Why Crypto Is A Lifeline For Sex Workers Banned By Banks

April 12, 2022 0 Comments

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Crypto ecosystems provide tools and functionalities that collide perfectly with the chaotic world of sex workers. Banks, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Square, Circle, Cashapp, Venmo, and many platforms have contributed to pulling the rug under adult content creators multiple times, to a point in which there is no safe way left for them to get paid in. Unless they use crypto.

The War On Sex Workers

As per Vice’s CRYPTOLAND, the Motherboard interviewed sex workers Allie Eve Knox, Belle Creed, and Liara Roux. All three of them have turned to cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the traditional monetary system, which condemns and crackdowns on sex work.

Sex work is the oldest work ever recorded in history. Sex workers’ livelihood depends on being able to use the funds they rightfully earn. Banning sex workers from banks and other means of payment is an extremely hypocritical and discriminatory measure to take, but it has been happening for years.

From a legal point of view, there should be no reason to ban adult content creators from the banking system, but the moral panic finds loopholes.

Regulators and extreme moralists groups who try to ban all adult content allege that sex work opens the gates for sex trafficking, abuse, non-consensual content, child pornography, and so forth.

These crimes exist and there should be strong regulations to prevent them, but adult content is not at fault. Sex workers often condemn and speak out against illegal activity and many platforms have countless restrictive measures to prevent such activities from happening.

Anti-porn allegations often contain false and misleading information, aiming to shut down the voices of sex workers, who suffer multiple forms of harassment and are left vulnerable as a result.

When Visa and Mastercard terminated their services with Pornhub in 2020, the group Sex Workers Outreach Project Behind Bars wrote a statement –also shared by Vice– in which they condemned the decision and called it a war on sex workers:

“We say ‘war against sex workers’ because the damage they do does not impact the labor as much as it affects the laborers who depend on the Pornhub platform to earn a living, […] Violence against sex workers includes the societal and institutional violence that has led to the shuttering of our online platforms that give us a measure of safety and allow us the critical resource that is the ability to access banking.”

Similarly, Avalon Fey commented that “This has nothing to do with helping abused victims, and everything to do with hurting online adult entertainers to stop them from creating and sharing adult content.”

It was pointed out that, as horrifying as the allegations against Pornhub might seem, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have millions more reported cases of non-consensual abusive imagery, but measures are not taken against them in the same way.

“Facebook alone reported 84 million instances of child sexual abuse material over the last three years,” Vice claimed in 2020.

This gives us a glimpse of the moralistic root of the problem. And extreme morals should not be enough for the whole banking system to systematically alienate sex workers. But that’s how control over money works. If we do not behave the way the ones in power want us to, they play with our money to force us to comply.

Related Reading | Porn Star Exits NFT Project With $1.5 Million Of Investor Funds

Is Crypto A Real Alternative?

As Bitcoinist has reported before, blockchain technology like NFTs is becoming popular for adult content creators as an alternative and lucrative way to monetize their content. Moreover, major porn platforms have already adopted crypto (paying in Bitcoin and USDT).

It seems only natural for the porn and crypto world to collide. Anonymity, low fees, and no chargeback is the ultimate promise for creators who have experienced harsh discrimination from the banking system and the open road for scams that comes with credit card payments.

Many sex workers like Allie Eve Knox have been using Bitcoin and NFTs for a long time now, but it has also come with downsides. Allie, for example, claims she was also banned from crypto exchange Coinbase. And whatever platforms allow her to sell NSFW NFTs now, might also turn their back at any moment.

The constant rug pulls that sex workers are victims of are not talked about enough. While the crypto world lacks proper regulation, this might also call for a rise in pyramid scheme blockchain-based projects that would eventually do more harm than good.

For these reasons, crypto-aware sex workers hope for new NSFW platforms to be properly built on the blockchain so this industry can boom in a safe, non-discriminatory environment that allows multiple types of monetization through its functionalities.

However, even though crypto offers opportunities that Web2 and traditional payments services could never, it will take a long road of work to build proper platforms that do not turn into Web3 rug pulls and other types of scams with permissibility for crimes that also affect creators.

Related Reading | South Korean Crypto Exchanges Aid Police in Child Porn Investigation

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Crypto total market cap at $1,8 trillion in the daily chart | TradingView.com

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