Pornhub: Less than 1% of users buy subscriptions with cryptocurrency

Back in April, adult entertainment giant Pornhub broke the internet when it announced users can now buy a premium subscription with cryptocurrency. But despite all the buzz the announcement generated, it seems pornography viewers hardly share this enthusiasm for blockchain-powered payments.

In an email to Hard Fork, Pornhub revealed that cryptocurrencies currently account for “less than 1 percent of purchases made” on the platform.

While the company does not share what chunk of its users pay for the premium service, its website attracted a mind-blowing 28.5 billion visits last year.

Still, Pornhub remains optimistic about the future of the technology. “That being said, we expect to see widespread adoption of crypto[currency] and blockchain on our site in the near future,” a spokesperson added.

At present, Pornhub lets users purchase premium subscriptions with cryptocurrency. While the company initially introduced crypto-payments with Verge token, it has since expanded its suite of currencies with TRON, and ZenCash (which recently rebranded to Horizen after falling victim to attackers).

The adult streamer also intends to implement Ethereum-based payment processor PumaPay in the near future. A Pornhub spokesperson could not provide a clear timeline for the implementation, but PumaPay insists the integration will go live in the first quarter of 2019.

Until then, you’ll have to settle for using Verge, ZenCash, or TRON.

While Pornhub says it seeks to offer payments in “cryptocurrencies that put user privacy and security at the forefront,” only ZenCash and Verge come with built-in anonymity. That said, both have dealt with technical difficulties, having to fend off 51 percent attacks earlier this year.

It’s not clear how the addition of TRON benefits the overall user experience. As far as PumaPay goes, Pornhub says it chose solution because of its “flexible billing capabilities,” which include “recurring payments and pay-per-use.”

We’ll have to wait until next year (when PumaPay finishes development) to see whether such features will come in handy to porn users. A PumaPay spokesperson told Hard Fork the company has onboarded over 60 “partners” (many of which in the porn industry) interested in implementing its payment solution.

As of August, only one of these partners had implemented PumaPay’s technology. Meanwhile, data suggests the company has lost $102 million in value since raising $117 million worth of Ethereum in an initial coin offering. Indeed, its market cap has shrunk to less than $14 million.

Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: Pornhub will need to interest a lot more people in using its cryptocurrency integrations if its planned Tube8 tokenization is to breed any success. Or we might be in for a whole new Playboy-tier fail.

If you’re interested in everything blockchain, chances are you’ll love Hard Fork Decentralized. Our blockchain and cryptocurrency event is coming up soon – join us to hear from experts about the industry’s future. Ticket sales are now open, check it out!

Published September 28, 2018 — 14:18 UTC

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