For Many in the Sex Industry, “Bitcoin Is the Only Option”

Key Takeaways

  • Sex workers often face regulatory obstacles when it comes to posting ads or accepting payments.
  • Banks often flag accounts related to legal sex work, forcing sex workers to adapt quickly.
  • While Bitcoin is arguably the best solution, the issue of adoption remains.

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While Bitcoin has a strong use case in the sex industry, accepting crypto is a double-edged sword for sex workers.

Bitcoin’s Learning Curve Is Steep and Troublesome

Many in the sex industry have turned to Bitcoin out of necessity.

In December, Mastercard and Visa cut ties with Pornhub over allegations of illegal content, causing Pornhub to become a crypto-only platform.

Other payment providers like PayPal also have strict regulations limiting their services for sex work, leaving the workers themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to earning a living.

One solution is, of course, accepting Bitcoin.

Bitcoin sex industry

Crypto Briefing spoke with Kristen DiAngelo, a sex worker and activist with decades of experience in the industry. “U.S. banking guidelines have put pressure on banking systems, credit card systems, and online paying systems to cut off the ability of sex workers to use those venues,” said DiAngelo.

She explained that payment related to posting ads for adult content is now heavily restricted.

“While we are grateful to be able to use Bitcoin to post ads, as the alternative would be catastrophic, the learning curve has been steep and we continue to lose purchasing power due to Bitcoin fluctuations. In addition, we have trouble translating earnings to actual money in which to pay our bills.”

The result, she said, is that sex workers must work harder than ever to earn money.

Banking Laws Strangle Sex Industry

While DiAngelo’s work is perfectly legal, the U.S. banking system treats it with hostility. In 2014, JPMorgan closed hundreds of sex workers’ accounts without warning or explanation.

“Payment for legal work can be flagged by the bank and thus cause us…

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