Mastercard, Visa Stops Payments to Bitcoin-Friendly Pornhub after rape video exposé

The move to disable payments for the Pornhub Premium subscription is permanent, Mastercard said the move by Visa is temporary pending the findings of its own investigation.
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In the aftermath of a New York Times report that revealed suspected Pornhub videos of rape and child violence, Mastercard and Visa credit card companies today announced they would no longer process adult website payments.

But for Pornhub, which has previously leveraged crypto to handle the fallout with payment company PayPal, Bitcoin remains an alternative, albeit a little-advertised one.

In September, the site started to accept Bitcoin and Litecoin for its premium subscription service; in April 2018, it had already begun to accept Verge (a Dogecoin fork).

It also allows for payouts in Tether or Tron for webcam models and other entertainers who upload to the net. Alternatively, through their bank, they may sign up or use Cosmo Payment for direct deposit. What they can't do is use PayPal. In November 2019, it stopped accepting payments from the website.

The change to USDT stablecoin was precipitated by PayPal's departure, according to Pornhub's site.

The move to disable payments for the Pornhub Premium subscription is permanent, Mastercard said the move by Visa is temporary pending the findings of its own investigation.

Pornhub may be stung by the loss of payment methods as it tries to both retain profits and shore up the trust of customers and regulators in its product.

It has not made the process smooth, although it ostensibly welcomes BTC, LTC, and XVG payments.

For one thing, with the Bitcoin and Litecoin additions, its crypto page has not been changed. A "Join Pornhub Premium with Verge" button leads to the regular payment tab, where users will have to enter a credit card in order to sign up.

With Visa and Mastercard out of the picture, the remaining credit card choices are Discover and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau).

(The help page of Pornhub, which deals with technological and billing problems, noted that it is "receiving a high influx of inquiries"; Decrypt was unable to confirm payment method questions.)

Yet there are more serious legal and ethical questions for Pornhub to contend with. It says it's trying to address the problems that contributed to the departures of Visa and Mastercard.

It updated its terms of service and issued a statement on December 8, that read, in part:

“We have always been committed to eliminating illegal content, including non-consensual material and child sexual abuse material (CSAM).”

To clamp down, it said it “will only allow properly identified users to upload content” and that it had expanded its moderation and flagging processes.