Who’d you think was going to follow Twitter by making NFT profile pictures a thing? If you guessed OnlyFans — the NSFW creator monetization platform that’s strangely trying to clean up its image despite making bank — you win! Until you remember that OnlyFans is doing NFT profile pictures now, which means maybe no one wins (except for the intersection of people who both love crypto and also want to compensate NSFW creators for their work?).
Per a report from Reuters, this feature has been in the works since December. TechCrunch was able to reach OnlyFans to confirm the report.
On OnlyFans, only NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain will be supported, and they will be denoted by an Ethereum icon. When users click on an NFT profile picture, they will see more information about the digital asset from OpenSea.
Newly installed OnlyFans CEO Ami Gan said, “This feature is the first step in exploring the role that NFTs can play on our platform.”
OnlyFans nearly banned NSFW content from the platform last year, which would have upended creators’ livelihoods — this news came in light of changing Mastercard and Visa regulations. But OnlyFans walked back the decision after revealing that the changes were “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators,” the company told TechCrunch at the time. Still, this was a wake-up call for OnlyFans creators that the platform might pull the rug out from under them, at any moment, depending on the whims of credit card companies.
But the thing is, helping sex workers maintain a stable income is actually not a bad use case for crypto. One former OnlyFans creator, Allie Rae, is now working on WetSpace, a crypto-centric OnlyFans alternative.
Unlike a credit card company, public blockchains can’t be altered on a whim to ban purchases of porn. Though, as we’ve seen, centralized listing marketplaces with enough momentum can reduce access and market activity on a particular kind of token. Of course, crypto also poses obstacles for both fans and creators who may not want to dabble in the volatile, sometimes-scammy space. But regardless, by enabling NFT profile pictures, OnlyFans might be making a gesture toward a future in crypto, which could mean a continued future in the porn business.
“We believe new technologies like blockchain and NFTs can allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans,” YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan wrote today, echoing Ami Gan’s statements to Reuters.
“Our mission is to empower creators to own their full potential,” the OnlyFans CEO said.
Update, 2/10/22, 4:45 PM ET with confirmation from OnlyFans.