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NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — If there is any sort of an application that might be appealing to a bitcoin holder, it’s likely to be pornography. With a desire to be anonymous and keep one’s fetishes from a snooping eye, bitcoin offers the perfect solution.
Because of this, the cryptocurrency offers significant opportunity for pornographic sites to increase their revenue and decrease the amount they pay in processing fees.
Porn: Bitcoin’s killer app
“I definitely believe that porn will be bitcoin’s killer app. Fast, private, and confidential payments,” said David Kay, marketing director at Sagan, the parent company of Porn.com, to The Guardian earlier this year. Because of accepting bitcoin, Kay credits a sudden increase in revenue — with 50% of all sales from users paying with bitcoin.
Naturally, this would have any pornographic business person interested.
While Porn.com is a big-name in the business, the majority of such sites on the web are small, independent content creators. These people create their own photographs, videos, and chats for their paying customers. But the challenge for these independent content creators is how to charge people.
PayPal is not an option. Al Jazeera reported back in April about how porn stars were having their PayPal accounts shut down. PayPal’s user policy does say, “You make not use the PayPal service for activities that relate to transactions involving certain sexually oriented materials or services.”
Adult content creators forget fiat
Saffron Bacchus, an adult “content creator” told Inside Bitcoins that her PayPal account was shut down too, but she was fortunate.
“Luckily there was only something like $20 on it at the time, but they held onto it for 6 months before we were allowed to send it to another account and into a bank account.” She’s since stopped accepting PayPal. But there are plenty of instances of other porn stars who lose out. “[We] keep reminding the other girls online not to use them [PayPal] either since there are constant reports on the private seller subReddit (/r/SellerCircle) of accounts getting frozen.”
There are ways to accept payment through hosting sites, but the fees are astronomical. Sites like ExtraLunchMoney, Clips4Sale, MyFreeCams, etc. can charge, at minimum, 40% of total revenue as fees.
With bitcoin, Bacchus explained, she was able to keep a significantly greater percentage of the profits.
“Since January, bitcoin has accounted for about 4% of all sales, on the order of a few thousand dollars,” she said. But it’s not just the fees that has Bacchus sold on bitcoin. “There have been a few customers who have had to use bitcoin because they’re from somewhere that payment processors block, like Brazil, Malaysia, or Saudi Arabia.”
When it comes between choosing to keep 60%, 80%, or close to 99% of the revenues, obviously an independent creator is going to choose the 99% option.
“Content creators stand to gain a lot by making the switch out of the fiat system,” Bacchus said.
Add to that the anonymity that comes with accepting bitcoin and perhaps David Kay was right when he said “Porn will be Bitcoin’s killer app.”
Written by Jacob Cohen Donnelly