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Whip out that Tether: Pornhub moves to crypto-only payments

BTC that BBC.

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Image: KnowTechie

It’s been a hot few months for Pornhub, the porn site you visit between Amazon deliveries. The pandemic has brought billions of visitors to the site over the last couple of months, but with it came the attention of mainstream media, critical of its content policies. After an NYT article, Pornhub reacted, updating its internal processes to comply with a righteous backlash from the public and content creators.

That wasn’t the end of it, as both Visa and Mastercard decided after an audit that they would (ahem) pull out of servicing the adult website. Many content creators rely on Pornhub’s Premium services as their main source of income, but these same creators recognize the need for Pornhub to clean up its platform, so this news was met with a heavy sigh as it seemed inevitable. The next step was for Pornhub to actually clean house and remove all unverified content.

If you’ve been on Reddit the past few days, then you know that was the next step in Pornhub’s great 2020 cleanup. Pornhub cracked down hard on user-uploaded videos, removing all that content. That’s millions of videos, removed with the tap of a button. However, that’s millions of unverified videos, some with questionable content, unable to be properly vetted or moderated. So this is a good thing. This isn’t to say that porn should be left to the professionals, but it should be left to those who are willing to be verified to stand behind their content.

That problem will fix itself. There will be more verfied users, the porn void will be filled with new content. There are still millions of videos on the site, you can still easily find whatever you need to get off, knowing that it isn’t illegal content or filmed and posted without the consent of those in the video. Again, this is a good thing. That being said, in a blog post, Pornhub expressed a slight salty response, but came to the same conclusion about the importance of removing illegal content.

It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform. The two groups that have spearheaded the campaign against our company are the NationalCenteronSexualExploitation (formerly known as Morality in Media) and Exodus Cry/TraffickingHub. These are organizations dedicated to abolishing pornography, banning material they claim is obscene, and shutting down commercial sex work. These are the same forces that have spent 50 years demonizing Playboy, the National Endowment for the Arts, sex education, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and even the American Library Association. Today, it happens to be Pornhub. In today’s world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts. We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example.

So that solves that. No more illegal content. Now, what about payment processing?

After Paypal left the platform in 2019, Pornhub dipped the tip in accepting crypto payments, starting with Verge (XVG), Tron (TRX), and Tether (USDT). Pornhub is now accepting Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), NEM (XEM), ZCash (ZEC), and Waves (WAVES). If the big credit card companies want to go out for a pack of smokes and never come back, then crypto is happy to step in and be that financial step-parent.

Crypto is now the default payment method on Pornhub, with a screen warning that says credit cards are not being accepted right now. Crypto honks in Reddit are more than pleased, hoping that being used as the sole payment method on the world’s largest porn site will lead to widespread adoption of cryptocurrency as a standard payment method.

The credit card companies are not likely to come crawling back, so this is the way it is going to be going forward. Decentralized financial solutions are the future after all, and porn is usually on the cutting technology edge, so this all checks out. Now, I’m just waiting for Pornhub to add Dogecoin to the payment methods.

What do you think? Would you use cryptocurrency on Pornhub? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to kevin@knowtechie.com

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