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Boston nurse fired for nudes on OnlyFans launches crypto porn app

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Former Boston ICU nurse Allie Rae made international news in after she was fired for running an extremely naughty OnlyFans account on the side. The story appeared everywhere from the NY Post to CNN and The Daily Beast — and she even made an appearance on Dr. Phil.

The resulting publicity saw fans subscribing in droves, and the 37-year-old mother of three now makes more than $200,000 a month.

But the same sort of moralizing and censorship that ended her nursing career also threatens her newfound wealth from OnlyFans. Just six days after her story was made public, OnlyFans announced it would ban “sexually explicit” content, under pressure from its banking partners.   

“When the news broke about the payment processing and OnlyFans, I began looking at other platforms to switch to, and quickly realized they too could fall into the same trap down the road,” Rae says on the line from her new home in crypto-friendly Florida.

She’s assembled a team of 20 developers and is putting the finishing touches on a new OnlyFans-meets-Instagram-style crypto-powered social platform called WetSpace. It’s due to launch in beta in February, accepting payments in a range of stablecoins across different chains to mitigate issues with gas fees. NFT support will come in the project’s second stage mid-year.

Porn has long been seen as one of the best chances crypto has for adoption: Users can remain anonymous, and performers don’t have to deal with payment processors charging them high fees or unilaterally cutting off services under opaque morality clauses.

Despite this, as Magazine discovered in the past, crypto payments have failed to take off. Pornhub tried and failed with Verge, then moved to using Pumapay’s service, which was crippled by high gas fees on Ethereum and is in the process of relaunching on Binance Smart Chain. SpankChain attempted a more modest platform targeting crypto users but has had limited success so far, though it’s still in the game and is developing “SpankPay V2” based on user feedback. CumRocket is developing an NFT marketplace but reports limited availability of its CUMMIES token on exchanges.

Rae believes a major problem is trying to launch projects with related adult tokens. “I had been watching the fall of other ‘adult shitcoins’ and how their model was destined to fail serving two masters — creators and holders. That is when WetSpace came about.”

Rae points out that adult coins add an extra step to the process, and most are very volatile, which isn’t attractive to users or models.

Porn payments

Part of that advocacy is trying to figure out a way for creators and operators to escape the stranglehold that traditional payment processors have on it. In recent years, the war on adult sites by payment processors has ramped up, supported by the emotive campaigns of anti-porn crusaders.

A case in point is the famed New York Times piece in December 2020 called The Children of Pornhub. Columnist Nicholas Kristof sensationally claimed the “site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.” He argued the site facilitated sex trafficking and cited a petition with 2.1 million signatures calling for it to be closed.

Often mistakenly referred to as an investigation, the NYT billed the piece as “opinion,” meaning its usual standards of fact-checking don’t apply. Mashable summed up the piece as being based on the “dubious and distorted findings and arguments of one anti-sex work conservative group.” It caused a massive backlash, and Mastercard and Visa quickly announced they would no longer provide services to Pornhub, threatening the viability of the site.

The deplatforming of sex sites by payment companies has ramped up considerably in recent years following the passing of the controversial Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA-SESTA) in 2018.

Rae’s first encounter with the issue came when OnlyFans caused outrage in August last year by announcing it would ban “sexually explicit” content, threatening the livelihoods of 2 million creators making a collective $2.3 billion a year. OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely blamed BNY Mellon, Metro Bank and JPMorgan Chase for refusing to process payments, though the ban was quickly reversed after “banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”

“A lot of people at that time were reaching out to me: ‘What do you think about this? Oh, my gosh, where are you going? You’re making so much money. Now where are you going to put your content?’” she recalls.

Rae explains that she’d considered other platforms but realized competitors “are at the mercy of the banks as well.”

“That’s when my brain really got to turn on to: What is the solution to this?” she says.  “At that time, I didn’t fully understand the nature of what was going on. But I did a lot of research, and I started to really dive into the dark part of what’s going on in terms of the big financial institutions.”

“Porn is always looked at as taboo. There’s a stigma out there. But the amount of control that these banking industries have over every platform that runs primarily on fiat is scary.”

Counterpoint

She argues that OnlyFans gives creators a safer way to work in the sex industry than in a strip club or on the streets. And while she believes in taking firm action against sex trafficking and child pornography, she says those aims are only selectively pursued by payment processors.

A 2020 survey from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed Facebook had 20.3 million reported incidents of child sexual abuse materials, Google had 546,704 incidents, Twitter had 65,062, Snapchat 144,095 and TikTok 22,692.

Way down the bottom of the list was Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, with 13,000.

“Facebook literally is the leader in child sex trafficking, and they’re definitely not shutting them down,” she says. “How much of it is in regards to them just truly wanting to get rid of the people in this industry (porn) and ban this type of content — is it really about child trafficking?”

Rae had dabbled in crypto previously, making a bundle off of Dogecoin when Elon Musk’s tweets drove it to the moon and playing around with creating her own NFTs when CumRocket launched its NSFW NFT marketplace in mid-2021.

She says the anonymity of crypto is perfect for users who want to sign up but can’t afford to have an OnlyFans entry on their bank statements.

“I get DMs all the time saying ‘God, I wish I could join OnlyFans. But you know, I just can’t have my accountant seeing all the charges.’” There’s a huge market that a lot of creators aren’t able to tap into.

The WetSpace interface will look a lot like Instagram, with a feed, a discovery feature for creators and, later on, a marketplace enabling models to sell NFTs with added bonuses like free subscriptions, premium snaps or video chats. WetSpace will charge creators 15% (OnlyFans charges 20%), and they can select which cryptocurrencies to accept. They receive the money instantly and don’t have to worry about chargebacks.

Rae says it’s about 90% complete right now, with new features being added all the time.CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!


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