SpankPay and the Current State of Adult Crypto

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the adult industry in numerous ways. One of blockchain’s most important benefits is the ability to perform secure and anonymous financial transactions, which is essential in the adult industry. Adult entertainment takes pride in being a trailblazer and early adopter of privacy technologies to protect consumers’ identities when viewing otherwise legal adult content in places where it is illegal.

To emphasize this further, safeguarding the privacy and security of adult performers and professionals is equally important. A pandemic of persistent financial discrimination against professionals in the adult entertainment business has prompted creative and activist individuals to devise methods of establishing a safe transaction channel independent of the highly centralized financial institutions.

Adult B2B Marketing is happy to shed more light on the situation.

The Case of SpankPay

One noteworthy initiative to address financial inequality in the pornographic industry was SpankPay. As Samantha Cole of Vice News explains, SpankPay provided payment services for SpankChain, an alternative to well-known cryptocurrency exchanges run by the adult industry and sex workers. In an effort to prevent discrimination, SpankPay was launched in 2019 and SpankChain was established in 2017.

However, SpankPay had a setback at the beginning of the year when they announced on Twitter that they had to stop providing some services due to discriminatory business decisions made by certain of its vendors. SpankPay was decided to be discontinued following “long and difficult consideration.” A different tweet within the same thread charges Wyre, a cryptocurrency on-ramp provider, and, their payment processor, of stopping SpankPay services since these firms and their clients are not approved by their ecosystems. SpankPay described this change as a “shock,” noting that their “relationship with Wyre had been supportive and respectful up until this point.”

The Adult Crypto Market’s Fall

The Vice Industry token (VIT), a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, was used to transact with adult performers and pay for adult content. But then the token cracked. Playboy Enterprises filed a lawsuit against Vancouver, British Columbia-based Global Blockchain Technologies, the company that created VIT, alleging fraud and breach of contract in an attempt to incorporate other payment methods on the website.

The complaint further states that they and Playboy Enterprises have a processing services agreement, according to The Los Angeles Times. According to Playboy Enterprises, Global Blockchain reportedly broke its promise to provide support and failed to pay an amount believed to be well over $4 million. Though VIT garnered significant media attention, the token eventually failed. There are now very few options for adult entertainment that accept payments with cryptocurrencies. Now, SpankPay’s untimely death tightens the clamps even further. At a recent premiere event for the Netflix exclusive documentary “Money Shot: The Pornhub Story,” pornstar Siri Dahl stated that SpankPay was one of the best alternatives to circumvent credit card companies and mainstream payment processors blocking out the controversial tube site. This is in response to the publication of a biased investigative commentary on the cases of CSAM on Pornhub by controversial New York Times opinion contributor Nicholas Kristof.

“An audience member asked whether any pornographic companies had tried using bitcoin to get around [Visa and Mastercard] payment restrictions and censorship during the [Netflix] premiere of #MoneyShotMovie. That’s the answer, yes. Furthermore, the greatest one we had, SpankPay, had to close recently. This is the result of entrenched financial discrimination against companies and persons engaged in the adult market. When big banks and financial institutions overtly and maybe unlawfully refuse to give services to individuals or businesses involved in the creation, sale, or distribution of adult goods or services, including internet porn, this is known as banking discrimination.

Banking Disparities

Aside from being denied access to alternative payment processing systems, bank loans, credit cards, savings and checking accounts, and other financial goods, discrimination can take many additional forms. Financial institutions could decline to do business with organizations and individuals involved in the adult industry due to moral objections or concerns about damage to their reputation. This might lead to major financial problems for adults in the workforce, including increased transaction costs and restricted access to basic banking services. Certain banks additionally impose restrictions on the kind of transactions that businesses operating in the adult industry are permitted to do. For instance, they may impose limits on the quantity of money that may be withdrawn or placed, or they may impose additional fees for transactions involving sex and pornography.

Banking discrimination in the adult industry is controversial since it undermines people’s freedom of expression and their ability to carry out legal business. While some argue that financial institutions shouldn’t be allowed to treat those who work in the adult business unfairly, others believe banks should have the right to turn away customers in this profession.

The mindset that encourages financial discrimination against otherwise lawful conduct may be criminal. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is in charge of regulating banking equity and access. Fair access is required by OCC. But the so-called fair access regulation is also thought to be very controversial and remains undefined.

However, cooperation between the OCC, the financial services industry, and the adult industry is required to eliminate this evident bias in banking and finance. Crypto will survive in the interim. That’s fantastic, but it’s also critical that local financial technology and payment processing companies understand that adult entertainment companies are legitimate businesses that need to have equal access to banking and decentralized financial services like bitcoin payments.

One final item. Bruce, the CEO of Adult B2B Marketing and host of the podcast Adult Site Broker Talk, has interviewed several members of the business on the subject of discrimination in banking. The sections featuring Mike Stabile and Alison Boden, both affiliated with the Free Speech Coalition, have significant weight.

Visit the Adult B2B Marketing blog for more information.

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