Gonzo Crypto Blog - Porn Detour
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Aug. 29, 2018
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High five to all!

This week, I’ll talk about the two things I hold dear: cryptocurrencies and pornography.

As a self-proclaimed expert on both, lately I’ve been seeing far too many news about major porn sites accepting crypto as payment, so this got me excited.

The pornography industry it actually one of the most powerful entities out there, and not just on the web. Have you ever wondered why your parents used VHS tapes and not any other format? Why BluRay is the current high-definition standard? Why is the internet still around? Why is video streaming even a thing? Finally, why do we even have online credit card payments?

It’s all because of porn...

Gonzo Crypto Blog - Week Seven
Gonzo Crypto Blog - Porn Detour
A scene from "Closer". Columbia Pictures

Back in 1896, a film called Le Coucher de la Mariée essentially gave birth to the industry. In 1958, the Super 8 cameras became a standard for porn industry which drove the sales through the roof. During the 1970s, VHS and Betamax were both shooting for the title of the mass-adopted home viewing format. Betamax had better quality, but the tapes could only fit 1 hour worth of footage, 3 times less than VHS could. Again, the porn industry adopted VHS as its go-to format and the rest is history. Be honest, have you even heard of Betamax?

Several decades later, exactly the same thing happened with the HD DVD vs. BluRay battle. In the meantime, porn basically kept the internet afloat, forming a solid consumer base for the new technology almost immediately after it came out. Then, it was porn that pioneered video streaming and online credit card transactions. It’s safe to say that the entire streaming and e-commerce markets was built upon people searching for convenient ways to look at other people get naked.

Gonzo Crypto Blog - Porn Detour
A scene from "The Full Monty." Fox Searchlight Pictures

Pornography has a history of shaping the tech industry - whatever format was the most suitable for distributing pictures of people rubbing up against each other, would stay afloat, all of its competition will sink into oblivion.

Imagine if for some reason in a not-so-distant future cryptocurrencies will become direct competitors of, say, credit cards and at some point porn sites will just decide to only accept crypto payments. I think that is the shortest potential route to world-wide mass-adoption.

Back in 2010, even Satoshi Nakamoto pointed out that Bitcoin would be very useful as a payment method for porn, all the while listing literarily all the benefits of using crypto for such payments, so that I don’t have to:

At the very beginning, Bitcoin got a lot of bad rep for effectively being the official currency of the dark web, money-launderers and online gamblers. Fast forward a few years and you can buy plane tickets, book hotel rooms, purchase luxury cars and yachts and pay for dinner in a handful of restaurants worldwide with your bitcoins. This paradigm changed, but porn sites have always been waiting for a giving hand of crypto enthusiasts.

There is a ton of different adult sites that accept crypto. Here’s one, handily named Bitcoin Porn Directory. For quite some time, we only had relatively small sites attracting new customers by introducing cryptocurrency payments, but it’s 2018 now and some of the biggest names in the industry will happily free up your hands from crypto. That includes Naughty America, LiveJasmin, Chaturbate, Playboy Plus and Brazzers.

And, of course, the mighty PornHub with its 90 million daily users. As far as I remember, they used to accept bitcoin, but like many other companies that tried attracting new audiences, they had to get rid of that option because of its volatility. These days, they seem to have come back around. At the time of writing, they accept three different cryptocurrencies:

Just so you understand, I had to navigate through PornHub in a crowded co-working space to retrieve that screenshot. I had to type in my username, password and e-mail address into a form, the background of which was a massive picture of a naked lady with a certain part of a naked guy’s body in her mouth. Out of all the people in the room only a few were surprize at what was up on my screen, some noded to show their admiration - shame there weren’t any fit girls among them, would have been a double win!

Also, what’s interesting is that I actually have quite a bit of Verge and Tron kicking about in my Binance account. I’m not going to start a membership though.

Gonzo Crypto Blog - Week Seven

It seems that PornHub is going all out with the cryptocurrency adoption: they’ve recently announced a partnership with some service called PumaPay, which is somehow supposed to enable merchants to ‘pull’ crypto funds from their customers’ accounts. This is actually very interesting - it sounds just like direct debit, but with crypto, which is immediately kind of suspicious, but if PornHub is backing it, this could turn out fine.

Paying for premium accounts isn’t the only way the adult entertainment industry is embracing the crypto. In another recent announcement that went viral, PornHub’s subsidiary Tube8 expressed its desire to pay users for interacting with the website’s free content. To do this, they’re partnering up with a blockchain platform Vice Industry Token (VIT). The objective here is clear: more clicks, more comments, more upvotes. I’ve already analyzed this approach last week, saying that to me it seems like an ICO with extra steps. VIT tokens get distributed, while both Tube8 and Vice Industry will get more ad revenue. Sort of a win-win situations for everyone, but it still smells a bit fishy.

Those are not the first of PornHub’s ventures into tokenisation: in 2015, they’ve released a cryptocurrency called Titcoin, which sports a particularly attractive ticker TIT. To be honest, it sounded like an April fools joke, but i found this:

So far, it seems that the adult industry and the cryptocurrency market are finally set for a romantic adventure, right? Well, not really. As with any other industry eyeing up the blockchain technology and crypto payments, there’s way too many projects basically offering the same thing.

After a quick research, I found 19 tokens, with every single one of them designed to ‘improve the adult industry’.

Frankly, the best thing about them are their names: you already know about Titcoin, but did you know there’s also a TittieCoin and a BigBoobsCoin? What about SpankChain and FapCoin? There are also more vanilla tokens like AdultChain, LOVR and Intimate. The one that actually stands out is called Hussy, and it’s not about porn, its motto is ‘Making the oldest profession safer’. Not bad, huh?

I always thought that a large streaming service partnering up with a cryptocurrency should drive its value up. That’s kind of why I bought into TRON and verge in the first place. Rather surprisingly, that is not the case at all. It seems that there are a lot of conservative, and perhaps even religious investors in the market. Verge’s price decreased significantly after the PornHub announcement.

Gonzo Crypto Blog - Week Nine: Scam you Silly
Gonzo Crypto Blog - Porn Detour
A scene from “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

Moreover, this summer, litecoin, which is one of the oldest and most respected cryptocurrencies on the market, partnered up with VRPorn.com to LTC payments. That clearly wasn’t done just for hype - litecoin didn’t even make any announcements, they most likely treated this partnership as another step toward attaining utility to their token. Still, a lot of people have let go of the token.

Pornography really does exert a very disproportionate influence on technologies of any kind. I think that the crypto-porno symbiosis, when done right, will both cause the pornography renaissance and bring the mass-adoption of cryptocurrencies a lot closer to reality. We’re still a very long way from that, but it certainly can and hopefully will happen at some point soon.

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