Reports indicate that sex workers were some of the earliest adopters of virtual currencies since most mainstream payment methods were closed to them. Most recently well-known adult entertainment firms Penthouse and Playboy have announced partnerships with Vice Industry Tokens (VIT), a virtual currency startup which has developed a digital coin for the porn industry.
The progress the adult entertainment sector has made with regards to virtual currency and the blockchain technology could however be put a step back if legislation aimed at fighting sex trafficking is enacted by the U.S. Senate. A non-profit organization known as Center for Democracy and Technology has come out strongly against the Senate bill.
“And website operators aren?t the only ones who will suffer: no internet user, website operator, trafficking victim, law enforcement officer, or other individual will be immune to the consequences of and fallout from this legislation,” Center for Democracy and Technology wrote in a blog post.
Other organizations that have condemned the Senate bill include Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union. Additionally Spankchain, a blockchain startup, has also come out against the bill saying it would lead to lawsuits being filed against operators or users of foreign or interstate facilities which have questionable adult content. This is because the proposed law would make users and operators of porn websites liable in the event that the facility is flagged for possessing fishy content.
Consequently even free speech concerning prostitution would bring problems since the sector only operates legally in the state of Nevada. It would also be problematic for those hosting content that is user generated. While the adult entertainment sector in the United States is regulated stolen footage and content involving real sex crimes sometimes slips through platform moderators.
The proposed law is also a setback as it is coming at a time when the adult entertainment industry is getting globalized with a shift to worldwide audiences and the geographic restrictions would be limiting especially for travelling adult performers who possess strong personal brands. These performers need freedom of movement but the proposed law would categorize that as sex trafficking.
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