Why PornHub Accepting Cryptocurrency Is A Big, Big Deal

Senior Contributor
04.17.18
pornhub accepting cryptocurrency

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PornHub is no stranger to bold publicity stunts, like handing out college scholarships and giving the good people of Upper Dicker a much-deserved price break. So it’d be easy to write off the announcement they’d begin accepting Verge cryptocurrency for some products as another publicity ploy. But it might, instead, be the break cryptocurrency needs.

PornHub isn’t letting you buy everything via Verge (XVG) just yet, even if their, ah, memorable announcement video implies it’s the way of the future. Any recurring payments, like monthly subscriptions, will need to be done through credit cards or more conventional payment methods, since any cryptocurrency has some degree of volatility. But for one-off purchases, you’ll be able to use Verge, if you so desire. Needless to say, cryptocurrency investors have been buying up Verge and otherwise bracing for the value to spike. But, long-term, PornHub may have finally found a problem cryptocurrency can actually solve, and it’s also, however quiet, a political move.

One of the fundamental challenges cryptocurrency has faced is that it tends to be treated as an asset, when the goal is to become a currency. You don’t take a Renaissance painting to the grocery store to pick up a week’s worth of food, and get a few Monets back as change, after all. The problem for cryptocurrencies is that for the vast majority of us, it’s a lot easier to use dollars and cents for day-to-day stuff and personal purchases.

Porn might be the one widespread, legitimate purchase that most people want to keep off their credit card statements and the like. Admittedly, it’s not like porn companies put “This guy looks at so much porn” on your statement in the first place, but our interior sexual lives are something we like to keep as private as possible. And with the rise of governments attempting to force you to register your sexual tastes with them, and the presence of laws that are trying to stamp out sex work on the internet, one of the next great internet privacy fights appears to be whether you can anonymously access porn or engage in sex work.

In other words, it’s an ideal problem for cryptocurrency to solve. While cryptocurrency’s anonymity is heavily disputed in some quarters, it’s undeniably a bit harder to trace than a serial number with your name attached to it. Even if governments back off on their quest to create a database of people going to town on themselves, there’s still a degree of privacy available via crypto that people will value. We may never use cryptocurrency to buy groceries, but hey, a little more privacy is worth a premium.

(via Fortune)

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