Read the full article by Mark Hay at Forbes.com

According to recent market research conducted by the porn studio VogoV, as of 2018 about 470 adult video sites, 50 webcam platforms, and 35 sex shops worldwide accept cryptocurrencies (crypto for short) as a form of payment. That may seem like a lot, but relative to the overall size of the sprawling adult industry, it really isn’t. In fact, for an industry that prides itself on a history of early tech adoption and popularization, from VHS tapes to internet payment systems, porn has approached this new form of remuneration gingerly at best. Big and well known companies especially, like Pornhub and Wicked, flirted with accepting crypto for years before making any moves. And most sites long focused on accepting Bitcoin, arguably the best known and most dominant coin, rather than exploring new or numerous alternative cryptocurrencies. Early attempts to develop coins meant to serve the adult industry specifically, like 2014’s (a little on-the-nose) Titcoin, flopped miserably.

“Businesses didn’t need to use something hazy and new, like crypto,” says VogoV co-founder Aleksei Maetnyi, also known as Markus Dupree, his adult film performer and director pseudonym. “Traditional technologies worked, and still work, pretty well” for payments. Adult companies also recognized, he adds, that (until recently) few of their customers used, or were clamoring to pay with, crypto.

Since the middle of 2017, though, the adult industry has switched gears entirely. Last year, major sites like xHamster and Naughty America finally started accepting Bitcoin. Over the first half of this year, Pornhub and some of its sister sites announced partnershipswith cryptocurrencies Horizen (formerly ZenCash), Tron, and Verge, and VRPorn.com started accepting Litecoin.

Simultaneously, and much more ambitiously, a number of entrepreneurs from the adult and crypto worlds have launched new coins and attendant payment infrastructures aimed at the adult industry. The creators of the OGO coin (VogoV), BOOTY token (SpankChain), Vice Industry Token, and WankCoin all seem to believe their systems can solve the economic woes bedeviling the industry—largely stemming from the fact few people pay for porn anymore—better than other crypto options. And they all seem to believe that, in short order, they will become the dominant crypto payment platform for adult websites and consumers worldwide, and perhaps other industries, too.

 

Mark Hay is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. He usually covers sex, desire, and the businesses built around them—from porn economics to sex toy cybersecurity to prophylactic innovations, and beyond.