Bitporn: The naughty side of the coinby Michael K. Hamilton @ 2014-04-11 02:19 AM
“Utilizing Bitcoins for adult entertainment offers clients a degree of anonymity exceeding even the use of cash for such transactions,” reads a post on the website for Bunnies of Las Vegas [NSFW], an escort service that just announced Wednesday it would begin accepting Bitcoin payments.
In a town — and an industry — that values discretion, the anonymity crypto-currencies provide could be a game changer.
For escort services, crypto-currency payments are easily integrated into the business model. For porn, however, there are a couple of problems.
We touched on this idea back around Valentine’s Day. The main issue right now is that Bitcoin does not allow for recurring payments, which is the preferred model for most pay porn sites. Most subscribers seem unlikely to manually update their subscriptions.
One place Bitcoin does seem to work, though, is on cam sites [NSFW]. The direct payment feature of Bitcoin and other digital currencies means an on-cam entertainer can collect tips immediately and discretely.
These ideas also tie into a recent episode of The Sex & Science Hour podcast with Dr Stephanie Murphy and Brian Sovryn. Go to the about the 17:00 minute mark, and there is a segment in which the two hosts rant about Bitcoin’s adoption in porn being a hush-hush kind of thing.
While sites such as Porn.com and FetLife have been accepting Bitcoin payments for months now, the community tends to downplay it.
“Nobody’s talking about these things, and I think it’s just as exciting as Overstock or TigerDirect,” Murphy said.
The hosts note that pornography and adult industries have been at the forefront of a number of innovations over the last 170 years. Murphy notes that the female sex workers from the Californian gold rush of the mid 19th century went on to become some of the major entrepreneurs of the American frontier.
And Sovryn noted that pornography was a major reason for the development and proliferation of the technology behind early photography.
Yet we remain mum on the topic in crypto-currency circles, possibly because of the bad press the currencies already get.
“If [adult businesses accepting Bitcoin do] get coverage, it seems like it gets this, like, ‘Oh, this is a bad, scandalous thing,’ like, ‘Bitcoin’s sexy side,’” Murphy said.
You can hear the whole podcast here.
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