to its customers the most up-to-date experiences, according to market trends/development.”
In Some Places, VPNs Can Be Make or Break for Crypto Users
Many cryptoverse denizens use VPNs (virtual private networks) in order to add another robust wrinkle of privacy to their online activities.
This practice takes on added significance in jurisdictions where authorities seek to control and even penalize privacy tech usage, e.g. crypto and VPNs. Perhaps nowhere typifies this dynamic moreso right now than Russia, where increasingly stringent crypto laws and VPN penalties (catch them if you can?) are materializing.
To control thought, you have to be able to control peoples’ actions. It’s why many of Russia’s legislators are apparently trying to flex against domestic privacy: VPNs and cryptocurrency can serve as bastions for free thought, which is precisely what’s dangerous to the powers-that-be.
What’s your take? Do you think Avira’s decision will make other internet security companies follow suit? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Komputerswiat, Columbia University