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Porn Will Be Bitcoin's Killer App 216

Posted by timothy
from the we-call-this-the-duh-factor dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In December, porn.com started accepting Bitcoin for its premium services, and the virtual currency quickly came to account for 10 percent of sales. At the start of January, a post on Reddit's Bitcoin subforum boosted the figure to 50 percent, before settling down to about 25 percent. The tremendous interest has led David Kay, the marketing director at porn.com's parent company Sagan, to talk very positively about the virtual currency: 'I definitely believe that porn will be Bitcoin's killer app,' he told The Guardian. 'Fast, private and confidential payments.'"
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Porn Will Be Bitcoin's Killer App

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  • seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @05:12AM (#45996887)
    Porn is what made VHS win the format war.
    • Does it mean that no other formats can contain the porn?

      • Re:seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

        by The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @05:31AM (#45996965)
        Porn couldn't get its hands on anything Betamax, so they released everything on VHS only. Beta had the better tech, VHS had the better content.
        • Depends what you mean by better tech. Betamax traded picture quality for running time. VHS had longer running tapes that you could fit an entire movie on from day one. Betamax didn't get that till later. Sony probably made the tapes too short for a movie deliberately as a form of DRM (that's a joke)
          • Re:seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Zocalo (252965) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @07:44AM (#45997401) Homepage
            You joke, but I'm not so sure there may not be some element of truth in that. When the specs for the audio CD were being thrashed out CBS/Sony president (and later CEO and chairman) Norio Ohga all but forced Philips into changing the format to accomodate his favourite piece, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, in its entirety. Before the change to 12cm diameter disks, Philips had been proposing 11.5cm and a playing time of one hour exactly, but the longest running version of Beethoven's 9th was Furtwangler's 1951 Bayreuth Festival recording at 74 minutes, requiring the extra 0.5cm. If Sony's audio division could use the length of pieces to dictate technology specs, then why not the video division?
            • So what you're saying is, we needed the extra runtime on VHS to accommodate Peter North?
            • by grcumb (781340)

              Philips had been proposing 11.5cm and a playing time of one hour exactly, but the longest running version of Beethoven's 9th was Furtwangler's 1951 Bayreuth Festival recording at 74 minutes, requiring the extra 0.5cm.

              So, just to bring this back on topic: What you're saying is that the size of your Furtwangler[*] DOES matter?

              -----------------
              [*] I'm assuming that's the German name for it....

          • Re:seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

            by neilo_1701D (2765337) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @09:38AM (#45997765)

            VHS had a simpler tape path, too. A Betamax machine needed to unspool the tape 3/4 around the head drum, and had other mechanisms that needed the tape to move out, too. If something went wrong, despooling the tape became problematic. VHS, on the other hand, spooled tape out in a "M" fashion: two arms pulled the tape out and achieved a 1/2 wrap of the drum head. Because of that pattern, if the tape failed to retract getting it out wasn't as hard.

            Serviceability played a major part in VHS winning the format wars, too. If you needed to replace a Betamax head, you needed all sorts of aligning jigs, test tapes and oscilloscopes to make sure the head was in exactly the right position. VHS heads, on the other hand, simply required 4 wires desoldered, the head lifted off with a single tool, the new head being slid into position and those 4 wires soldered back on. 10 min job with a quick clean + cost of head; easy money.

            In truth, Betamax wasn't that much better than VHS in terms of signal quality. Betamax put a high frequency "ring" in the signal when there were abrupt changes in the luminance signal. This gave the appearance of a higher definition, as the edges seemed sharper than they actually were. VHS simply blurred the same scene.

            • by Cruciform (42896)

              A friend's father kept his Betamax machine because he found that he could copy VHS rentals with Macrovision on them without and of the signal distortion they usually had.

          • by jd2112 (1535857)

            Depends what you mean by better tech. Betamax traded picture quality for running time. VHS had longer running tapes that you could fit an entire movie on from day one. Betamax didn't get that till later. Sony probably made the tapes too short for a movie deliberately as a form of DRM (that's a joke)

            That was before Sony became a content provider. It was also when Sony made good stuff, easily worth the price premium over its competitors.
            Sony's downfall corresponds to about the time they got involved in the movie and music production buisness.

        • Beta had the better tech, VHS had the better content.

          Oh yeah, let's please start up that argument again.

