Cypherpunk Valentine: Why Some Shoppers are Spending Bitcoin on Underwear?

February 14, 2019

There’s a mad rush for bitcoin-panties exchange this Valentine’s Day season. Lingerie companies with less corporate power suffer censorship during advertisement.

While spending bitcoin on clothing may not appeal to some people, there are others who have no qualms paying for lingerie with it this Valentine season.

When CoinDesk interviewed the founder of Panties.com, Lila Williams, she mentioned that she gets “a handful” of bitcoin payments monthly since she began to accept bitcoin in March 2017.

According to Lila, her site is doing a campaign this Valentine season where every purchase paid for in bitcoin gets a discount of 15 percent and a free pair of lace panties.

Most people, especially those who are big on lingerie, see buying a lingerie as similar to collecting jewelry – they feel it’s an investment in a piece of fine craftsmanship.

While speaking to Rebecca Migirov, the current CEO of lingerie brand Kala, CoinDesk gathered from her that the industry is going through a “woman-led uprising in terms of product.” If the consumers “show that there’s demand in the market,” it would go a long way in supporting crypto adoption.

Because of this Rick Shaddock, a member of the Digital Currency Association, spoke about how he used the bitcoin he made during the market peak in December 2017 to purchase panties for his wife during their anniversary due to their very low rate of fluctuations.

After bitcoin went down 80 percent, Shaddock said in an email that exchanging his bitcoin for panties was a more advantageous investment than bitcoin in 2018.

Needing censorship resistance

Panties.com founder Lila Williams stated that lots of problems arise with advertising luxury lingerie. She told CoinDesk that in addition to being disturbed with Google Ads, Facebook repeatedly bans her advertisements while labeling them “sexual content,” even when the image features a woman in a modest satin robe and nightgown.

The CEO of Kala brand, Migirov, also has similar issues of converting shoppers through various social media platforms like Instagram, which more often than not wrongly judge lingerie advertisements as pornography. As such, Migirov said it would greatly benefit the lingerie industry if censorship-resistant platforms with smooth bitcoin payment options are provided.

Williams and Migirov both agreed that the lingerie industry isn’t specifically tech-savvy. Therefore, they would have to cope, until crypto-friendly retail platforms like OpenBazaar or AdLedger gain traction with mainstream audiences. Only then can siloed websites stop limiting boutique advertising and sales.

 

Slow growth

Williams spoke of her willingness in processing her own bitcoin payments whenever the technology becomes more agreeable and easy to use.

“One problem with bitcoin is that when you push that button it is gone for good, there is no replacement,” Williams said, adding that she sometimes reserves some bitcoin savings instead of converting it to fiat at once.

While using traditional credit card payment processors, she pays more than 3 percent of her income each month, in addition to a $75 monthly fee, which is more than BitPay’s average 1 percent transaction fee.

Apart from payment processors like Bitpay and Shopify, many other plug-and-play bitcoin node devices have surfaced within the past six months that leverage the lighting network’s to reduce network fees to unconventional lows.

Some node retailers said in a 2019 interview with CoinDesk that adoption across merchant sectors will be gradual because education is the biggest hindrance to adoption outside the tech industry.

“We are not trying to sell just one node per shop, but for a group of shops, to show them that this can bring them more liberty,” says Michel Luczak, Co-Founder of Nodl. “It’s a problem of trying to enlighten the public and show the things that [a node] can bring them.”

Adoption of cryptocurrency payments may be slow within the lingerie industry, but steadily progressing. In this sector of the fashion economy where female entrepreneurs are mostly censored and sidelined, cryptocurrency payments provide shoppers with a platform to directly empower businesses that edge towards challenging the existing norms.

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