An Untouched Space Desperately in Need of Blockchain

10/25/2017 02:44 am ET

Often cited as the most fundamental invention in the recent era of computer science, blockchain paves a bright future for the world economy. I’ve previously written about these unparalleled disruptions in credit, banking, finance and governance and I believe a true revolution is underway.

Meanwhile, one of the hottest -- and most polarizing -- multibillion dollar industries has remained stagnant. It’s been left behind from virtually every financial advancement since the 1990’s.

Normally, a space like this would leave startups clawing for disruption as opportunistic entrepreneurs seek to capitalize on every tiny inefficiency that exists, yet, these development have not occurred.

I’m talking, of course, about the adult industry.

The space accounts for more than 30% of overall web traffic, exceeds $100 billion in global economic activity, and more than 75% of men and women partake monthly.

Researchers, writers, and entrepreneurs are quick to paint the adult sector as sort of “rogue” industry, rather than consider the serious financial and economic scale that it actually has. This has lead to flagrant abuses of rights for those in the industry.

Flagrant Abuse is Rampant

The shocking reality is that an entire ​$100B ​entertainment ​industry ​has ​faced direct ​discrimination ​from banks, ​payment ​processors, ​and ​financial ​institutions. ​In ​2014, ​JPMorgan ​Chase ​closed ​the bank ​accounts ​of ​several ​high ​profile stars ​and ​their ​families ​without clear ​justification. To avoid getting caught up in grey areas, Visa ​and ​Mastercard rarely process ​payments ​for ​the industry. And even ​Paypal ​frequently closes ​accounts ​and seizes ​funds of ​performers.​

This level of financial discrimination and ​censorship ​would generally be flagged by human interest watch groups. Yet, these abuses have ​persisted ​despite ​the ​FDIC ​declaring ​it ​unconstitutional and ​in ​violation ​of ​the ​First ​Amendment.

Middlemen have entered the space, extracting exorbitant ​fees ​due ​to ​a ​lack ​of ​competition. Adult sites ​take ​between ​a ​30-50% ​cut ​of ​performer ​earnings, ​and ​content marketplaces ​take ​a ​40% ​cut ​or ​more. The problem isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse.

The Solution the Space Needs

After careful consideration, I’ve found only one viable project tackling these issues, SpankChain.

With a comedic appeal on the outside, SpankChain brings much needed technology to the adult industry. Privacy, security, ​self-sovereign ​identity, ​and ​economic ​efficiency are core pillars of the SpankChain infrastructure.

It’s more than just another adult site, the technology provides an underlying infrastructure layer that removes sizable barriers and inefficiencies in the space today.

Spankchain Platform Layers
Spankchain Platform Layers

If you look past the tongue-in-cheek messaging, there lies a powerful application layer that offers a suite of protocol level developments for the industry to overcome the artificial barriers imposed over the last decade. Payment ​channel ​hubs allow ​users ​to ​process ​payments ​for ​a ​fraction ​of ​the ​cost ​of traditional ​payment ​processors. Age verification systems allow sites to comply ​with ​all ​age ​verification ​laws ​in ​their respective ​jurisdictions. The company is developing a revolutionary video ​streaming ​infrastructure supporting a ​range ​of ​mobile ​devices.

Businesses ​built on their infrastructure can ​leverage their ​SDK ​to ​seamlessly create revolutionary products.

The team and product is strong and the community is taking notice. The founder, Ameen ​Soleimani, ​worked ​as ​a ​software ​engineer ​at ​ConsenSys ​for ​almost ​a ​year ​before ​leaving ​to start ​SpankChain. Joe ​Urgo, Co-founder ​at ​district0x, is advising the product on their marketplace activities through his firm, Sourcerers. Steven ​McKie, a ​crypto ​veteran ​of ​5 ​years, ​and ​previous ​Head ​of ​Growth ​and ​Product ​Content ​at ​Purse serves as an advisor. Janice ​Griffith, a ​model, ​adult ​performer, ​and ​sex ​positivity ​activist serves as their head of PR.

Despite the flagrant abuse, lack of financial innovation, and years of being viewed as a rogue industry, developments are finally on the horizon. SpankChain may be the first project to create a global scale adoption of Blockchain technology where it’s critically needed.

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