Naughty America’s CEO says the firm has seen a surge in demand for bitcoin following the launch of its virtual reality (VR) products.
The adult empire – which operates a network of 45 sites – had ditched the currency in 2014 following underwhelming sales. When it reappeared as a payment option this week, users were stumped as to why.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Andreas Hronopoulos revealed bitcoin’s reappearance was a result of Naughty America’s ‘virtual porn‘ launch, which triggered a wave of online support for the currency.
“We found VR is geared towards a Millenial audience, they seem to have an interest in bitcoin – it aligns more with how they think, how they spend their money.”
Hronopoulos said his team had overlooked the demographics of its ‘2D’ users – the majority of which are ‘Generation X’ – during Naughty America’s initial integration with bitcoin payment processor BitPay.
In hindsight it’s not surprising that these users “didn’t connect” with the currency as some still make payments by check, he added.
While the announcement was received on Reddit with the usual fanfare, users flagged the fact that bitcoin subscriptions carried a surcharge.
A check of the site yesterday showed one month ($29.95) was priced 20% higher than Naughty America’s credit card option, while annual subscriptions would cost over $48 extra.
Hronopoulos dismissed this price discrepancy as “probably just coincidental” and likely related to A/B testing on the site. “Do not put any stock into that,” he said.
However, emails from Naughty America’s customer support appear to contradict this, indicating bitcoin customers are charged more to cover “processing costs”.
It’s now common wisdom that bitcoin’s core user base is predominately male, young and tech-savvy, and so far the figures back that up.
In June, a CoinDesk survey of nearly 4,000 bitcoin users found that over 90% identified as male. The majority (55%) were aged between 19 and 34 (Millenials), while only 33% of respondents were aged between 35 and 54 (Gen X).
“Every generation finds an interest in a currency they like and they stick with,” Hronopoulos said. While the currency might never reach Generation X, it might not need to: Millenials are the biggest generation out there – with spending power estimated to reach $2.45 trillion in 2015.
This year, North Americans in this group are expected to spend more than $62bn on media content alone.
But does bitcoin stand a chance outside its inner circle? Hronopoulos says yes: “I think the whole world is pretty optimistic, I think you’re seeing that now in the press.” For him, the fate of VR and bitcoin are tied:
“We are one of three in the adult industry that is actively producing or creating pre-recorded VR. I think that you will see bitcoin introduced on a much larger scale as VR continues to grow.”
VR headset image via Shutterstock