bitpornInternet porn is falling hard for bitcoin.

Last month, Porn.com began accepting bitcoin for payment, and by early January the cryptocurrency amounted to 25 percent of its sales.

“I definitely believe that porn will be bitcoin’s killer app,” Porn.com marketing director David Kay told the Guardian. “Fast, private and confidential payments.”

One porn site does not a trend make, but today a second major network of adult sites announced it would begin accepting bitcoin as payment: Naughty America, which runs over 30 sites including My Friend’s Hot Mom and My First Sex Teacher (nobody forgets their first).

“I think it will become an industry-wide thing within 45 to 60 days,” Naughty America CEO and co-founder Andreas Hronopoulos told CoinDesk, a site that covers digital currencies.

Thanks to its relative anonymity, it makes perfect sense to use bitcoin to pay for your secret shame. But Hronopoulos sees an even greater appeal to bitcoin that goes beyond avoiding social or domestic embarrassment:

In the United States, we can use our credit card to go out and buy things. We can go use our credit card to buy adult entertainment, we can use our checking account, all these different things. But, when it comes to these other countries … look at India, they don’t even have kissing in the movies. So, think about those countries and what could happen with something like bitcoin.

I get the logic behind all this, and again Porn.com did increase its revenue by 25 percent. But as the Guardian’s Alex Hern notes, “Some of the increase will be bitcoin fans rushing to support a site that takes their preferred form of payment.” For example, when Overstock.com began accepting bitcoin, it did $130,000 in bitcoin sales on the first day alone. After that initial rush from bitcoin enthusiasts, however, things settled down rather quickly; the outlet’s total bitcoin sales for the first two weeks was only $500,000.

On top of that, the fact that Porn.com is now offering to sell the domain to anyone willing to pay $50 million in bitcoin for it betrays an uncertainty over whether the bitcoin bump will last. After all, according to a poll from sex toy retailer Adam and Eve, only 4 percent of Internet porn enthusiasts pay to watch it. While confidentiality or security may have been the biggest barrier to paying for porn five or ten years ago, these days there’s just no need to drop cash on it, what with the rise of free YouTube-esque content hosting sites like Pornhub and YouPorn. That’s to say nothing of the vast stores of porn that can be illegally downloaded from torrent sites like the Pirate Bay.

It definitely makes more intuitive sense to use bitcoin to buy porn than, say, a bag of chips from the corner store. But porn sites should be careful to weigh the potential revenue benefits against transaction fees and other limitations, like the challenges of setting up recurring payments through some bitcoin processing systems.

And as for whether or not porn is bitcoin’s “killer app”? That depends on whether bitcoin can help the market for paying porn-watchers grow in the long-term. Otherwise porn will merely be bitcoin’s latest fling.

[images via wikimedia]