Strippers are dancing for bitcoin with barcode tattoos on their butts
Of all the cities where Mallory has worked as a stripper, San Francisco is one of her favorites. In the fast-paced tech hub, the opportunities for earning money are endless. Silicon Valley executives tip their strippers well, and they do it in more than just singles tucked underneath their G-strings.
“They’ll tip me in bitcoin,” Mallory tells Rooster. “I have stickers, like temporary tattoos, of a QR code that links directly to my bitcoin wallet. I’ll slap one on my ass, and the customers can scan my butt with their phone and deposit bitcoin directly into my account.”
Mallory is only 22 years old, yet already has the storied wisdom of a nostalgic grandpa. She’s spent the past four years traveling the U.S., affording her cross-country voyage with different forms of sex work — working as a stripper, cam girl, dominatrix or escort.
Of all the modernization she’s seen in the sex industry, bitcoin tattoos are the most exciting — for both dancers and customers.
Customers get untraceable transactions. The vast majority of Americans carry less than $50 in cash, but also don’t want last weekend’s lap dance showing up in their credit card statements.
Crypto payments are instant and anonymous, allowing the perfect level of discretion for a man who doesn’t want to have that awkward conversation with his wife about his infatuation with the exotic dancer in the crotchless panties who dyes both the carpet and the drapes bleach blonde.
Accepting bitcoin is also ideal for the dancers. Banks have a history of discriminating against adult entertainers, shutting down their accounts without warning. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer transaction that cuts out the moral-policing middleman. What’s more, banks and credit card companies can’t use charge-backs to reverse these payments. Once bitcoins are transferred, it’s irreversible.
Strippers don’t need a master’s degree in finance to understand how crypto can be a great money move. Reports estimate that 90 percent of bitcoin users are rich, tech-savvy young men — the perfect demographic for dancers looking to make a killing.
“It’s a great, passive investment, and an important part of my savings.” Mallory says. “I don’t touch that money. I just watch it grow.”
The first strip club to embrace digital currency made waves last month when it announced its move to crypto. The club, called Legends Room, offers lifetime memberships, payable in $5,000 of bitcoin for 5,000 LGD, the club’s own virtual dollars. Legend Room’s dancers say this makes customers feel like they’re giving away arcade tokens — which turns tipping into a game — and feels a lot less like paying for women’s attention.
The porn industry is also turning to crypto in a desperate attempt to get people to pay for porn. On a number of sites like Playboy and Penthouse, viewers who engage with adult content (by commenting, creating and sharing it) are paid in cryptocurrency called Vice tokens. The tokens can then be used to purchase premium porn or even a one-on-one cam conversation with your favorite adult star.
Despite its insane popularity, there still aren’t a lot of places to spend bitcoin. However, the technology that’s promised to revolutionize everything is gradually seeping into the sex trade — starting with the sticker on your favorite stripper’s ass.