    • Partially true. Porn helped, yes, but VHS's longer playing time was an even greater advantage. Together they offset Beta's higher image quality.

    • by mellyra (2676159) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @06:59AM (#45997257)
      Currently the business model of most porn websites is based on subscriptions and not on pay per view. A large part of their customers do most likely not even use their product but have just forgot/don't bother to cancel the subscription. Currently there is no way to set up such automatically recurring payments with bitcoin.

      Why would a porn company willingly throw away all these paying users that don't actually use anything (i.e. don't cause them any costs)?
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      No, Sony is what made the lesser quality format win...

    • by westlake (615356)

      Porn is what made VHS win the format war.

      Disney won the format war.

      Disney and Warner Brothers ("Maverick") jump-started the infant ABC television network. Disney's move to NBC and color production rocketed sales of color TV sets.

      Disney's automated stage shows introduced millions - tens of millions and hundreds of millions --- to the potential of computers and robotics, beginning with the New York World's Fair in 1964.

      The geek needs to let go his obsession with pornography in order to see family entertainment as a driving force in technology.

      • by ncc74656 (45571) *

        Disney and Warner Brothers ("Maverick") jump-started the infant ABC television network. Disney's move to NBC and color production rocketed sales of color TV sets.

        ABC was spun out of NBC because the government believed NBC (owned at the time by RCA) was getting too big.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBC#Red_and_Blue_Networks [wikipedia.org]

        The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had, since its creation in 1934, investigated the monopolistic effects of network broadcasting. The FCC found that NBC's two networks and its

  • Pay for pr0n (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @05:15AM (#45996897)
    Heaven forbid. Hell, they are giving it away.
  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @05:17AM (#45996913)

    It started with video.

    Pretty much any new gadget takes off when it's meshed with porn in some way.

    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @06:41AM (#45997201)

      It started with video.

      Pretty much any new gadget takes off when it's meshed with porn in some way.

      Google Glass. A HUD for sex, much needed by geeks?

      • by RyoShin (610051)

        You laugh, but someone has already combined the Oculus Rift with something like the Novint Falcon [novint.com] attached to a strap around the crotch to create a sex simulator (anime-themed, of course, so probably a Japanese company.) I'd search for the video of it in action, but I'm at work so it would probably be a Bad Idea. :)

        Throw a Fleshlight in there somewhere with a stable (and modular, for various positions) housing and, boom, you're a step or two below a holographic sex bot as seen in something like The 7th Day.

    • And now, the punch line.

      I wonder what kind of porn you can buy with doge coins?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Yep, and the "Netflix of Porn" SugarDVD announced that in December, PS4 users watched 3 times as much porn as Xbox One users [buzzfeed.com]. While they anticipate more viewing through the Xbox One later on (perhaps it's the "family friendly" advertising on the Xbox One versus the "hardcore gamer" marketing of the PS4 for the difference) as it matures as a media gateway, the initial results are in.

      PS4 is the porn machine to get! Heck, weren't there PS4 twitch streams that were full of porn as well?

  • I fail to see how Bitcoin is private and confidential. All the transactions are public (inherently by design). And if you buy bitcoins somewhere with your CC or paypal or bank, it is possible to link the bitcoins to your name.

    If you buy them with cash, you could as well buy one of those cash coupons that porn sites might accept too. Then, you gain TRUE anonymity and, as a bonus, you and the seller avoid the massive volatility of the currency (100x decrease/increase in value over a day).

  • goodbye (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I might not be a registered user, but I've been a Slashdot regular for years. The overall decline of quality of submissions is nothing new, but this particular one puts me over the edge. Recently, Slashdot's become only worth it for the comments, but as even this section's become practically unreadable (and I'm not even talking about the changes to the layout), I guess I owe you a quick final goodbye as I proceed remove Slashdot from my RSS reader in favor of multiple, more specialized news sources.

    -m
    P.S. W

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 18, 2014 @07:28AM (#45997359)

    I'm a cypherpunk. (On a good day, I might describe myself as a cryptographer if it's simpler to, but emphasise my slightly different fields of experience compared to my peers. I hang around a lot of cryptographers.)

    I work in porn (fetish porn, both behind, and in, the scenes, and yes, it's risk-aware, consensual kink, and our content is legal both here and in the US and most other places).

    I strongly agree. We've been looking into accepting payments in BTC for some time. We hope to go live soon.

