Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain, keep on entwining with different parts of our everyday lives and real economy. However, it is just as innovative for such a multimillion dollar global industry as porn.
It’s already several years since adult industry started embracing Bitcoin, when banks and payment systems started blocking companies’ accounts for various reasons, be it reputation or risk management.
Chase Bank was one of the first to block accounts of sex industry companies in April 2014. It was among the first instances to draw massive attention due to the bank’s status, however it was just a beginning. Shortly afterwards, City National Bank and PayPal followed the Chase Bank’s footsteps, with the latter blocking accounts of porn star Teal Conrad.
Chase Bank ended up blocking over a hundred customer accounts of companies linked to the adult industry. Free Speech Coalition, the industry’s trade group, decided not to seek legal action to protect the industry’s personal and financial interests. Instead, the porn industry opted to use bitcoin as an alternative means of payment.
Brazzers aka Pornhub
It’s hard to tell how many “adult” companies actually use bitcoin, so let’s take a look at, MindGeek (former ManWin), as one of the most prominent examples. The IT conglomerate is the leading service providers for the porn industry, and the company was one of the first to offer the customers bitcoin as means of payment.
The initiative has been successfully tested in client networks including PornHub (over 20 million visitors a day), RedTube, YouPorn, webcams.com, brazzers.com, and realitykings.com. Eventually, Bitcoin was integrated across all the websites serviced by MindGeek. The company itself has recently moved to Dublin to take advantage of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly tax environment.
Meanwhile, the competitors aren’t watching it in silence and in August 2016 Cheaporn.net was launched to provide access to most popular porn video sites. Users can pay with bitcoin and share accounts, and since the latter feature is not quite endorsed by centralized payment operators, the proposed model works pretty well with cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is also gaining popularity amongst the VR porn studios. Many of them still use cards and PayPal, but the unpredictability they face with the banks makes bitcoin an obvious choice.
Taking a look at the list of VR porn studios will help you realize the enormous potential of the market. Even though currently there are no sites accepting solely cryptocurrency, this might be just a matter of time.
The technology also may tackle other problems of the porn industry including illegal content distribution and user confidentiality.
It’s not so much bitcoin as its underlying technologies that can help here. Recently, Swiss startup DECENT and Naughty America, one of the major adult content production companies in the USA, agreed to work on a pilot project that will implement progressive Digital Rights Management (DRM) by utilizing the most recent advancements in Blockchain Technology, Digital Video Fingerprinting and Cryptography.
“Fighting piracy and protecting privacy are key priorities for Naughty America. Decent offers us the ability to accomplish both at the same time due to the technology’s level of security, transparency, and inalterability of records,”, said Ian Paul, CIO of Naughty America.
Thus, blockchain could make all those fierce discussions around the authenticity of video footages of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado obsolete.
The Venezuelan beauty could play some role in the US presidential campaign, however, there are lots of intimate videos depicting her across the web whose authenticity she has to repeatedly denounce.
In any case, blockchain and bitcoin, just as other industries, look to be on their way to successful integration with the the adult industry, with cooperation likely to boost both ecosystems.