Crypto may finally be creeping its way into sex workers’ wallets, or at least it did earlier this month when crypto-camming company SpankChain launched a marketing campaign to give 1000 sex workers over $100,000 dollars. “We gave away $110,000 over four days,” says CEO Ameen Soleimani, in a quick interview over Twitter DMs.
When I asked why centering sex workers is important right now, Soleimani replied “Sex workers, by virtue of being the most excluded from the traditional financial system, have the most to gain by adopting crypto-currency. We see this adoption accelerating with events like Visa and Mastercard cutting off Pornhub and preventing sex workers from monetizing their premium content via Modelhub.”
Soleimani, who established SpankPay in 2017, encourages other banking and e-commerce businesses to center sex workers instead of working to hide or remove them. He commented, “The giveaway earned us a lot of good will, not only from the sex worker community but also from a larger group of sex worker allies.” He goes on, “We also had a lot of sign ups, got great feedback, and are now updating the product to fix bugs and add requested features.”
Sex workers are generally willing to try a new service and offer feedback when we know we are being treated fairly in business. Also, given that we often aren’t catered to, we are also quite knowledgeable about the services we’re looking for. Having sex workers “beta test” your site is a great idea, one that SpankPay can take to the bank.
Circumventing Visa/Mastercard via crypto is a real option—especially now that the adaption to crypto currency is not as mystifying as it once was—though perhaps also a high-risk one that we should educate ourselves on. “Wallet” apps like Coinbase and CashApp manage Bitcoin withdrawal and deposits, and once you’re signed up for that, you get your own wallet code, used to connect the wallet to the point of sale (your SpankPay.Me profile in this case.)
It’s not yet apparent that the average porn consumer is ready to pay for porn with what feels like a stock portfolio. If you can get crypto as a gift or tribute, start there. Professional Dominants, FinDoms, and sugarbabies may be able to create a precedent for all of us in this regard.
I have followed crypto markets for a few years and believe that while the price of Bitcoin, Etherium, and other crytpo-currencies have been climbing, it is likely more profitable to own/keep your bitcoin. My advice for those of you who are new to crypto would be to hold on to it and watch the markets for a while.
Soleimani encourages everyone to keep a little crypto, quipping, “If you haven’t bought Bitcoin yet… what are you waiting for?”
So what do you think, will porn performers turn to crypto now?
For more sustained conversations about how crypto can be integrated into your sex work business, you can read Peepshow Media’s interview with Allie Eve Knox, and listen to the podcast interview with her and Kiara Skye.
courtney writes about what’s happening in the queer worlds of sex and art and has been performing in porn since 2001. they have an MFA in studio arts and visual critical studies and focus on the crossroads of resistance and making things. they joined Peepshow Media in 2020.