Playboy Enterprises, the owner of the world’s most recognisable porn brand, has filed a lawsuit against Global Blockchain Technologies, the company which had originally been designated the contract for rolling out Vice Industry Token (VIT) across its portfolio of websites.
Playboy is alleging that the Canadian blockchain tech company has breached the terms of their contract. In March, both parties had signed an agreement for GBT to integrate wallet technology across Playboy’s websites, allowing them to accept VIT (Vice Industry Token) along with a number of other cryptocurrencies for its services.
However, Playboy is now alleging that GBT breached several parts of the agreement, including a refusal to follow through with a $4 million payment to use the Playboy brand in its own promotional material.
VIT Caught in Middle
GBT is a blockchain investment firm based in Vancouver. The company is unlisted, but its shares are actively traded on OTC markets. GBT has dismissed the allegations, saying they amount to a “normal dispute” between businesses, and that the fraud charge is “frivolous.”
Vice Industry Token is a cryptocurrency designed for the adult entertainment industry. The token provides privacy to those buying adult entertainment products and services and, viewers can also earn tokens by watching content on certain sites. The platform’s token sale raised $22 million in 24 hours in February of this year.
VIT CEO Stuart Duncan has complained about the impact of the lawsuit on progress with his own project to tokenise online pornography. “I’m the collateral damage in this thing,” he stated in an interview with AVN, alleging that Playboy has failed to follow through in a number of engagements with VIT.
The so-called vice industries – adult entertainment and gambling – have been among the earliest adopters of new tokenised technologies. In the case of the latter, there are now a large number of websites that have demonstrated successful cryptocurrency-based business models but the follow through for the porn industry has so far met with limited traction.
[Edit: in an our initial version of this article, we incorrectly stated that VIT was a subsidiary of GBT]