Pornhub, the ninth most visited website in the world, today announced they would accept Bitcoin and Litecoin as payment options for its premium service.
The site became a pioneer in 2018 when it was the first significant adult website to accept cryptocurrency.
Since then, Pornhub has gone on to expand its range of crypto payment options. Users can already pay with Verge, Horizen, Tron, Tether, and PumaPay.
To further expand our cryptocurrency options for Pornhub Premium, we're excited to announce that we now accept Bitcoin & Litecoin as payment methods! 🪙 https://t.co/IqHra9Pu9h
— Pornhub Premium (@pornhub_premium) September 1, 2020
What’s more, the firm also offers models the choice of payment in crypto as well. The move was a response to PayPal’s crackdown on NSFW content creators at the end of last year.
This saw an outcry from liberals who accused PayPal of discriminating against sex workers. Also, the firm took further flak on the grounds of stifling personal freedoms through censorship.
In response, a spokesperson for Pornhub said the decision by PayPal only perpetuates prejudice against sex workers. As such, the firm will continue to look into alternative payment methods, including cryptocurrency.
“Decisions like that of PayPal and other major companies do nothing but harm efforts to end discrimination and stigma towards sex workers. While we still have several payment methods for our models available, we will continue to add more sex worker friendly ones and explore cryptocurrency options in the near future.“
With today’s announcement that Bitcoin and Litecoin would be accepted for premium services, the relationship between technology and porn has never looked stronger.
Pornography is at the Forefront of Technological Innovation
The connection between tech innovation and porn is a strong one. Many point to the rise of VHS in the 1970s as a prime example of that.
Back then, porn movies accounted for half of all videotape sales in the US.
But this connection isn’t because the porn industry is “in it for the tech”. No, as Ralf Gonzo Kappe, Bitcoin enthusiast and CEO of Sharesome, a NSFW social media platform, said:
“The people in the industry weren’t geniuses or tech visionaries, but they were forced to experiment and take risks just to survive, because the adult industry was always marginalized; so the technological advance was much more a product of their marginalization than any sort of vision.”
As such, it was primarily the stigma attached to porn that was the driving force behind the industry’s adoption of tech innovations.
And the same story is playing out today. But this time with cryptocurrency which also suffers from an image problem in the eyes of the general public.
Pornhub and Bitcoin, a Match Made in Heaven?
According to Pornhub Vice President Corey Price, less than 1% of users pay for the premium service using cryptocurrency.
But Price said that back in 2018 when Verge was the only crypto payment option available.
Although Pornhub has since added other cryptocurrency options, none are comparable with Bitcoin, or even Litecoin, in terms of the brand power, market cap, the number of wallets, etc.
As such, it’s likely that the appeal of big hitters, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, can further strengthen Pornhub’s drive to shake the taboo image of porn.