Cryptocurrency startup VIT to 'pay' you to watch porn, but there's a catch

While you may be so over the wave of new cryptocurrencies popping up, one is hoping to entice you with porn. 
Indeed, Vice Industry Tokens (VIT) wants to pay you for looking at porn. Of course, by pay they mean you'll be compensated in their proprietary cryptocurrency VIT, which is based on an open-source blockchain, like others of its ilk.

And like most things in life, this isn't as simple as it seems. As part of the get-paid-for-watching-porn scheme, your engagement data from participating porn sites will be recorded by VIT and sold to its partners. That includes "social activity, likes, upvotes, comments, and content preferences" on the porn sites, according to its report on the plan, which was published online. The report doesn't mention if your data will be anonymized. 

VIT aims to solve a problem the adult film industry has long grappled with: It's difficult to make people pay for porn, thanks to the proliferation of free sites lurking on the internet. That's a problem exacerbated by users with ad blockers, or who simply click away from ads, hurting ad revenue.
VIT is a rethink of how free porn is monetized, but it's reliant on users willing to give away their data. You're doing that anyway when you sign up for social networks or use apps which sell your information to third parties.

The company already has signed more than a dozen partners, including Penthouse, where earned VIT can apparently be used to purchase premium content. It's one of a bundle of sex industry-oriented digital coins, like SpankChain, that envisions an opportunity to capitalise on people's pleasure in a new way.

"Consumers are earning a utility token by being on sites powered by vice token. They’re not going to care how the blockchain works, all they’re going to care about is getting a product for free and then the bonus of getting something for it, getting paid," the company's CEO, Stuart Duncan, told The Daily Beast.

It's possible that porn sites already keep track of similar data, Facebook tracks your data without paying you after all, but the difference here is that the entire idea of the blockchain where the data is recorded is that the 'immutable ledger,' as Vice Industry Tokens describes it, is available for all to see — not just advertisers.

The first websites will start accepting VIT by July 1, and apparently even producers can benefit by earning VIT uploading content. 

Vice Industry Tokens kicked off its initial coin offering, also known as a crowdsale, for 2 billion VIT in February, which allows interested buyers to use ether to obtain its new cryptocoin through March 20. VIT was sold at at a fixed amount of ether worth five cents, according to an FAQ. ICOs have gotten a bad rap in financial circles as of late as many turn out to be shady. China and South Korea have banned ICOs outright. Although, South Korea is considering softening its ban, according to a new report.

It's still unknown if VIT will ever have any real-world value, but for some, perhaps free porn is enough of an incentive. (Via Mashable)

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