Crypto

Cryptocurrency and porn seemed to be made for each other, but so far this relationship has been a flop

It was April 2018, and pornstars Brigitte B and Alix Lynx were driving a Lamborghini to Silicon Valley, followed by other luxury cars, for a Pornhub advertising campaign: the famous porn site had decided to accept payments with the crypto currency Verge.

The cars had the slogan „the future has arrived“ and the partnership attracted the attention of the media all over the world. A video of the event said: „One day you will tell your grandchildren about this historic moment: April 17, 2018; the day when everything changed“.

The opportunity seemed enormous. Estimates vary widely, but the porn industry is worth between $6 and $97 billion a year – many even claim the industry is more profitable than Hollywood.

Pornhub is the king of online porn, with 92 million daily visitors and 33.5 billion video views in 2018 alone. Verge’s price skyrocketed after the announcement.

Corey Price, the company’s vice president, predicted a bright future: „History has proven that the adult entertainment industry plays a key role in the adoption of innovative technologies. It has happened with VHS, Beta Max, credit card payments and, more recently, VR viewers. We are expecting a massive implementation of crypto and blockchain soon.

All this has not happened. After more than two years, Pornhub claims that crypto payments have not made significant progress, and still amount to 1% of the total.

A pornstar claims that crypto payments do not bring great benefits … so far

The performer Allie Eve Knox is one of the main testimonials of the use of cryptocurrency in porn. She started accepting payments in Bitcoin in 2014 and with those profits she bought her dream house, but she claims the accounts still don’t add up. In fact, he said:

„Let’s assume that 1% of people use crypto: well, maybe 3% of that 1% pay for porn. So my market is only represented by a small group of people in Venice Beach?“

Buying porn seemed a perfect use case for cryptos, as there are a number of advantages over mainstream systems. Despite the widespread belief that „no one pays for porn“, some studies seem to suggest that one in ten men actually do it.

Cryptocurrencies offer private, instant, low-cost transactions; they also leave no embarrassing traces on bank statements.

The companies in the industry are also interested in the crypto world, since both Mastercard and Visa classify them as „high risk companies“ and therefore charge very high fees, between 5 and 19%.

In addition, there is the problem of chargeback, i.e. when a user decides to request a refund directly from the payment company: in this case the payment system operators charge between 5 and 10% to the affiliate, which further erodes profits.

Not to mention those who can’t even make an agreement with a payment company or are not suddenly ousted.

Survivors Against SESTA has formulated a list of 32 financial services that discriminate against people working in the porn or adult entertainment industry, including PayPal, Venmo and TransferWise.

Certainly the fears of managers about exploiting Immediate Edge performers are well-founded, but all this, in the end, forces those who perform via cam to enter into agreements with very large portals that accept payments, but require between 20 and 50% of their receipts in return.

Over the years many tokens have been launched in the porn industry, including Titcoin, Jizzcoin, Bitcoin Adult, Bunny Coin, Sexcoin, Pinkcoin, WankCoin, Model-X coin and Kencoin.
Some of them had very interesting features, for example the Vice Industry Token from Global Blockchain Technology: this token promised to pay users to watch porn, but the company got caught up in a tough legal battle with Playboy Enterprise.

Most of these projects have disappeared or changed focus, and the vast majority of those still active have a market cap of less than a million dollars.