Aussie Startup Intimate Aims To Disrupt The Sex Industry With Blockchain

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Australian startup Intimate is using blockchain technology to bring trust and enable safe transactions in the adult entertainment industry.

Founded last year, Intimate is developing a blockchain ledger with specific features for the adult industry and a focus on reputation, trust and discretion. To achieve this, the platform will enable pseudonymous users to check a counterpart’s reputation before entering into a transaction.

“The adult industry is one of the oldest industries in the world and yet it is still largely unregulated,” Intimate co-founder and engagement director Leah Callon-Butler, said in a statement. “Its workers are marginalized, and very often, neither supplier nor customer is protected or empowered.”

Founder and CEO Reuben Coppa cited the case of escorts, who “right now, rely on phone calls and the tone of text messages” to determine whether an interaction with a client will be safe. “By applying something like an Uber or Airbnb rating, they could make behavior better,” he told Bloomberg.

Intimate will come with its own cryptocurrency called the Intimate (ITM) token. ITM, an ERC20 token, intends to provide an alternative payment option for the industry’s workers, suppliers and customers.

Payments and remuneration have long been an issue in the sex industry, and many payment services likes credit card companies, won’t go near payments for online porn or sexual services. According to Coppa, even “so-called progressive innovative companies like Stripe and PayPal, won’t deal with the adult industry” and providers especially targeting the space can take as much as a 25% cut of a transaction. This represents an opportunity for alternative payment methods and players like Intimate to fill the gap.

Intimate has raised US$5.1 million in its ongoing token pre-sale with US$1.1 million of that sum coming from billion-dollar digital currency fund Alphabit. The startup aims to raise as much as US$24.5 million.

Liam Robertson, CEO of Alphabit, stated:

“Alphabit invests in projects that are solving real-world problems with blockchain technology, and Intimate is breaking down barriers to financial services for a traditionally underserved demographic. This is the exact use case crypto has been waiting for.”

Intimate is not the first startup building a cryptocurrency especially for the adult industry. Okoin claims it is the first decentralized blockchain-based virtual reality platform for 100% anonymous adult content distribution. Vicecoin is an adult entertainment platform where viewers can watch videos, and a cryptocurrency that rewards anybody who participates by viewing, adding, or curating content.