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PronCoin: Does the world need a XXX cryptocurrency?

Angus Kidman 22 January 2018 NEWS

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When porn videos, anonymity and the blockchain collide.

OPINION: Frankly, the most surprising thing about cryptocurrencies designed for the adult industry is that there haven't been more of them.

Industry cliché has long held that porn producers are early adopters of new technology. The rise of video recorder sales in the 1980s is said to have been driven by the fact people could now watch blue movies in the privacy of their own home. In the Internet era, adult sites were charging for content long before ecommerce had even got its (kinky) boots on.

Yet despite the massive surge in cryptocurrency interest in recent years, there hasn't been a parallel surge of coin offerings specifically designed to appeal to adult content "consumers". That's not to say there have been none. The bluntly-named XxCcoin crashed and burned around 2016, while last year also saw talk of a similar project known as Airporn.

The most recent pretender to this filth-encrusted throne is PronCoin. PronCoin began selling tokens in January this year and plans to begin trading on exchanges under the symbol PRON in April. The initial offer will feature a maximum 6,900 million tokens, with an ICO price of US$0.069 per token. (Great subtlety with the pricing there, PronCoin team.)

Conceptually, PronCoin takes a similar approach to TRON: creating a coin which can be used to pay adult stars (or studios) directly for their services. As CEO Zoran Rehar explained to industry trade title AVN:

Right now, big companies are cashing in and taking money from visitors. We believe that decentralising everything will be even better for the whole adult community because everyone can participate by uploading videos, sharing videos, posting likes, comments and more. PronCoin reward tokens will be distributed to all who will participate in building and expanding our platforms, including porn stars, expos, shows, strip clubs and so many other access points into our database.

While that's a touching sentiment about people touching each other, PronCoin could also tap into another key insight: anonymity is a key driver for porn viewers. More than a decade ago, Richard Cohen, CEO of streaming provider Hotmovies.com, explained to me that keeping their habits concealed was a major driver for many of the site's customers. "We get a lot of money orders from people who won't want it on their credit cards," he said.

Using a seemingly anonymous cryptocurrency is a natural hi-tech extension of that thinking, though potential browsers should remember that the level of anonymity which cryptocurrencies offer can vary hugely.

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Despite those urges, it's not clear that PronCoin is going to take off. With just under two months to go before the token plans to list on exchanges, just over US$1 million has been raised. That suggests that only around 15 million tokens have been sold so far. With volatility seemingly the norm, skin flicks might not seem like the wisest way to create a cryptocurrency holding, especially as details of actual industry partnerships for the coin are scant right now.

If the service does succeed, it will also raise interesting questions for the performers and producers who use it. Right now the Australian Taxation Office doesn't view cryptocurrency as a form of money. However, if Australia's porn professionals start using it regularly, that view might change.

The ATO already has guidelines on tax deductions for the adult industry, and is actively building a taskforce to try and ensure that crypto isn't used for tax evasion.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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