HUSSY.io: Blockchain for the Sex Work Industry
Decentralized systems such as Blockchain are already disrupting many industries and the sex work industry won’t be an exception. The sex work industry is notoriously dominated by shady ventures and often overlooked by digital innovators. The Blockchain has a great potential to increase the privacy, safety, and trust in the sex work industry like we have never seen before.
On the 11th of April 2018, a highly contentious set of laws were passed, known as FOSTA-SESTA, deconstructed as the Fight Online Sex Traﬃcking Act and Stop Enabling Sex Traﬃckers Act.
These acts ripped a hole into Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, otherwise known as the “safe harbor” rule. Section 230 meant that websites and internet providers were not responsible for the content that was produced by people using these services, FOSTA-SESTA meant that this was no longer the case in relation to advertisements for prostitution. As a result, numerous websites, most notably Craigslist, removed various parts of their websites, not due to the promotion of prostitution but rather because policing this would be far to diﬃcult.
With the scribble of a pen, sex workers and related online services were forced back into the darkness. While websites like Backpage and Craigslist allowed sex workers to screen clients, share blacklists and whitelists of clients and ensure that they could work in safe locations, if they are pushed back to the street, all of these protections and more are lost.
Distributed Escorting Infrastructure That Is Impossible to Shut Down
HUSSY.io has foreseen an issue of this magnitude coming for some time. Since mid-2017, they have been working on creating a decentralized due diligence and escorting infrastructure that is safe by design. By storing all listings in a decentralized way, only the data owners have the full control over data. Nobody else can delete or modify them — not even the listing platforms.
While the distributed application (dApp) will not directly mediate payments between clients and service providers, it does come with a built-in advertising framework that will serve as the main revenue stream for HUSSY.io. Every service provider can choose an optional fee for the listing — the higher the fee, the more often will be the oﬀer shown to potential clients in a given time and geographic location.
3rd Party Due Diligence
But not only listings will be stored on the Blockchain. HUSSY.io will also utilize the Blockchain for a screening feature where clients and service providers can verify each other in an anonymous but trusted way. The trust is guaranteed by a 3rd party due diligence authority that is responsible for verification of all participants in the network. The participant that wants to be verified sends a selfie with a passport and private data to the due diligence authority who will issue an anonymized certificate to the Blockchain. The separation of due diligence and the listing platform ensures that the participants can stay anonymous but with the trust guaranteed by an independent 3rd party.
Similarly, it will also be possible to verify health status of participants in regard of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
No Time-Wasting or Abusive Clients
Clients are incentivized to make a security deposit before arranging a meeting. In case the client behaves inappropriately or abusively during the meeting, he risks that he will be reported, his deposit will be locked in a smart contract and possibly burned.
Furthermore, service providers may require a client to make a booking deposit in order to filter out time-wasting clients that make a reservation but never appears at a meeting. If the client doesn’t come to an arranged meeting, his booking deposit will be burned.
Trusted Reviews System
Another key part of the app will be the review platform. This will allow clients and providers to rate the experience.
After the meeting, the service provider will issue a confirmation in the form of a QR code with a the HUSSY dApp. This confirms that the meeting went well, it was consensual and that the provider allows with writing a review. The client then physically scan this confirmation and issues so-called “Proof of Consent” to the Blockchain which enables both parties to write an anonymous but trusted review of each other.
The token sale of HUS tokens is planned for Q1 2019 after a working prototype will be deployed to the Blockchain. Utility tokens will be used especially by a service provider for advertising of their services and as a guarantee of trust by clients.
Due to the fact that a large number of tokens will be held as a security deposit by clients and some of the tokens will be even burned over time, it is expected that the price of tokens will increase with the growing adoption of the platform.
HUSSY as a company is legally bound to operate only in countries that allow advertising of sex services. However, due to the decentralized and open nature of the underlying Blockchain infrastructure, any anonymous entity might be able to open a listing platform anonymously. Such platform can be served for example behind a hidden a Tor gateway only with a very slight latency overhead. As governments opt to push the industry underground (with legislation like FOSTA/ SESTA), it is a responsibility of HUSSY.io and anonymous listing entities to try to protect and support the people that engage in sex work.
Pitch Deck: https://hussy.io/app/assets/pitch-deck.pdf
Images courtesy of Hussy.io