First thing’s first – you probably shouldn’t be learning how to use crypto from a porn site… but hey, since you’re here already so let’s do the best we can.
Adult sites were the first to pioneer online card payments so it’s somewhat fitting that it’s the same with crypto.
Simple: Censorship resistant value transfer.
As you may or may not have been aware, not that long ago a bunch of adult performers had their bank accounts shut down by Chase Bank in the USA, just because they were adult performers. This is a creeping tide of censorship and a method of control & subjugation. This makes it quite difficult for sex-workers and content producers to transact (by design).
Well what if there was a payment settlement layer like visa or ACH or BACS or IBAN/SWIFT but which didn’t make judgments on whether you could transact or not? That would be pretty neat, right? especially if there was actually *nobody* in charge of it and it was by now pretty much too big for anyone to actually have enough computing power to mess with it? That could be cool and then sexworkers and whoever could transact without restriction. Also if it’s stored securely its very very difficult to confiscate. Well that’s basically what Bitcoin is, which is why we like it 🙂
We’ve been forced to use it because of that creeping censorship, and whilst we love the folks at CCBill and they do a fantastic job (they really do!), this gives us, and you, some additional options.
Fiat currency: Made up currency, i.e. currency not backed by anything except debt – e.g. US dollar, British Pound etc. These used to be backed by precious metals (“gold standard”, “sterling silver” etc) but not any more, which means governments can just issue more money which causes inflation, reducing the buying power of the individual. Bitcoin fixes this.
Bitcoin: the only *truly* decentralized cryptocurrency/digital currency. It’s a public ledger and peer-to-peer settlement network comprised of a network of nodes which process transactions and compare notes to make sure all transactions are correct. Fresh Bitcoin are “mined” as a predictable rate by the nodes on the network doing lots of math as a “proof of work”. This helps secure the ledger since it’s very difficult to change the transactions and then also replicate the work to back that up, because of the sheer computing power needed. Other “cryptocurrencies” aspire to that level of decentralization and some even get close, but even ones like Monero/XMR which are perhaps somewhat better on privacy, still have a central “foundation” which basically controls development and functions as a point of failure.
Bitcoin doesn’t work like that. There is nobody “in charge” of Bitcoin, it works on a consensus basis with both developers reaching a consensus on the code, and nodes reaching a consensus on the status of transactions. Bitcoin is the only truly neutral payment network and if stored correctly is effectively an unconfiscatable asset. It is a decentralized currency, that is not controlled by any one government or organization. From a sexwork perspective that means unlike with bank and credit card systems, nobody gets to decide whether you can transact or not, whether you can or can’t get paid. The bitcoin network gives exactly 0.0000000 fucks who you are. If your transaction is valid with an appropriate fee it’ll get processed and that’s that. There are no chargebacks on Bitcoin either. If you want to learn more check out this guy
crypto: by that we mean cryptocurrency of any type. Cryptographers don’t like the term since theirs is the “real crypto” (and they’re right) but hey the term stuck and it’s easier to type.
Monero/XMR: used to be called bitcoin-private or darkcoin or something then a few years back it changed and has stayed as Monero. It does have a central “foundation” type thing which is somewhat of a central point of failure so it’s not really even close to Bitcoin in that respect (or in scale of developers), but they do have some pretty cool privacy tech that make it somewhat more private than bitcoin at this point. You can’t get monero from Coinbase and tbh if you’re using Monero go read the docs, they have lots of helpful guides.
Bitcoin/crypto onramp: somewhere where you buy crypto – might be an exchange like Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Bitbargain.
KYC: “know your customer” – basically where an onramp will verify your identity with driving license, credit card or other documentation to make sure you are who you say you are and to allow them to track you better online. Examples of *non*-KYC’d sources of Bitcoin/crypto would be Bitcoin ATMs, or sites like Localbitcoins.com where people meet and exchange cash for BTC face-to-face.
AML: “Anti Money Laundering”- another set of rules exchanges and onramps have to comply with to prevent un-sanctioned money laundering (as opposed to the “sanctioned” money laundering performed by governments thru quantitative easing and inflation).
Shitcoin: Basically, with the exception of Monero, it’s pretty safe to assume that any crypto currency which isn’t Bitcoin (with the ticker BTC) is a scam. The degree of scamminess varies but they literally all are. Monero has some privacy advantage over BTC currently, but as BTC develops layer-2 scaling solutions (e.g. lightning network) that edge will likely disappear. There are also many direct clones and variations of Bitcoin – Bitcoin gold, Bitcoin diamond, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin “Satoshi’s Vision”. Literally all centralised, worthless garbage, missing the sine-qua non of bitcoin, and what gives it it’s value.
Exchange: Somewhere you can exchange fiat currency or bitcoin for shitcoins.
How it works:
You go to a crypto onramp like Coinbase.com or Cash App, and register an account and enter your card details. There’s usually a verification stage but that can go quite quickly or slowly. It seems to be luck of the draw. Quickly would be an hour or less, slowly might be 24-48hrs.
The initial setup and verification of an account on an exchange like Coinbase can be annoying but once it’s set up it’s very easy to repeat the process, and can then you can send to whoever you like. For bonus points you can buy your BTC from Coinbase (or whoever) and then keep it off exchange in a self-custody wallet like Electrum or Wasabi. Storing your cryptocurrency in your own wallet protects you from having it confiscated or lost in the event anything should happen to the crypto onramp you bought it from.
Where to buy crypto:
- Cash app (usa only) – IOS | Android <- This should be easiest for US customers
- Coinbase.com– exchange/onramp. Assume Coinbase are the Feds (because they are). That’s how much you should trust them. <- UK customers this is probably your best bet.
- Kraken.com – exchange/onramp
- Bitstamp.net – one of the longest running exchanges.
- Binance.com – exchange/onramp
Cryptocurrencies we accept:
– Bitcoin/BTC: The original which always has the ticker “BTC”. Not “Bitcoin Cash”, “Bitcoin ABC”, “Bitcoin SV” or any of the other garbage variants.
– Monero/XMR: The most privacy focused. Ring signatures, all encrypted, as far as we can tell.
Common myths about crypto
– its untraceable? False- details: public ledger, KYC’d exchanges
– Isn’t it only used for illegal stuff? False – details – 0.7% used for illicit activities (source: chainalysis)