Webcam girls are now – you guessed it – on the blockchain
When we think of blockchain, we usually associate it with financial services applications. However, blockchains have a multitude of applications and can be used in a variety of areas. It is therefore not surprising that it can be used to power a next generation webcam platform such as Live stars, which offers security and anonymity to its users.
The webcam industry landscape
Although the webcam industry has grown from a small niche in adult entertainment to a multi-million dollar business, all existing webcam platforms present a number of fundamental issues around payments, security, and anonymity. Innovations in the webcam industry are therefore necessary to progress.
The webcam industry is the most technologically advanced branch of online porn. The models (usually female) talk to video chat users and, for additional payments, pose, undress, and perform sexual acts. Normally, models use their own funds and resources, as all you need is a web camera, internet access, and a room. However, there are also specialized studios where several models can work at the same time. Webcams differ from the offline portion of the sex industry and porn videos in that there is no physical contact between the model and the client and all payments are non-cash.
Behind the Scenes of the Model’s Webcam
Behind each model are a variety of intermediaries involved, including agency owners, studio directors, and in-house staffed transaction platforms. Each of these intermediaries takes a share in the model’s income, leaving the model only 20-25% of what their client paid. The activities of the webcam platforms are also supported by numerous staff members responsible for verifying transactions, verifying that models comply with site rules, paying, technical support, marketing and moderation. These staffs create huge overheads, causing the platform to require around 60% commission on payments.
Aside from the low percentage of income received by the model, the model must earn a minimum amount required, usually $ 50 to get paid. It should be noted that 99% of male models do not even reach this minimum. In the event that this threshold is reached, most sites transfer payment within a strict time frame (usually once a week, on a certain day). During this time, the model’s account is checked for possible fraudulent activity. As a result, model gains may be blocked by the administration until all the circumstances are clear or payment can be refused completely. LiveJasmin for example pays models 20-25 days after the end of the two week period.
Problems with current webcam platforms
Since there are many intermediaries and stages involved in paying for models, there is a lack of transparency. Clients fear identity theft, and models fear de-anonymization, blackmail and threats to expose their work to friends and relatives.
Current major platforms such as LiveJasmin, Chaturbate, Bongacams, and MyFreeCams still use some form of identification to verify the identity of their models and ensure they are of legal age. Each platform also has its own own customer database, collecting payment information on when, for what and how much each customer pays, geolocation data and sometimes identification. Consequently, the security and anonymity of the data provided depend entirely on the integrity of the intermediaries. Unfortunately, since the middlemen control the payment and have personal information, they can be used to blackmail the model or the customer.
Blockchain guarantees anonymity
Using blockchain, the Live Stars platform can enhance this semi-legal and often dangerous area of work by ensuring anonymity through the blockchain system and replacing internal payment systems with tokens. Tokens are a form of fungible and tradable currency on a platform running on top of a blockchain. Tokenization removes the need for middlemen, which can resolve late payment issues for models and create transparency.
Additionally, when customers buy an internal platform currency that they have not spent yet, they cannot get their money back because the platforms do not offer refunds or resales. It’s like buying arcade tokens that you cannot be refunded or resold. With tokens, refunds can be offered.
The security of data storage and transfer in blockchain technology is above and beyond anything we have today. This means that identity verification can take place, but the model can remove any of their personal information from the system at any time, which is supported by open source code. Personal data, after being approved by management, will always be encrypted. This process guarantees the anonymity of models and clients. Most importantly, blackmail cannot happen.
Better wages for models
Since the blockchain eliminates the middleman, Live Stars can offer models for 70% of what the customer paid. This is significantly higher than what current platforms can offer. All payments on the Live Stars platform are automated using the open smart contracts feature, which eliminates the human factor completely. This greatly minimizes the risk of losing money. As a result, models not only get paid more, but they can also be sure to receive payment without delay.
In summary, Live Stars is creating a next generation webcam platform that implements blockchain technology. For the curious, you can consult the alpha version here. Live Stars already has agreements with a number of studios employing models of both sexes. The platform has a transparent structure, eliminates middlemen, and offers a host of benefits such as security, anonymity, fast payments, and higher model revenues compared to historical platforms in the market.
By putting these benefits in place, webcams could potentially be less porn oriented and move towards purely personal communication. Personal communication is what attracts customers to webcams in the first place. Currently, models feel pressured to have “mainstream” shows, which shows that the majority of clients are willing to pay, just to have enough income.
Keep in mind that they only get 20-25% of what customers pay, and they also have a minimum payout threshold. However, with the conditions of a secure and open platform, they can generate income by providing services to a smaller audience. It could be just a friendly conversation or specific sexual interests. It would make the webcam industry less niche, more open, and less taboo, which would be a big win for the industry as a whole.