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Business & Finance

Adult Magazine, Playboy Sues Canadian Blockchain Startup for Breaching MOU

A lawsuit was filed against the wallet developer for failing to integrate crypto across it's platforms

Not many are unknown to the adult entertainment publisher that is Playboy Enterprises. They’re well known for their exclusive content in fashion, photography, adult entertainment and TV shows. The Beverly Hills-based firm is one of the most well known enterprises and owns the famous Playboy Mansion which was worth more than $100 million in 2016.

Lately, Playboy has been in the news for reasons other than their entertainment related content, as they have been reported to be involved in a lawsuit with Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT).

The Contract

The enterprise has sued GBT on August 14, with claims that it failed to integrate blockchain technology into Playboy’s online media channels, which was agreed upon in a MOU signed in March.

According to the lawsuit filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, Playboy Enterprises and Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March, which stated that GBT would help Playboy integrate Vice Industry Token (VIT) onto it’s systems.

Playboy planned to use the token to reward it’s users for watching videos online, posting comments and voting on the content. The initiative marked possibly the first instance of a major television company moving to accept cryptocurrency as a payment tool.

Reena Patel, Chief Operations Officer, Licensing and Media for Playboy Enterprises, said:

As the popularity of alternative payment methods continues to grow around the world, along with the reach Playboy’s digital platforms, we felt it was important to give our 100 million monthly consumers increased payment flexibility.

At that point, Playboy also announced a token to be introduced, saying it would create a crypto wallet on the company’s websites to support various coins for users to spend and earn. In May, GBT also announced of it’s affiliation with Playboy Enterprises Inc. to integrate a digital wallet to vice industry token in Playboytv portal.

On May 31, the Vancouver based outfit announced:

GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES CORP.  is pleased to announce that it will work with Playboy Enterprises Inc. (“Playboy”) to develop a digital wallet that will enable the integration of Vice Industry Token (“VIT”) into the Playboy.tv web media portal.

The President and CEO shared his views on this partnership as a strategic role for GBT, in planning and executing the integration, leveraging it’s management’s experience with cryptocurrencies and the world of internet to maximize the output of the relationship.

The integration of VIT into Playboy.tv and the crypto wallet was set to be introduced before the end of 2018.

The Breach 

Per the terms of agreement, GBT would integrate the VIT on to Playboy’s media sites, but according to Playboy, the Canadian blockchain company not only failed to fulfill the requirements of them, but also omitted a payment of $4 million it promised in the memorandum. The payment was subjected to GBT licensing Playboy in it’s promotional materials as a return for the technical services it provided ‘free of monetary cost’ to the entertainment giant.

Further, the Canadian blockchain firm was also supposed to cleanse any mentions of pornography associated to the Vice Industry Token’s website and “rebrand the VIT as more generally video/entertainment-oriented”.

Playboys also argued that GBT did use Playboy’s brand to attract investors to their business and falsely assured them that all of the company’s projects are “on schedule”.

Playboy claims that GBT fulfilled none of their end of the agreement and is seeking compensation from damages in the lawsuit, the amount of which has not been yet revealed.

GBT, however, has dismissed the lawsuit as a “normal dispute” between two business firms. The company told Los Angeles Times that the charge of fraud and breach of contract are completely “frivolous”.

Global believes it has a strong defense to the action and will be vigorously defending same.

GBT president, Shidan Gouran told in an email that:

Playboy’s allegations have no merit” and that GBT has “no problem” defending itself “vigorously against frivolous lawsuits.

Playboy representatives have yet to respond to a request for comment at press time.

The full lawsuit can be read below:

What is VIT?

According to it’s official website, the Vice Industry Token is he first, easy to use cryptocurrency that pays people to consume media online. It claims that people viewing or participating in any kind of online media are paid.

Free content is turned into paid content and everyone gets paid. Even paid content can be tokenized to create loyalty rewards for buyers of premium content.

How does it work?

Step one in using VIT as a means of viewing and earning thereof is to provide proof that you are human. Using VIT, click fraud is impossible. To turn VIT on, viewers are asked to verify they are human and engaged solely and directly with the blockchain.

Step two is to provide proof of brain (PoB) and proof of view (PoV) functions. In order to create rewards in the form of VIT, the viewer is prompted to perform PoB and PoV functions by liking content, upvoting it, making comments and by proving without a doubt they are human and are actually consuming the content over a period of time.

Finally, the entire session between the user and the VIT Blockchain is monitored to meet PoB and PoV requirements. If the proof is positive, VIT is created.

Adult entertainment industry and digital currencies

In hindsight, the adult entertainment industry has been gradually adopting digital forms of currencies and tokens. In April, streaming website Pornhub partnered with cryptocurrency Verge (XVG) to accept the coin as a payment option for purchases on the website.

Pornhub Vice President Corey Price said:

History has proven that the adult entertainment industry plays a critical role in adoption for innovative technology. We saw that with VHS, Beta Max, credit card payment icons and, most recently, VR goggles. We expect to see widespread adoption of crypto and blockchain in short order.

Although widespread industry adoption is still low, Playboy is one of many other adult entertainment brands exploring the world of cryptocurrency as a way of getting round traditional payment methods like credit cards, which typically add a hefty processing fee. The technology also adheres to privacy concerns for users, ensuring complete anonymity in transactions.

Razi Khan

Researcher, Electrical Engineer and a teacher, Razi is one who takes great intrigue in the prospects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies (BTC in particular) while contributing a critical approach over the subject regularly. Contact the editor at editor.news@blockpublisher.com

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