OnlyFans has become the latest platform to flirt with the idea of allowing NFT profile pictures. For many, this is a natural evolution of OnlyFan’s business model. After all, the company makes its money by selling images locked behind a paywall, not unlike NFTs. In addition to OnlyFans, other major platforms like YouTube and Twitter are making headlines for their decisions to branch into NFTs.
What’s the Point of an NFT Profile Picture?
So what exactly is an NFT profile picture, anyway? Well, it’s essentially just an NFT that you can use as your profile picture. The “point” is to let the entire world know that you’re a verified NFT investor. There’s really not much else to it. The same people who argue that the entire concept of an NFT is laughable are likely to claim that setting an NFT as your profile picture is just as silly.
For the platform, the underlying motivation to allow NFT profile pictures is to generate income. On Twitter, the only way to use your NFT as your profile picture is to pay for the platform’s subscription fee. OnlyFans will not charge content creators to use NFTs as profile pictures, but the platform may enable users to purchase and trade tokens at some point in the future, at which point they’d take a 20% cut on all transactions. This corresponds to their normal fee when users buy “normal” images and videos from their site.
NFTs, Cryptocurrencies, and Sex Workers
The cryptocurrency world may develop even closer ties with porn and sex workers in the future. Initially Mastercard and Visa threatened to cut ties with the platform unless it made its content Safe For Work (SFW). The platform seemed to cave in to these demands and announced that explicit content would be completely removed, only to reverse their decision and partner with alternative payment partners after receiving a massive backlash from creators.
This latest move towards NFTs may be the next step in that gradual shift away from traditional banking. OnlyFans knows that these banking partners may abandon them at any time, and can hedge their bets by adopting cryptocurrency payments. NFTs may be the first step, with full-on crypto integration to follow afterwards. Other NSFW sites have already adopted cryptocurrency payments as their main payment solution.
That being said, others charge that cryptocurrency payments make sex work and porn even more illegitimate than it already is, and that a more traditional payment solution is required to maintain the mainstream legitimacy of major companies like OnlyFans. But one thing is certain: OnlyFans is clearly an ambitious company with one eye on the future.