NFTs to Protect XXX Content Creators: a Hint for OnlyFans
- The adult content industry has historically been an early adopter of new technology, as they were among the first to adapt to VCRs, cable TV, and the internet.
- NFTs offer a gateway for XXX artists to monetize their work and bypass social scrutiny from big tech companies.
- Companies such as PayPal, Youtube and Instagram enforce rules detrimental to such alternative cultures as adult entertainment.
- OnlyFans is a new Hollywood side hustle for celebrities, but without the social stigma.
Sexual content has always been under scrutiny because society as a whole tends to discriminate against what is considered dirty work. The pandemic has enhanced online adult activity with platforms such as Only Fans generating over $2.3 billion in revenue. In contrast, NFTs have shifted user perceptions from a rental economy towards an ownership economy. Only Fans’ business model is not specifically aimed towards NSFW content, but rather to be a new means of monetizing unique content in the form of “digital containers” for added digital value.
Minting Our Sexual Preferences on the Blockchain
The adult entertainment industry holds the reputation of being an adopter of disruptive technologies. Cryptocurrencies provided sex workers with a censorship-free means of receiving payment. Large tech companies often dismiss and impede adult industry workers, imposing obstacles, refusing to process transactions, and deleting content on their platforms. The new digital reform has instilled a degree of fairness by removing the middleman and allowing creators to transact freely, regardless of their social status.
The success of NFTs is not ephemeral. Although Beeple’s $69 million sale might bear a resemblance to a bubble, the underlying technological opportunities have positively impacted the digital landscape. Using blockchain in its purest form does not account for verification and KYC, thus facilitating a new locale for art and technology to flourish.
NFTs can disrupt a $97 billion industry that continues to have a “middleman,” which restricts their revenue generation potential. According to Cali Carter, NFTs allow adult content creators to be “closer” to their fans. Only Fans has merely scratched the surface of the possibilities for the adult industry, as it only creates an enclosure for discredited art to grow. However, Only Fans has grown in popularity among Hollywood stars, which could yield further benefits for the adult industry.
On the Flipside
- It is not yet clear if NFT marketplaces will continue to allow explicit content to be featured or if they will follow suit with mainstream platforms in restricting access.
- Minting NFTs has proved to be a barrier for users due to high network fees.
- NFTs are still an unexplored possibility within the adult industry, requiring participants to have some technical knowledge.
The Convergence of Art and Sexuality
Eros and art have always coexisted, and their limits are only visible to those that make the differentiation. Poly Annie, an Only Fans creator, emphasized that NFTs allow her to “set the conditions of my work,” letting her establish her own limits of what can be achieved. Additionally, crypto art fueled by NFTs further allows sex workers to “take greater control” of their image. NFTs associated with existing platforms can create extensive opportunities to enhance the mass adoption of NFTs.
The number of websites dedicated to NFTs are increasing, however Only Fans’ still dominates the landscape. Instagram is also experimenting with Fan Clubs and in-app collectibles. Their approach to NFTs is well-founded; creating unique fan clubs similar to Only Fans might not yield the same results though, due to the platform’s policies. Only Fans’ CEO, Tim Stokely, stated that they have no plans to shut “down adult creators,” thus increasing the value the platform provides to the growing demand for digital art.
Exclusivity is the name of the game in the growing digital economy because it “encourages someone to invest their money in individualized, exclusive content.” Furthermore, Only Fans already promotes an exclusive pathway for users to interact with known personalities, regardless of if they are part of the adult industry or not. To that end, embedding NFTs into the inner works of Only Fans could increase revenue streams for both providers and the platform.
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