Gingr aims to revolutionize the prostitution industry by adding cryptocurrency as a payment option for sex workers. Yes, you read this right. At first sight, this might not seem serious or noteworthy, but the prostitution industry might benefit on multiple fronts from using the blockchain and cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is not new to the adult world, with the likes of Verge and Vicetoken. However, while these deals mainly benefit the user by offering anonymous payment, Gingr also offers benefits for the service provider.
The current problems in the prostitution industry
No matter what your opinion is on the profession, sex workers exist and will keep existing for the foreseeable future. The industry faces ongoing problems that need to be dealt with in order to create a safe environment for everybody involved.
Violence against sex workers
Sex workers, especially women, have a much higher chance of violence against them. The homicide rate for female sex workers can be up to 6 times higher than for women in other industries. Depending on the location, up to 50% of female sex workers claim to have experienced physical violence by a client in their lifetime.
Illegal sex workers
Different states and countries have different laws regarding prostitution. Even in countries with legalized prostitution, like the Netherlands, illegal sex workers exist and more often than not are taken advantage of. Human trafficking often leads to illegal prostitution, where work conditions are mostly sub-par.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Even though a lot of sex workers and brothels require the use of protection, sexually transmitted diseases are still prevalent in the industry. Negating the fact that protection does not eliminate the chance of a sexually transmitted disease, sex workers can be pressured or bribed to not use protection.
No rights for sex workers
Even at places where prostitution is legalized, a sex worker still experiences very little rights. They are largely controlled by business owners, who dictate the work conditions, the number of hours a sex worker needs to work and the anumberof clients they need to bring in. This puts them under a lot of pressure and control. A lot of sex workers feel legislation and/or decriminalization of the sex industry did not improve their work conditions.
Very hard to get out of the business
A lot of sex workers enter the industry to earn money and be able to make a living on their own. However, it is still very hard to step out of the business and start a career in another industry. More often than not, women stay in the business for as long as possible, until they struggle to find clients.
What is Gingr?
Gingr will give sex workers the opportunity to be independent. They can manage their own finances and clientele, while limiting the risks involved with being independent.
Gingr aims to provide all things necessary for a sex worker to connect with their client and, if an appointment is made, provide payment options for the provided service. On top of that, gingr aims to provide an option to book a location for an appointment, as well as transportation.
Gingr provides everything necessary for both sex workers and clients to meet their needs. All is on the blockchain, which provides trust and security in the shared information, while keeping the option to stay anonymous for the outside world.
An in-depth explanation on how Gingr works can be found in their whitepaper.
What can Gingr and the blockchain offer to sex workers?
I firmly believe a solution like Gingr will not solve all the problems of the sex industry. I do however believe it is an important step to take in creating a better and safer work environment for sex workers.
Know Your Customer (KYC)
There are numerous blockchain initiatives that offer KYC solutions. These initiatives make sure the identity of a user profile is verified, making it possible to always know the identity of your clients. This prevents fraud and illegal activity. Gingr aims to use a similar solution, providing verified identities to their clients. A person who has a verified identity is much less likely to harm a sex worker. Their identity is know and checked, making it easy for the legal system to prosecute a person if needed. For sex workers, this creates a safer work environment, as they will have no anonymous clients.
Better work standards
Gingr makes it possible for sex workers to be their own boss. This gives them a great opportunity to work under much better standards. They can determine their own work hours, the amount of clients they would like to accept and the type of clients they would like to accept. They are also in charge of work hours, location and payment.
Control of their health
Numerous blockchain opportunities aim at improving information sharing in the medical industry. Gingr can tap into this and provide medical passports on the blockchain. This gives sex workers the possibility to look into the medical history of their client. As this medical history is written in the blockchain, the data is highly reliable.
First steps into entrepreneurship
Gingr gives sex workers control of their work environment. This will give them their first experience as an entrepreneur. This on it’s own will provide them with a better basis to survive on their own if they ever decide to step out of the industry. However, it does also come with a downside: a sex worker now not only needs to worry about their clients, but also about their business. While it provides opportunity, it also provides skill to seize the opportunity.
Will this make the sex industry clean?
I strongly believe this will not be the solution to a clean sex industry. There will always be demand for illegal prostitution, as well as “on the fly” demand for sex workers. This demand gives brothels still a reason to exist. In order to clean up the industry, governments need to step in. The problem is most likely too big for a single company to solve.
However, I do think this is a very interesting step to take and could give sex workers the opportunity to improve their work conditions. If Gingr can succeed, it could very well provide an opportunity for sex workers, who hopefully not only improve their work conditions, but also have an easy way to step out of the industry if they decide to do so.