The adult website Pornhub has of late taken pride in being something of a pioneer. A year ago, it implemented HTTPS encryption[1], making it safer for users to click without being snooped on. Last fall, it introduced a suite of accessibility features[2] for its blind and visually impaired users. And Tuesday, it began accepting Verge, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency

Pornhub is not by any stretch the first adult site to accept cryptocurrency. Dozens already do, as do mainstream companies like Microsoft, Overstock, and Expedia. But the significance of the move lies less in the marriage of cryptocurrency and pornography than it does in the legitimization of cryptocurrency as tender generally. After all, Pornhub’s not just the largest site of its kind. It’s one of the largest sites on the web, period.

On the Verge

Accepting Verge does have specific value to Pornhub users, of course. Not everyone wants their credit card statement to have mature content on it, even pseudonymously. And while Verge cryptocurrency isn’t an infallible cloak of invisibility, it does incorporate more anonymity tools than traditional tender.

“It’s an anonymous additional form of payment,” says Pornhub vice-president Corey Price. “Offering privacy-focused payment options is something we have been looking to do for a while.”

Pornhub's move is also notable because it chose to use Verge, a relatively unknown cryptocurrency, over cryptocurrency frontrunners like Bitcoin and Ether. It does, though, offer a few privacy-focused attributes that might make it particularly appealing to Pornhub clientele.

As for the specifics of how Verge offers that anonymity, it’s an open source project that leverages Tor[3], which hides your IP address by encrypting your traffic and bouncing it through a chain of computers around the world, and I2P, which differs in practice but offers

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