Everything it seems has a blockchain application these days. There was once a time when smart phones were still a new thing, and people would say ‘there’s an app for that’ about almost anything. At the rate things are going, it seems you could say ‘there’s a blockchain for that’ for just about anything. And so, perhaps inevitably, pornography – still the most popular use of the internet – has taken the leap into blockchain and cryptocurrency with a token reward system that is making waves and raising eyebrows around the web. That system called Vice Industry Token has just launched a partnership with Tube8. But what is it exactly, and how does it work?
Crypto + Porn
If you can suspend all sense and reason for a moment and pretend that anyone would ever pay for pornography online, then there are many options available to the consumer. PayPal and credit cards have been the most popular payment methods for their ease of use. However, most people don’t want such things to appear on their credit card bill, and PayPal certainly has its limitations (and fees).
While a few porn coins have come and gone in the last few years, Verge was the first main stream altcoin to get a tie-in with the adult content industry. Verge partnered with PornHub to allow users to pay for premium content using XVG, AKA Verge coin.
This came with much fanfare and hyperbole from Verge. Head developer Justin ‘Sunerok’ Valo being quoted at the time as saying that this will be a partnership with “a global organisation that controls a vast network of super high-traffic sites” which will result in everyone involved with Verge having a reason to be “really happy”.
Going further, Valo said that this partnership would launch “a global marketing campaign the likes of which you have never seen before”. The build up to the announcement of this partnership promised that it would launch XVG into the mainstream (and hopefully bring prices upwards).
Failure to Launch
Partnering as an alternative payment method for premium pornography on PornHub wasn’t quite the ‘bang’ the cryptoverse was expecting. And, it is fair to say, this didn’t quite go down as well as Verge had hoped it would, and actually ended up the butt of a few jokes but some of the bigger names in space, such as Doug Polk who gave his views here:
Since then, PornHub have also welcomed Tron to their roster of crypto payment services. All jokes aside, this IS potentially big business. Pornography has always meant money, and with literally billions of monthly views on their website, this could serve all parties very well.
The benefit for content consumers is keeping their viewing habits private. By using crypto currencies such as Verge and Tron, users have the ability to mask their identity by using private sending.
Get Paid To Watch Porn?
Verge and Tron’s entries to the world of adult entertainment was in April of this year. Fast forward a few months and it seems we have the next evolution in the marriage of pornography and the internet – getting paid to watch porn. This does sound like the dream job for many a teenage boy, but is it really possible?
Vice Industry Token – or VIT – has now partnered with Tube8, a subsidiary of PornHub, to tokenize the viewing, rating and commenting on videos that are hosted in Tube8. The tokenization takes place by transferring Tube8’s content onto the blockchain, and all interactions are a transaction which, when processed, results in a token being issued. They are calling this Proof of Brain (PoB) and Proof of Viewing (PoV). The scaling is to be handled by moving to the Steem blockchain (where the very popular SteemIt resides) where 100,000 transactions can be processed per second.
Read also: Beginners Guide to Steem
Content owners, viewers and site operators all stand to benefit from the platform. The most popular content would be rewarded the most, and the users who view, comment and rate regularly will be rewarded similarly. This is a common theme at the moment in the cryptoverse – a break away from plastered advertising and pop ups for users and a scattergun approach to rewarding content makers. With the best content being rewarded the most, the users should benefit from this added incentive to content makers to produce quality and original material.
SteemIt and DTube, a blogging and YouTube alternative, has lead the way in monetizing platforms for all users. Content creators are rewarded by being up-voted by viewers, and up-voters gain a reward for their curation of popular posts. While YouTube and traditional blogs remain at the top of the tree, the popularity and appeal of the likes of SteemIt are growing. With Vice Industry Token headed to the Steem blockchain (or a fork of it) the momentum in this area seems to be gathering pace.
Red Light For Progress
The question remains: how popular can Vice Industry Token and Tube8’s partnership really be when so much content is widely available for free on the internet already? Is the lure of being paid to view, and comment, on the content enough to entice people into joining up? Further, will Vice Industry Token be able to establish a market for itself so it has a value, or will it just become another useless token?
Looking at the recent history for Verge gives us a clue. In the build up to their April announcement, the price of XVG went from around $0.054 USD on March 1st, steadily rising to a peak of $0.11 USD on April 17th, then promptly dropping back to $0.074 USD on April 18th and steadily downwards to todays $0.013 USD. In a sense, the volume followed the price. So 5 months in, it appears to have actually harmed Verge’s value, and certainly its market cap has taken a battering.
It may be that this exercise ends up being more of a proof of concept to be later applied elsewhere. Basically speaking, its hard to see this taking off as being a game changer, novel though the idea is.
Images via pixabay.com, additional reporting by Paul Downs