Sneaky Transactions

giphyIt’s without question, that as technology continues to advance, payment methods and solutions are sure to follow. However, the latest buzz surrounding the volatility of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, has consumers and industry analyst scratching their heads. Just six months ago, Bitcoin had a high of nearly 19,283, but with a 59% value drop, it currently stands at 7,930. While some believe the rapid popularization of cryptocurrencies will lead to a quicker demise, some investors can’t wait to jump into the pool quick enough.

That said, we’ve all heard of some pretty unconventional purchases bitcoin holders have made in the past. We’ve read about cashing in on super bowl tickets, to even purchasing pizza. Heck, even through bankruptcy, 50 Cent amassed nearly $8 million worth of Bitcoin, but now we know those reports to be false. Bottom line, it seems like cryptocurrencies can be widely applied for any type of purchase. That said, recent reports have surfaced stating that a popular adult site has agreed to accept cryptocurrency as a viable form of payment.

 

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The Verge reports that Pornhub is accepting “Verge”cryptocurrency as a payment option. And just to clarify, there is no relation to The Verge and this form of payment. So why is this making headlines? According to Corey Price, VP at Pornhub, this new feature allows members to obtain premium subscriptions, HD and on-demand services, and merchandise. Verge can also be used as a payment option on the company’s sister sites as well. Now, given the volatility of the currency, users will not be able to apply this cryptocurrency to recurring payments.

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This morning, Forbes reported that the cryptocurrency experienced a massive boost this week with the announcement of the new partnership. In just 24-hours, the cryptocurrency skyrocketed 38%. Just yesterday, it was trading at $0.0824, and now, it’s at $0.1133. While it may not seem like much money now, Curtis Silver, contributor to Forbes writes, “once the porn industry embraces a technology, that technology begins to thrive.”

Verge is unique in the sense that it offers its users convenience, security, and anonymity. Even though such transactions can be seen public, the Verge cryptocurrency has a special tool that can hide certain transaction, including their IP address and location. And considering that regulators have not yet been able to tackle the digital currency market, Pornhub has prepared a legal team to assure users of the validity of the payment option. Price goes on to say, “Pornhub has always strongly valued innovation and privacy” …Really? I guess to each his own.

Porn Verge Partnership

(Due to the graphic nature of the video above, such content will not be posted)

So why do I bring this up? In a sense, it’s because in their respective ways, both the porn industry and the crypto world are a bit taboo (for lack of a better word). Neither topic is easily explained or consumed, and somewhat, considered a closeted behavior.

Recently, Harvard Business School released a podcast on the effect of pornography on society, in particular, men. Youngme Moon, Senior Dean of Strategy and Innovation, Mihir Desai, Professor of Finance, and Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Professor of Business Strategy discussed the recent state of the porn industry. All three cite an article published in the New York Times Magazine that stands behind the #MeToo movement, and provides disturbing evidence about how much porn men consume. The world of pornography has changed the way men and women look at each other, and address each other culturally and sexually.

All of this brings me back to the main point of using a cryptocurrency to secretly mask a person’s consumption/behavior towards porn. In 2016, TIME Magazine published an article citing the dangers of pornography and its effect on married couples. According to their research, married people who start watching porn are twice as likely to be divorced in the following years as those who don’t.

So, is this digital disruption, or “feature” with regards to an alternative payment option a good idea? As a business, new revenue generating opportunities are mostly welcomed with open arms, but does this new partnership cross the line? Do some of you see this as another form of acceptable payment? Or is this payment option a medium to further expedite an addiction to pornography, all while keeping it “hidden” from society. I’m curious to hear what you think.

As always, sound off in the comments and thank you for kikinitwithraf!

9 comments

  1. graceglambrecht · ·

    definitely an interesting blog post hah. I think it’s super interesting that pornhub will be accepting crypto currency but it does relate to that discretion and secretive nature of porn in general. Will be interesting to see where this goes and how it effects crypto as more interesting industries take it on as forms of payment. would also be interested to see the future data on if people use crypto for this because they already have it or because they want to keep some things in their lives a secret!

  2. Tully Horne · ·

    I think this is an interesting connection with parallels I did not realize. Although I would consider pornography more taboo than crypto I see what you are getting at. There is a clearly skeptical environment surrounding both and people struggle to see the value in both. I would consider this move by Verge exploitative. They don’t really care about the moral implications surrounding the move, they are simply trying to make money on a business opportunity. It would be interesting to see if we talk about any moral implications surrounding this in class today. There have been other moral issues surrounding crypto as well. I have heard stories of people buying fake IDs using crypto as well as other illegal purchases. It points to the larger issue that regulators need to find a way to regulate crypto if it is going to be here to stay.

  3. katherinekorol · ·

    It’s funny to me that people are so secretive with this type of thing, when it is pretty much accepted that porn is a a huge industry in our society. I think that pretty much every woman knows that men are gonna use it no matter what, but I think we’d prefer if it weren’t so secretive, because that makes it seem more sketchy. Pornhub is probably doing this for the reason that people are embarrassed to have this sort of thing show up in their regular transactions, so if users can pay with money that isn’t regulated or tracked they would prefer that. For that reason, I can understand the move they made with Verge.

  4. mikecarillo111 · ·

    I laughed a little when reading this but then found it really alarming. I’ve read a few articles about the porn statistics with married couples and I think it is wildly interesting. Your idea of is being able to mask who you are could create an even larger divide among those married couples because the person using it might never have to admit to the purchase. I think the discussion of porn is still taboo amongst people even though it is definitely used a lot (usually by men). I would love to see the gender statistics on who would be using this form of payment but obviously its so it will be anonymous. Great post, very different.

  5. Yes, I think a clear market for cryptocurrency is being able to make digital payments for taboo services, whether it be sex, drugs, or illegal services. Bitcoin is huge with Mexican Drug Cartels.

  6. NeroC1337 · ·

    My question is that is it good to have all transaction so secretive? Even though the record of the transaction is public to everyone, like you said, people could not track the IP, identify the person; in that case, who is going to hold accountable for making that transaction. Not saying that people shall hold accountable to transaction on website like Pornhub, but what happened when a person is making payment for guns, illegal drugs, would there be a way to track that transaction, and hold that person accountable?

  7. tylercook95 · ·

    I feel like the whole idea of privacy with the payments is going to just add to the added stigma with the porn industry. There are obviously many issues with the porn industry that I won’t get into in this comment, but It is a massive industry with a huge amount of “fans”. I feel like if we are trying to make to make this industry more accepted then this isn’t going to help. I wonder how this will affect the brand perception of verge currency because with Pornhub being such a polarizing brand, verge may get some of the backlashes from working with them.

  8. DingnanZhou · ·

    An interesting post! Partnering with blockchain/cryptocurrency is a hot trend right now. It used to be the case where the stock price of a company soared once the magic word appeared. I was wondering if that is really going to guide a users to embrace another currency like Verge? Purchasing digital currency still needs some work, which would put itself into disadvantage in the aspect of convenience. I am intrigued to see how the results are going to turn out.

  9. JohnWalshFilms · ·

    An interesting blog post to say the least; with so much talk about privacy with regard to Facebook data, it’s somewhat disappointing to think that far too many men are only thinking about the privacy of their PornHub payments… Though I admittedly do not understand blockchain and cryptocurrency very well, it’s definitely concerning to hear the ways it can promote problematic and criminal activities.

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