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February 09, 2018

SpankChain Enjoying Mainstream Press

Manuel Ferrara, Kayden Kross, Cindy Starfall, Kenzie Reeves with SpankChain reps at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, where SpankChain sponsored the ManuelFerrara.tv booth; photo by Rick Garcia CYBERSPACE—With adult-oriented businesses, such as sex toy retailers and porn distributors, frequently finding themselves shut out of the banking system, and with adult start-ups often denied loans and porn performers seeing their personal bank accounts closed, it's not surprising that new cryptocurrencies are eyeing this sector of the marketplace. One such currency, with the appropriate name of SpankChain, is looking to become the standard economic unit of exchange for the adult industry. Unlike better-known digital currencies such as the widely publicized Bitcoin, SpankChain has tied itself so tightly to the porn industry that the payment system was represented at last month’s AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, and SpankChain has created its own webcam site for adult cam performers.  In fact, SpankChain is so determined to take over the camming side of the adult industry that it says it will charge performers only a fraction of the commissions claimed by most cam site operators. “Our immediate goal is to disrupt the adult cam industry by charging only a 5% fee instead of the 50% industry standard and become the dominant cryptocurrency payment platform for the adult industry,” Spanktoshi Nakabooty, the official voice of SpankChain, told Forbes magazine. According to Forbes, “Spanktoshi Nakabooty” is a collective pseudonym for SpankChain’s board of directors, and is a joking reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias use by the founder or founders of BitCoin. A “cryptocurrency” is a form of digital money not tied to any centralized authority, such as a bank or government. Instead, cryptocurrencies rely on  “blockchain” technology—a way of recording every transaction made in a currency in a database accessible to anyone, but which can be updated only under strictly defined conditions.  Because of the banking system’s reluctance to deal with adult businesses, cryptocurrency offers hope that the adult industry could thrive in a new financial system free from the fears and whims of centralized banks, according to a report the week by Bloomberg News. “When you get labeled as an adult company, you get blacklisted, effectively,” sex-toy entrepreneur Polly Rodriguez told Bloomberg, saying that though her online business, Unbound, regularly sells out its inventory she can’t find a bank willing to extend her a small-business loan. Sex-educator Zoe Ligon, who runs the online erotic emporium Spectrum Boutqiue, told a similar tale to Fast Company magazine in 2016, recounting how a Bank of America representative simply terminated her loan application when the banker noticed the word “pleasure” in the name of her LLC. “I remember, she just stopped short in the middle of the sentence and was like, ‘Ma’am, what kind of a business is this?’” Ligon told the magazine. “All of a sudden, her tone totally changed. I was being talked to like I had an illegal business.” But even SpankChain itself has found itself on the outs of the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, despite favorable reviews of its unique technology for managing transactions, likely due to its close affiliation with porn. “Even though we crush it in word of mouth, people aren't willing to publicly take a position on our business,” SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani told the cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk. “They fear it will have an impact on their reputation, even though they will shill shitcoins to the ends of the earth."

 
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