Read the full article by Jessica Klein at Motherboard.Vice.com

Sex work has long been plagued by issues surrounding privacy, payments, and security for workers and clients. How many cryptocurrency startups with “tit” in the name will it take to solve them? I aimed to find out.

From SpankChain to TittieCoin, over a dozen aptly-named digital coins are angling to turn your hard-gambled cryptocurrency into sex—in the form of dildos, escort services, and porn. Clearly, blockchain startups see an opportunity to cash in on the multi-billion-dollar adult industry.

The affair between the sex industry and cryptocurrency isn’t new. Porn has historically been ahead of the curve tech-wise, and this holds true for Bitcoin adoption. Back in 2013, UK escort service VIP Passion started accepting Bitcoin payments. Two years later, sex workers started posting Twitter tutorials on how to use Bitcoin to pay for advertisements on Backpage.com when major credit cards pulled their services from the platform due to rampant sex trafficking.

The technology also offers privacy and security for both sellers and customers. For an industry that values discretion, “privacy coins”—which boast features that hide a user’s identity even more thoroughly than Bitcoin—like Monero, Dash, and Zcash may come in handy for customers who feel shame making certain legal purchases or fear the consequences of making criminal ones, as penalties for hiring sex workers in the US can include fines as high as $25,000 along with prison time.

Then there are the dreaded fees that cam models pay. Webcam performers take home at most 70 percent of their earnings (usually less) after the site takes its cut, and blockchain-based companies are promising to change that by letting models take home 95 percent of their income.

Despite all the promise blockchain tech holds for sex workers and their clients, a growing number of startups with names like FAPcoin and Porn_X are attempting to carve out a niche in the adult industry. Few of them have products, and most of them are looking for cash. I waded through the vague promises of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)—essentially unregulated fundraising rounds—and even one timeshare to see if cryptocurrency startups really have something to offer adult service consumers and providers.