    You have no idea - unless you also run an adult site! - just how much we hate payment processors, and just how much payment processors hate us. At best, we tolerate each other as a necessary evil business partner. But at worst...

    They censor us. There is plenty of legal content that we cannot publish because if we do, they will pull service from us. (Sure, because that's what this industry needs - MORE censorship?!) They apologise profusely and say that this is because of Visa or MasterCard's rules, not their fault. Yet Visa and MasterCard claim to some that they do not have these rules, and to others the opposite. A large porn site based in California definitely gets to post content that we, not based in the US, definitely do not, even though it's totally legal in both our countries. It's not the large site's fault: they're doing the best they can and I appreciate their competition. I just wish we got a fairer deal, and I know the US State Department is heavily involved somewhere in all that mess. Wonderful. That's all we need. Fucking diplomats. (Actually, no, that might be a cool idea. Putting that in the notebook.)

    They blame us for chargebacks. They apparently hate porn because they get chargebacks from people who buy porn, and then get buyer's remorse: jealous spouses, or something. Nope, not seeing that. That's not been our experience with our customers. We've only had 2 chargebacks from customers, ever. Our paying customers are very happy and enthusiastic about our content, which means we must be doing something right. Yay.

    They blame us for card fraud. We have a very low rate of card fraud: lower than companies who sell computer parts. And it's easy to see why. If people want to steal our content they don't have to steal credit cards to get it. They just pirate it: it gets reposted on tumblr or sex.com or Bittorrent or RedTube or PornHub, or anywhere else, really. We KNOW that, of course: and we can either spend our time chasing around taking it down, or we can spend our time making more porn: I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter. There isn't anything we can do about piracy except hope they keep the watermarks and people see it, like it, decide they want more of our content, and come to our site and buy some, and so, it becomes promotional material. Is it sustainable? That's a business model problem. It is for us, right now. Though plagiarists who remove watermarks from stuff, or put their own on it? They can fuck off - that's just rude, and that's coming from a Pirate Party member. (Well, there's nothing we can do about it that doesn't involve being massive arseholes to potential customers - Prenda Law can eat a dick for giving our industry a bad name by using porn piracy as an excuse for outright blackmail!) You can't pirate computer parts (unless they've gotten REALLY good at 3D printing while I wasn't looking!). Result: we don't get carders, computer companies do.

    Sure Bitcoin's value fluctuates compared to currency. Sure interchanges between hard currency and Bitcoin will likely be regulated (Bitcoin itself, of course, cannot be regulated in any useful manner). But the option to potentially remove a payment processor which is ultimately based in the US from the chain is a HUGE win. We can even pay our hosting and DNS directly with Bitcoin now. There are some things in life that hashcash can't buy. For everything else, there's Bitcoin. =)

    It's not anonymous in the sense that it absolutely can't be tracked. Hell, the blockchain is public, and the US Govern

    • Sure Bitcoin's value fluctuates compared to currency. Sure interchanges between hard currency and Bitcoin will likely be regulated (Bitcoin itself, of course, cannot be regulated in any useful manner)...... .....
      It's not anonymous in the sense that it absolutely can't be tracked. Hell, the blockchain is public, and the US Government, with FINTRAC, can most definitely see the money going in and/or out. (See above re: regulation.)

      This is just one of the many paradoxes with Bitcoin. As you say, public percepti

    • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @02:15PM (#45999495) Homepage

      Excellent post. You present an uncommon perspective that is freighted with preconceptions and deftly shatter those biases with plain truth. Well done, you have added a bit of illumination.

  • isn't it mostly free one way or the other?

  • by Tridus (79566) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @08:34AM (#45997559) Homepage

    I'm pretty sure drugs and hiring Russian botnet operators are already Bitcoin's killer apps.

  • We should commission a study or something. Who are these folks? Good $deity, I haven't paid for porn since... since... (hang on, I'm thinking, dammit!)
  • So how, exactly, is this a killer app? Bitcoin is still just a fancy barter token (and I don't see anything that will change that). Anyone with intelligence will still buy BTC and spend them ASAP or recieve BTC and convert them ASAP. Etc... etc...

    The only people who profit from this are the exchanges.

    • The only people who profit from this are the exchanges.

      Of course the porn sites benefit from the free advertising too.

  • There is unbelievable amounts of every kind of porn out there now.
    Rule of 34.

    There are many sites with free porn in copious quantities. So where is the value to bitcoin?

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