Verge Surges 42% Following PayPal’s Pull from Pornhub

PayPal Holdings Inc. abruptly stopped payment support to models on popular pornography site PornHub following the discovery that the site had made “certain payments without the permission of the payment processor,” according to a Reuters report published November 14.

However, as the site scrambles to find a new payments platform, the cryptocurrency industry seems to see an opportunity. PornHub itself has said that it is considering a payments option that uses cryptocurrency: “we currently pay out in Verge [XVG] and are evaluating adding other cryptocurrency payout options,” said Corey Price, vice president at Pornhub, to CoinDesk on Thursday.

Perhaps non-incidentally, the price of Verge had risen by more than 41.5% percent in the 24 hours since the news of Paypal’s withdrawal from PornHub first broke.

In addition to Verge, which PornHub began accepting in April of 2018, PornHub also began accepting payments in Tron and ZCash in June of this year. However, performers do not have the option to accept payouts in Tron or ZCash.

At the time that the partnership between Verge and PornHub was formed, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee tweeted that the “porn industry is definitely a leading indicator of technology adoption. I’m glad to see them opening up to cryptocurrency.”

Why did PayPal pull out of PornHub?

In an emailed statement, the payments company said that “following a review, we have discovered that PornHub has made certain business payments through PayPal without seeking our permission. We have taken action to stop these transactions from occurring.”

PornHub said in a blog post that it was “devastated by PayPal’s decision to stop payouts to over a hundred thousand performers who rely on them for their livelihoods,” and asked users who “have PayPal as your payout option [to] please select a new method and update your information in your Model Settings tab.”

PornHub’s parent company, Luxembourg-based “MindGeek,” has not commented publicly on the matter. FortuneZ reached out to Pornhub and to MindGeek but did not hear back by press time.

Ties between crypto and the sex industry are closer than meets the eye

While a crypto payment option may be the best eventual choice for PornHub’s models, there may be a learning curve to overcome.

A number of news outlets have pointed to a tweet by PornHub model Shyla Jennings in response to a question from TokenPay.

However, there have been long-standing ties between cryptocurrency and sex work, as sex industry workers have been forced to seek unconventional payment methods in exchange for their services.

FortuneZ previously reported that the cryptocurrency and sex work industries began to intersect in a serious way in 2015 when Visa and Mastercard pulled their services from now-defunct Backpage, a site for personal ads that was often used by sex workers. At the time, both companies explained that the decision was made to end human trafficking.”

However, when the two major payment providers exited the site, sex workers who relied on Backpage to connect with clients were forced to switch to crypto; Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin became the only forms of payment that could be used on Backpage.

(Photo: Verge Website Screenshot)

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