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Alternative Pin-Up Site SuicideGirls Accepts Bitcoin for Memberships

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on August 17, 2014 at 11:20 GMT

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"The most dangerous global sorority of beautiful pin-up girls that has ever existed" is now accepting bitcoin for its membership subscriptions.

SuicideGirls is a popular adult-themed online community that bills itself as a celebration of alternative lifestyles and female empowerment.

Some 2,624 SuicideGirls provide photos, video and blog posts to the website. Further, the larger SuicideGirls brand has expanded from photography and video to include comic books, magazines and books since its launch in 2001.

SuicideGirls first broke the news it would accept bitcoin on Reddit in a post detailing its excitement about adding the payment option. The post played off positive remarks issued by the group's co-founder Missy Suicide in the company's formal press announcement, a sentiment she echoed in an interview with CoinDesk.

Missy said:

"SuicideGirls was born on the Internet in 2001 and we have always been an enthusiastic adopter of new technologies and advancements that come from the web. [...] Bitcoin is a currency born on the Internet, and we really wanted to support the Internet’s native currency."

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Missy indicated that accepting bitcoin for its memberships is just the first step in what could be a larger move by the brand to accept digital currency. Missy said SuicideGirls is working to next accept bitcoin at its online store, and it hopes to take bitcoin for ticket sales at its live burlesque tour this fall.

Memberships cost the bitcoin equivalent of $48 for one year, $75 for two years and $200 for five years, and provide access to exclusive photos, videos, online groups and community events. The company accepts bitcoin payments through merchant processing provider BitPay.

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Bitcoin interest

Missy said SuicideGirls has long been interested in developments in the bitcoin space, and that she personally learned about the technology through her personal relationship with noted bitcoin investor and Bitcoin Foundation board member Brock Pierce.

Missy said she worked with Pierce previously and was encouraged to learn more about the technology due to his own enthusiasm for digital currency.

However, she suggested that her company's larger overhaul of its website slowed its ability to add bitcoin payments.

She explained:

"It took us a while to accept bitcoin on our site, mostly because we have spent the last two years rebuilding the site from the ground up responsively and that was just a huge project. It took up all our resources."

Ideological partners

Though not an adult entertainment site in the traditional sense, the announcement is the latest that suggests adult-themed online communities and lifestyle groups are becoming some of the first major brands to accept bitcoin. For example, Hustler became one of the largest merchants to accept bitcoin this July.

Despite this business interest, Missy suggested that accepting bitcoin was a decision that was more ideological than practical, saying:

"When bitcoin is the standard currency for the world one day, we want our early adopter bragging rights, you know? 2014 isn’t as early as we would have liked [to accept bitcoin], but at least we’re in [the ecosystem] now."

In particular, she noted that bitcoin lacks a strong feature for rebilling, though she hopes bitcoin customers will become repeat buyers.

"We figured we’d do one-off memberships and hopefully people would love being a part of our community so much they would go back into billing settings and buy another year when their first year expires," she said.

Subscribers switch to bitcoin

The bitcoin community comprises mainly males, but Missy indicated these demographics did not influence her decision to start accepting digital currency as most SuicideGirls members are women.

Further, Missy revealed the company hasn't seen a significant subscriber boost from accepting bitcoin, though she did not reveal exact figures.

Still, a number of customers, she said, are choosing to pay with bitcoin. For example, she mentioned that roughly 5% of the new members that enroll in the community daily are choosing to pay with bitcoin.

Missy said her company remains committed to bitcoin, even if it doesn't see a significant business gain from the move, concluding:

"We’re not thinking short term about bitcoin. For us, it is about a long-term investment in a new kind of currency born on the internet that has a passionate community behind it."

Images courtesy of SuicideGirls

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