Plan B: Pornhub goes fully crypto

The world’s largest adult website Pornhub now only accepts crypto for its premium services, following its snub by payment giants Mastercard and Visa.

Fiat backlash. The New York Times alleged last week that Pornhub hosted unacceptable and illegal content, including child abuse material.

Mastercard and Visa, not wanting to be associated with the promotion of unlawful or unethical behaviour, ceased all support for the portal in response.

So, if you want to access Pornhub’s premium content, you’ll need to pay with Bitcoin or one of 12 other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Litecoin, XRP, and Tether.

How has the news gone down? Pornhub has removed all content by anyone who isn’t a partner, stopped downloads for anything outside of its paid premium service, and beefed up its moderation teams and processes.

Digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) criticised Visa and Mastercard for attempting to dictate what people can read or watch online, and likened the move to censorship.

Given the context, one questions whether this is a hill worth dying on, but EFF’s concern with payment processors playing internet police remains valid.

Can porn do crypto? Well, the adult industry has often been an early adopter of innovative tech (think VHS, online payments, and the internet).

Indeed, this isn’t Pornhub’s first foray into digital currency. In 2018, partnered with small cap crypto Verge, and more recently added Bitcoin after PayPal stopped working with the site in September 2019.

Name a more iconic duo. Crypto and porn do seem made for each other, considering how discrete crypto payments can be — if used correctly.

Not to mention, the past few years have seen sex workers and adult content creators (particularly web cam models) adopt BTC — but crowd favorite OnlyFans has so far stayed away.

This is good for Bitcoin, got it. Well, it could be.. if people actually pay for Pornhub’s premium service. The company doesn’t share that data publicly, so it’s hard to tell exactly how big a deal this really is.

Protos has reached out to Pornhub to learn more about how much crypto it’s attracting, and we’ll update this piece should we hear back.

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