Bitcoin and Strippers

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With its unveiling in 2009, Cryptocurrency was unleashed onto the world. Since then, the way they’re used keeps expanding as they facilitate goods and services to be paid online. When 2017 came around, they were found in the world of adult entertainment where they became the alternative way to pay strippers. It was the time that the world was forced to accept that getting paid isn’t so black and white. That it is possible to use the much-queried-about and of course the I’m-still-unsure-about-this thing that is Cryptocurrency to pay for things such as a pizza and quite possibly the service of someone, say, a dancer at a nightclub in Las Vegas. Though, not just any nightclub, but a purely luxurious Gentlemen’s Club.  

 

You see, in Las Vegas, in an exclusive nightclub called the Legends Room, strippers could be seen sporting temporary tattoos that allowed them the point of it all, to get paid. Their payment is carried out in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Nick Blomgren, Master of the Martial Arts and the person behind the Legends Room said that they came up with the idea so customers can keep their visits to his club secret from their partners. In an interview with Las Vegas Now, he said, “It’s the best place to spend it if you don’t want your wife to know or you don’t want your boyfriend to know.”  With a 2017 Las Vegas opening, according to PRN the Legends Room’s “debut as Vegas’ premiere luxury gentlemen’s cabaret re-imagined using blockchain technology, providing cutting-edge, exclusive memberships for the elite. The Legends Room is a unique opportunity in Las Vegas nightlife, a rarity in the history of gentlemen’s clubs, and a first in the world of digital currency.”  Though, they aren’t the only nightclub to embrace crypto. 

 

In 2021, adult entertainment hub, Las Vegas’ Crazy Horse 3 nightclub announced that year that they’d be accepting payments in Bitcoin. Though, to be noted is that this form of payment extended only to their bottle service. With them taking payment over the Lightning network, it would facilitate faster payment and provide privacy to clients. They did share some foresight into their future plans, including using crypto to pay for admission, food, craft cocktails, retail, and the club’s signature ‘dance dollars’, which can be used to purchase dances and tip the entertainer. In fact, in that same year – 2021, champagne packages (inclusive of other extras for customers: table reservation, priority access at the entrance, dedicated waiters, and additional advantages for VIPs)  could have been bought using Bitcoin.  Then, the year 2022 saw them fulfilling the payment of the dancers’ portion of their future plans. In January, it was announced that at the Crazy Horse 3 Gentlemen’s Club, cryptocurrencies have been deemed as acceptable forms of payments for dances and tipping entertainers.  The club’s publicist, Natalie Freeman, said the venue has become “one of the First Strip Clubs in the United States to Welcome the Exchange of the Digital Currency for Adult Entertainment; Providing tech-savvy Customers with an Added Layer of Privacy and Flexibility”. 

 

Though, exactly how does this work in the adult entertainment business?  For instance, in the Crazy Horse 3, guests or customers scan a QR code, which will allow for a bitcoin payment transaction through their crypto wallet, all without a paper trail. To make this payment option possible, the adult entertainment club partnered with infrastructure provider OpenNode, which handles bitcoin purchases via the Lightning network. The lightning network offers an additional layer of confidentiality of the identity of customers and transactions. It turns out that Tipping is where the Lightning Network has the potential to truly make an impact. Under the conditions of privacy, lower fees, and faster payments, the ability to pay entertainers in satoshis or “sats” – fractions of a whole bitcoin – those on the receiving end can forge entirely new local economies. Onchain bitcoin microtransactions would be prohibitively slow and expensive but payments on Lightning are ideally made in smaller increments, which are just right for tips.

 

Over in the Legends Room, where payment via crypto is concerned, customers who already own cryptocurrency can spend it by providing a lengthy number from a digital wallet. If they don’t own crypto, they can still spend their money without cryptocurrency or use an ATM to buy some.  Some of the exotic dancers then wear temporary tattoos that can be scanned so they can be paid. When an adult entertainer, Brenna Sparks, was asked how often people pay with crypto, her response was, “Oh, quite often.  Like the people that come here, they are like really into crypto. I feel like it’s very smart. They are really into that.” 

 

Described as a Bitcoin Heaven, Las Vegas since 2018 has seen its fair share of cryptocurrency. It’s moved way past the strip clubs and it’s been said that the whole city has been wrapped in a cocoon of crypto. Casinos have installed Bitcoin ATMs which are filled every couple of days. For some folks, they see it as a new era of the internet, as it was in the beginning, with those who missed the first wave and hopped on later but were filled with regret at first missing out on a good thing. They have a good feeling about paying for a desire without a paper trail which comforts them as they feel a great sense of maintained privacy.  In the words of Nick Blomgren, “Some people had the dot.com era and if you didn’t jump on then, you missed the boat. Well I don’t feel I missed the boat this time, I got on the ground floor of something that’s going to be huge”. 

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