PayPal blocks funds to performers opening the door for Bitcoin

In a replay of the 2010 incident when PayPal blocked users from sending funds to WikiLeaks, Paypal on Wednesday, November 13th 2019, removed access to receive payments to performers on the adult website

There is the question of “why now?” Pornhub has used PayPal services for the better part of a decade. This may be PayPal’s attempt to get in front of the FTC’s COPPA rule if the conversation turns to payments.

PayPal’s terms of services do include a section on sexually-oriented content: 

Prohibited Activities

2. (i)You may not use the PayPal service for activities that contain certain sexually oriented materials or services.  

As reported by‘s Motherboard, a PayPal spokesperson told Motherboard: “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.”

“Without seeking our permission” is the exact reason Bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies exist today. When a third party can cut access to funds, it puts livelihoods and lives at risk. There continues to be a stigma towards sex workers, and this action by PayPal does nothing to fix that. 

“Decisions like that of PayPal and other major companies do nothing but harm efforts to end discrimination and stigma towards sex workers. While we still have several payment methods for our models available, we will continue to add more sex worker friendly ones and explore cryptocurrency options in the near future.” a spokesperson told Motherboard.

In 2018, Pornhub began accepting Verge (XVG) cryptocurrency payments. At the time, seen as a marketing ploy but now may turn into a lifeline for performers. 

But, that does not mean it’s a lifeline for Pornhub itself. Performers can receive crypto directly from their fans and do not need Pornhub to facilitate the transaction. The silver lining in this, crypto usage among the adult industry potentially will grow and provide more use cases for crypto. 

Jason Nelson is a Technology Reporter and Journalist and has been in the cryptocurrency space since 2016, his official website is and the associated YouTube channel: Dragonwolftech. Jason can be found on Twitter @dragonwolftech

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