A new, dubious "smart" cryptocurrency for prostitution

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/06/crypto-snake-oil.html


Ethereum is already famous for its hard fork, so perhaps it’s a good fit.


You mean the “blockchain solves all problems” community overlaps with the “women are a passive sex utility” community?

The smelling salt has not yet been formulated that can deal with my shock at this revelation.


Question about all these pseudo currencies such as bitcoin etc: can you pay your rent, groceries, electric and phone bill with them? What can you actually use them for? Seems
like a bunch of kool aid drinking going on.


in the US they are taxed as a commodity iirc.

so when you buy some the value is the basis … and when you sell them for dollars/euros/elderberries you are taxed whatever the current capital gains rate is (or capital loss if your selling rate is below your basis) on the difference between the basis and what the commodity has earned.

I think.


Yes, you can buy and sell them, and their value rises and falls, but you can’t use them to pay for anything really useful as such. So not really a currency. I can buy and sell pork bellies but I can’t pay my rent with them.


If the only purpose of these tokens is to pay for sex than the very possession of such token is an indication of intent to pay for sex. A dollar bill is a dollar bill. It has thousands of uses. Having it in your wallet rarely implies anything in particular. Not so much for these things. These tokens might be “anonymous” for customer but they don’t sound discreet at all. So they fail even that side of the equation.


Sounds like the sort of thing that self employed, unexploited sex workers would not choose to accept, but trafficked workers with pimps might be compelled to accept. So indirectly, it might end up being a helpful way to target the worst kind of prostitution?


Don’t people use film cameras now to get round the prostitution angle?

“No officer, this isn’t prostitution, this is a film set!”


Yea boy! I’m gonna get me some!

…what do you mean the nearest participating hooker is 500 miles away?


Doesn’t making a crypto currency for a specific use somewhat undercut its obscurity? If you use something called PotCoin to buy weed, when you’re caught for buying or cashing in the PotCoins (depending on whether you’re selling or buying), it’ll be a little difficult to suggest you were trading something other than weed. The moral, legal and blockchain security issues aside, this seems flawed from a strategic standpoint.


Does this make Ethereum a pimp?


This is really one of the dumbest things ever. Just having Lust currency would then implicate you with sex trading either as a buyer or seller or intermediary. Cash is cash. Also, you can’t buy a sandwich with it.


Somehow I get the feeling that this cryptocurrency was designed without any consultations with sex workers or their employers. Or with any thought given to the reasons why certain businesses, like sex work, are conducted with cash only. Or why certain cash only businesses tend to have a strict “no refunds” policy.

Actually, I suspect this might be the world’s first cryptocurrency that was designed by a committee of little heads. That would explain a great deal.


The “coin” under Ethereum is the Ether. What they seem to have done is taken the Ethereum contract mechanism and created their own new Lust coin. I don’t see a good reason for that. (A good crypto-currency reason. Never mind the prostitution part.)

Kind of. You’re basically betting that the growth of *coin will outpace inflation, making it a store of wealth. When you need to pay your rent you just cash out some bitcoin for dollars.


If you rented from me I think we could work something out.


Sadly, I have no doubt the the gov’t will FUD the two together, as they hate cryptocurrency and love putting it in the public consciousness as something unsavory.

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“Lust” is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services.

How is offering services “passive”? Do you find that to be the case for all services, or only sex work? It sounds like there is probably some double-standard lurking there somewhere.

Kind of not looking forward to a discussion that intersects those who complain about both cryptocurrencies and sex work.

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Yeah, even though it would still have its problems for this use, Ethereum would be much more discrete if a user’s stash were discovered. Otherwise, there’s a transaction history that shows a detailed record of your prostitution related spending/gains. Really bad idea on many levels.

Edit: … and if it did try to obfuscate who spent what where by mixing up transactions, you could be nailed for money laundering.