Birmingham, U.K., service VIP Passion—touted as “the ultimate midlands escort agency”—may boast the typical assortment of partners-for-hire, but now they’re offering something no rival, or indeed any other brothel on earth, really can: sex for bitcoins. (Or “companionship” for bitcoins, to borrow the company’s euphemism.)
In some ways, it’s surprising that the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency hadn’t cropped up in the field of prostitution before. Other illicit economies, from the drug market to online gambling, were some of the first to adopt bitcoin, in part for its supposed untraceability.
VIP Passion did cite the anonymity factor in their move, noting how credit card charges have caused lots of headaches for escort services in the past. But even if using bitcoins doesn’t make it harder for law enforcement to prove that sex was bought, there are other industry-specific advantages, as ZDNet's Violet Blue pointed out:
Once the client's payment is processed, Passion VIP calls the client back with a confirmation and the date is set - with no one worrying about payment, theft or counterfeit on either side of the transaction.
The workers also can't be forced to return the money even if under duress.
There’s even a QR code on their NSFW website to save you some time. That convenience might mean overpaying, however: while a 90-minute session with a “standard lady” will run you $381, it costs 3.75 BTC, which at the moment comes out to $464.30. On the other hand, If the volatile currency were to crash or otherwise suffer drastic devaluation, you could be getting a discount.
In any case, we’ve come a long way from the whole leave-the-cash-on-the-bureau schtick: could VIP Passion’s new payment model change the face of the industry? There will always be Johns getting arrested for soliciting on the street, but clients with money to burn may find it easy to cover their tracks if they’re already buried in the Deep Web.