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Pseudonyms Allow People To Set Up A System For Developing A Truthful Reputation

Leah Callon-Butler is one gutsy woman.

In her interview with Crypto Clothesline last week in Part I, we discussed:

  • Stigma, assumptions, and judgements associated with the adult industry and being a sex-worker within that industry
  • Consensual vs trafficking: two different worlds of sex-workers
  • Payments in this industry are a fundamental issue
  • Protecting customer anonymity
  • Using pseudonyms for developing a reputation both as worker and a client
  • Blockchain a perfect use-case for this industry: permitting both privacy and transparency
  • Satoshi Nakamoto’s quote regarding Bitcoin and ‘porn guys’

This week in Part II of our podcast interview with Leah, we’re discussing the…

“…biased, unfair treatment that women (and men) in this industry repeatedly face.”

…From not being able to open a business bank account therefore having problems transacting, to not being permitted to buy a domain name, right down to the obvious dangers (like physical violence, denied payment and the passing of disease) of working in the business of swapping sex for money.  We’re going to look in more detail at how Blockchain technology can address these.

If you’re denied access to a business bank account, then you either have to use your personal account or go to cashville.  Seeing we live in a country striding headlong into a cashless society, then it seems to be becoming harder and harder to transact legally in the adult industry.

Given that a staggering estimated $97 billion is spent on porn alone each year around the world, with the monetary transactions of sex being less traceable due to ‘cash nature’ of the industry, don’t you think it would be great to provide transparency?

Cryptocurrency allows people the right to transact, whereas at the moment transacting in the adult industry is blocked by most advanced payment methods including banks, PayPal, Stripe and others.

“Pseudonyms allow people to set up a system for developing a truthful reputation.”

As an example, “Angie” can set up the pseudonym “HotGirl” and list all the relevant information for her clients including latest health check-up results (sexually transmitted information updated every 3 months and verified by an offline medical oracle), HIV status including meds being taken and strategies for practicing safe sex, payment address without actually revealing her ID.  This is done by having her identification verified by an off-chain oracle (think of Greek gods being consulted in times of confusion: an oracle is like a translator for information provided by an outside platform.)

A pseudonym allows Angie to maintain her privacy and safety by withholding her true identity.

This collation of verified information means that a sex-worker can develop a transparent yet private ‘reputation’ which potentially is reflected in higher income due to clearer communication and an excellent ‘rating’ so-to-speak.

The platform also allows the client to operate under a pseudonym offering information relevant to the transaction including a history of violence, an anonymous payment channel and the concealing of identity.  This has the added benefit of building a reputation based on verified information and rating systems.

Good actors (great clients) are rewarded for their positive regard by developing a  trustworthy reputation.

The platform works similarly to both Airbnb and Uber whereby both the provider and client build a reputation via reviews and data (stored under a pseudonym however in this case).  With Airbnb, if a guest misbehaves: ruins the carpet, gets drunk and throws a party (not necessarily in that order), then everyone online can potentially know about it because of his/her rating.  They lose their status as a great guest and no longer get accepted into other people’s homes for economic easy accommodation.

“Developing a reputation system is extremely powerful for building trust.”

With Blockchain technology, these issues can be addressed by ensuring that verified, albeit anonymous information, can be securely stored in a ledger or data base that cannot be tampered with.  Furthermore, it gives a means of payment which doesn’t rely on banks or biased online payment systems.

Blockchain is a perfect use-case for this industry: providing both transparency of relevant information, and privacy for that information that both parties prefer to keep discreet.

Furthermore, this pseudonymous reputation ‘template’ could be applied to any industry that is currently stigmatised.  Take for example the conflicting laws in the U.S. Californian state laws that permit you to consume cannabis, but not to purchase it using your bank account due to conflicting laws related to the federal government.

Gambling is another platform that could make use of this innovative approach.

We may yet witness that this model for dealing with these ‘dark’ arts actually creates an overarching effect on many different industries.

Listen to the full podcast with Leah Callon-Butler here


By Abheeti Kathryn Pass

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