Posted at 14:16 on 9 May 2018 by Pandora / Blake
I've been featured in a behind the scenes interview by the folks at intimate.io. Intimate is a new cryptocurrency explicitly designed for the adult industry. Click through to the interview to find out how I got started in the adult industry, my favourite thing about it and the biggest myth about the industry I'd like to dispel.
Read on to the end of this post to read a quick explainer about cryptocurrency, what intimate is and why I think it's a good idea.
They certainly know how to butter a pal up - I'm considering nicking bits of this intro for my new bio.
Pandora Blake is one of those people you meet along your journey who catches you off guard, equal parts warm and comforting and equal parts just a little bit unnerving. It is only unnerving because the moment you start talking, it becomes obvious that the knowledge and the emotional intelligence possessed by Pandora is far beyond that of most of mere mortals. That said there is an instant connection that puts you at ease and allows you to learn and explore.
A quick cryptocurrency explainer
Cryptocurrencies have been around for a while now. I'm far from being an expert, but I do keep a portion of my savings in Bitcoin and Etherium, and I'm reading and learning more about cryptocurrencies in general. The most famous is Bitcoin (BTC), but there are lots of others - like Ether (ETH) which is better for making contracts, ZCash (ZEC) which is better for privacy, and silly ones like Dogecoin (DOGE), which started as a joke based on the Shiba Inu meme but was then bought in the millions.
There's a lot of hype around cryptocurrency. Some people say it's the future of money: it solves many of the problems with fiat currency (paper money - the standard national and international currencies minted by governments and backed by banks). Crypto offers private transactions, reduced fees, protection against forgery, and protection from dependence on centralised authorities.
Fiat currencies not only share information about transactions with banks, governments and private companies, and allow banks and reserves to charge hefty fees for transactions, they also expose us to shitty behaviour by governments. If your government prints a load more money and inflation skyrockets, your fiat currency savings will be worthless. If the government sets interest rates at 0 or even negative amounts to discourage saving and encourage spending and borrowing, your fiat currency savings are a crappy way to store wealth. And if governments get into really bad financial situations and decide to confiscate everyone's savings, or prevent any national currency from leaving the country, people whose wealth is stored in that country will be significantly less wealthy, or less free.
Cryptocurrencies offer solutions to these problems. They make international transfers cheap, private, and secure, based on a decentralised peer-to-peer network that doesn't depend on a centralised authority. They have a lot of potential, which means that the value of cryptocurrencies have the potential to rise hugely based on demand. This has led to a lot of hype, a lot of speculative trading of the type that causes bubbles and crashes, and as a result, wildly fluctuating prices.
So what does intimate offer?
The massive volatility of Bitcoin is partly because unlike paper money, which is backed by gold, Bitcoin's perceived value is not tied to anything specific. Intimate however is specifically intended for adult transactions. Intimate is therefore backed by something real that people want. As long as people want to make adult purchases, and can do so with ITM, the currency will have value.
For customers, intimate offers private transactions for adult purchases - they won't appear on credit card statements. It also helps businesses; it has a trust framework that verifies pseudonymous users based on that person's reputation as a buyer, without revealing the person's identity.
Intimate is currently in its initial token sale: you can buy it with Ether at a price of 600 ITM per ETH (so at present 1 ITM = slightly less than 1 GPB, or slightly more than 1 EUR). Until 8 May there's a discount of 7% on every purchase. After this there will be no discount, but the public sale will run to 7 June.
Once you have ITM, you'll be able to spend it on porn and other adult websites. Not straight away - intimate is hoping to launch its first payment facilities for adult businesses later this year. But if you see yourself making adult purchases in future, now is a good time to buy.
Personally, I'm planning to accept ITM on Dreams of Spanking - it offers a fantastic backup to the content restrictions imposed by Visa and Mastercard, and the steep fees charged by other adult payment gateways.
Sex is so stigmatised by the payments industry. I've been banned from using Paypal and had funds confiscated by them multiple times. I can't use Google Checkout. Many of my clients and customers can't use their usual bank account or credit card to send me money for privacy reasons. They often dislike having to enter their real name and bank details to use sites like Payoneer and TransferWise, even if those details are kept hidden from me. Adult providers and content creators are at the mercy of a few companies that specialise in adult transactions, and we pay steep fees for the privilege. Charging hundreds of dollars a year to accept Mastercard is unaffordable for many, and if we can't accept Mastercard, we lose customers. Overall, this reliance on adult-friendly credit card processors puts us in a precarious position where if they ever change their terms of service against adult content, we are screwed.
So much creative, sex-positive, celebratory work is thwarted by companies making it as hard as possible to accept payments for adult transactions online. Cryptocurrency offers a way around our current dependence on centralised financial institutions, and tokens like intimate make cryptocurrency more accessible and easy to use. It's a way to future-proof your ability to make adult transactions online. If more people use it, everyone wins.
As a result, I think intimate are not only going to be a great way for me to receive private payments from customers who prefer discretion, they are also going to be a great store of value. As long as people want to buy porn online, and adult businesses will let them do so with ITM, the currency will have perceived value.
In addition to accepting them on my site once they launch my payment facility, I'm buying some in the initial sale. If you anticipate wanting to send money discreetly to me or any other adult content creator or service provider in the future, you might want to do the same.
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