After Verge Disaster, Why Is Pornhub Doubling Down on Dubious Altcoins?

After Verge Disaster, Why Is Pornhub Doubling Down on Dubious Altcoins?

Pornhub’s announced — just over a month after the disastrous series of 51 percent attacks on Verge — that the pornography media website will be accepting two additional altcoins as payment for their premium services. But their choices of cryptocurrency represent a rashness that may hint at ulterior motives.

Also see: Feds Seize Crypto Worth $20 Million From Darknet Vendors

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Curious Choices: Why Tron and ZenCash?

The two currencies Pornhub has chosen aren’t exactly free of controversy. Tron’s inception was fraught with scandal after plagiarism and code theft allegations by numerous members of the cryptocurrency development community, and ZenCash is a controversial fork of a controversial fork.

While ZenCash makes sense from a marketing perspective, as the crypto purports to leverage privacy features in much the same way Verge does, Tron’s inclusion is somewhat of a head-scratcher. They have a history of announcing forthcoming partnerships that fail to eventuate, but Justin Sun managed to keep his lips sealed about the Pornhub tie-up. Even more baffling is that Tron’s primary use case seems to be smart contracts, and they use a more centralized dPoS consensus system. Accordingly, as demonstrated by EOS recently, delegated PoS networks can be censored and coerced with far less effort than a healthy PoW network.

Tron’s in. But why? Image via Hajime Sorayama.

With that in mind, though, ZenCash isn’t exactly a safe pick either. At press time, ZenCash can be attacked for just $4,200 USD, most of which can be bought with the popular hash power renting service Nicehash. That’s a $70 million network that, with the increased attention likely to result from the Pornhub deal, is extremely vulnerable compared to larger privacy coins like Monero and Zcash.

Pornhub currencies
The price it would take to attack ZenCash is too low for comfort. Via 51Crypto.

Let’s also not forget that neither of these cryptocurrencies have existed for very long. Tron has only had a live mainnet for a little over a month, and ZenCash is roughly a year old. The Pornhub integration represents the first real stress tests for both networks, and if what happened to Verge is any metric, problems will be found and exploited if they exist.

Pornhub Is Far From All-In On Crypto

So why is Pornhub integrating unproven, vulnerable altcoins instead of pursuing more solid solutions? The company has declined to comment on several occasions with regard to their choices. But skeptics will say it’s not hard to connect the dots, arguing that In all likelihood Pornhub doesn’t care about accepting cryptocurrency — they just care about the money they can make doing listing deals behind the scenes.

To that end, Tron has a substantial war chest to spend on promotion and development, and facilitating the integration of a payment button is probably a lot cheaper than paying listing fees on popular exchanges. It’s great PR for Tron, and others, because it represents a real use case. It’s not a stretch to assume that the other altcoins Pornhub has chosen to accept may have had similar, less public funds for promotional purposes.

Pornhub’s behavior mirrors Alphabay’s rash of altcoin integrations shortly before the drug marketplace’s seizure last year,  riding the pump from each altcoin integration announcement as a money-making strategy to supplement their platform fees. Pornhub may not have nefarious intentions, but this path isn’t a new one, and with each new altcoin they add, it becomes harder to argue that it’s a case of naive enthusiasm as opposed to a cynical way to open up a speculative revenue stream.

Have your say. Is Pornhub genuinely enthused about the altcoins it’s selecting? Yay, nay? 


Images via Pixabay, Hajime Sorayama, 51Crypto