Leading adult site Porn.com has started accepting bitcoin payments.
The site is one of the biggest adult entertainment operations on the Internet, if you don’t count illegal torrent sites. Porn.com currently accepts traditional credit card payments, PayPal and online cheques, along with bitcoin of course.
Bitcoin payments on adult sites are nothing uncommon, but Porn.com is by far the biggest service to embrace bitcoin. Most adult sites that accept bitcoin are tiny and easily dwarfed by Porn.com, as it is effectively an umbrella for heaps of smaller porn sites. The advantages of using bitcoin to pay for adult content are more or less obvious. People are not too keen to share their credit card data with small adult websites and they have perfectly good reasons aside from anonymity.
Although the word 'reputable' does not really apply to most adult sites, it is worth note that adult content is huge on the Internet. According to recent studies, adult content accounts for as much as 30% of total internet bandwidth. Adult websites attract more than 450 million unique visitors each month. Unsurprisingly men lead the way, but an estimated 30% of women also enjoy Internet porn.
Porn.com tapped BitPay to process bitcoin payments, which is not surprising given BitPay’s recent streak of successes. However, BitPay’s terms of service were a problem, as they specifically excluded certain businesses involved in the adult entertainment industry.
Tech veterans also like to point out that adult content has a weird way of affecting industry trends. They often cite video format wars as a prime example. BetaMax and HD-DVD were doomed after the adult industry chose to focus on VHS and Blu-Ray instead.
We are bound to hear similar arguments with respect to bitcoin, although they do not apply to the payments industry for a number of reasons. Still, when it comes to the adult industry it is hard to ignore some basic advantages offered by digital currencies compared to traditional payment methods, namely anonymity.
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