Blockchain Bites: Pornhub’s Privacy Predicament, Argentina’s Crypto Boom, Israel’s DeFi Darlings

Blockchain Bites: Pornhub’s Privacy Predicament, Argentina’s Crypto Boom, Israel’s DeFi Darlings
Cryptocurrency is now, by default, the only form of payment Pornhub accepts.
(Know Your Meme)

Hi, all. Today we look at the global perspective: Latin America’s booming crypto sector, Israeli’s DeFi scene and how whales from around the world drive market changes. 

Capear el temporal
Argentinian in a year of economic and political uncertainty, CoinDesk’s Sandali Handagama reports. (. Es el primer trabajo de CoinDesk traducido a la segunda lengua más hablada del mundo.) It’s part of a general trend across the South American region, driven by bull market, national inflation and the increasing need for digital remittances during a pandemic year. Last week, Mexico City-based Bitso raised to fund its expansion to Brazil, it certainly .

DeFi darlings
Israel’s crypto scene has , the intrepid CoinDesk contributor Leigh Cuen concisely and conveniently considers. At an epicenter of 2017’s Ethereum-based ICO bubble, Israeli startups, and attendant venture capitalists, are now engineering ways to bring bitcoin into the emerging DeFi economy, also primarily based on Ethereum.

Carbon future
The World Economic Forum and seven major mining companies are from mine to the end of the supply chain. Maybe it’ll finally answer the question: ?

Sell pressure
Bitcoin’s rally above $19,500 was , with significant sell pressure at $20,000 ahead, according to CoinDesk markets reporter Omkar Godbole. These sell walls are no joke. In fact, one analyst told Godbole this morning’s market dip could likely be attributed to profit taking by large Asia-based investors. CryptoQuant data shows whales taking a dip around $19,500, bringing the market with them. Big picture: Pondering Durian provides .

There has been a lot of hyperventilating in the press and on Twitter this week over the fact that cryptocurrency is now, , Pornhub accepts. 

Far less attention has been paid to the related news that the adult entertainment site is about to adopt its own version of know-your-customer rules, or KYC. Call it “Know Your Coomer” after the internet meme of a disheveled porn addict with poor impulse control and a hypertrophied right arm. (For those unfamiliar with online argot, it’s one of many derivatives of ” like “consoomer” for spendthrifts, “floomer” for those who insist COVID-19 is just the flu, or “coofer” for people exhibiting symptoms of the virus.)

And, much like the know-your-customer policies of financial institutions including regulated crypto exchanges, Know Your Coomer raises difficult questions about privacy and data protection.

Rewinding the tape: In response to a harrowing about the posting of child exploitation imagery on Pornhub, Visa and Mastercard from their card networks. This left crypto, which Pornhub has accepted , as the sole remaining payment option for the site’s premium users.

Yes, I checked. 

No, I did not investigate further through this channel.

From the perspective of highlighting crypto’s value as a form of money, this is all well and good. As disturbing as the revelations in the Times piece were, the use of financial infrastructure as an extrajudicial enforcement mechanism is creepy in its own way, just as it was in the and   

The Open Source Defense newsletter :

“The second-order danger … is that you’re nearly certain to be able to find illegal content on any large platform for user-generated content. And no company at any level of technical expertise, from Google and Facebook on down, can fully prevent that. So when everybody’s guilty, getting shut down is only a matter of whether someone decides that it’s time to take a look at you. That’s not a world that’ll make anybody happy in the long run.”

An under-reported aspect of the story is the steps Pornhub is taking to prevent illegal content from being posted on this site. 

Last week, the site, owned by Canada-based MindGeek, by any users who were not verified through its revenue-generating programs. “In the new year, we will implement a verification process so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol,” Pornhub said. (Content previously uploaded by unverified users was subsequently .)

If this prevents monsters from using the site in abusive ways, all the better. But it will create risks for those who only post lawful content. The following remains to be seen:

I emailed these questions to MindGeek and its law firm last week but have not heard back (not surprising, given the company is managing a crisis situation). 

Five years ago, the showed how a poorly guarded trove of data on people who do legal but embarrassing things online can easily become a blackmailer’s goldmine. Pornhub would do well to heed this lesson. Even coomers deserve privacy.

– Marc Hochstein

Ruffer Investment Allocated 2.5% of Multi-Strategies Fund to Bitcoin in November

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