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 fields. It is therefore not surprising that it can be used to power a next generation webcam platform such as such Live stars, which offers security and anonymity to its users.
The panorama of the webcam industry
Although the webcam industry has evolved from a small adult entertainment niche to a multi-million dollar business, all existing webcam platforms have a number of fundamental problems related to payments, security and anonymity. Innovations in the webcam industry are therefore needed to make progress.
The webcam industry is the most technologically advanced branch of online porn. Models (usually women) talk to video chat users and, for additional payments, pose, undress and engage in sexual acts. Normally, models use their own funds and resources as all you need is a webcam, 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 part 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, there are a variety of intermediaries involved including agency owners, studio managers, and staffed internal transaction platforms. Each of these brokers takes a share of the models’ earnings, leaving the model only 20-25% of what her client pays. The activities of the webcam platforms are also supported by numerous employees who are responsible for verifying transactions, verifying the compliance of the models with the rules of the site, payments, technical support, marketing and moderation. This staff creates huge overhead costs with the result that the platform takes around 60 percent commission from payments.
Aside from the low percentage of earnings received by the model, the model must earn a minimum required amount, usually $ 50 to get paid. It’s worth noting that 99 percent of male models don’t even meet this minimum. If this threshold is reached, most sites transfer the payment within a tight time frame (mostly once a week, on a certain day). During this time, the model’s account is checked for possible fraudulent activity. As a result, the earnings of the models can be blocked by the administration until all circumstances are clear or the payment can be completely denied. LiveJasmin for example pays the models 20-25 days after the two week period ends.
Problems with current webcam platforms
As there are many intermediaries and steps involved in paying for templates, there is a lack of transparency. Customers are afraid of identity theft, and models are afraid of deanonymisation, blackmail and threats to expose their work to their friends and loved ones.
Current leading platforms such as LiveJasmin, Chaturbate, Bongacams and MyFreeCams always use some form of ID to verify the identity of their models and to make sure they are of legal age. Each platform also does its own own customer database, collecting payment information on when, for what and how much each customer pays, geolocation data and sometimes ID. Consequently, the security and anonymity of the data provided completely depend on the integrity of the intermediaries. Unfortunately, because the intermediaries control the payment and have personal information at their fingertips, they can be used to blackmail the model or client.
Blockchain guarantees anonymity
Using the blockchain, the Live Stars platform can enhance this semi-legal and often dangerous field of work by ensuring anonymity via the blockchain system and replacing internal payment systems with tokens. Tokens are a form of fungible and tradable currency on a platform that operates on a blockchain. Tokenization eliminates the need for intermediaries, who can solve late payment problems for models and create transparency.
Also, when customers buy an in-house currency of the platform that they haven’t spent yet, they can’t get their money back as the platforms don’t offer refunds or resales. It’s just like buying an arcade token that can’t 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 else we have today. This means that identity verification can take place, but the model can remove any personal information from the system at any time, which is supported by the open source code. Personal data, after being approved by the management, will always be encrypted. This process ensures anonymity for both models and customers. More importantly, blackmail cannot occur.
Better salaries for models
Since blockchain eliminates middlemen, Live Stars can offer models 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 completely eliminates the human factor. This greatly reduces the risk of losing money. As a result, models not only get paid more, they can also be confident that they will get paid without delay.
In summary, Live Stars is creating a next-generation webcam platform that implements blockchain technology. For the curious, you can check out the alpha version Here. Live Stars already has agreements with numerous studios that employ models of both genders. The platform has a transparent structure, excludes intermediaries and offers a multitude of benefits such as security, anonymity, fast payments and higher model revenues than existing platforms on the market.
By having these benefits in place, webcams could potentially be less porn-oriented and move towards just personal communication. Personal communication is what attracts customers to webcams in the first place. Currently, models feel pressured to have “mainstream” shows, it shows that most customers are ready to pay, just to have enough income.
Keep in mind that they only get 20-25% of what customers are paying for, and they also have a minimum payment threshold. However, under the conditions of a secure and open platform, they can generate revenue from providing services to a smaller audience. It can be just a friendly conversation or specific sexual interests. This would make the webcam industry less niche, more open and less taboo, which would be a big win for the industry as a whole.