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Happy V Day: Thanks to this Aussie startup, you can now buy a vibrator with your cryptocurrency

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien /

intimate

The intimate.io team. Source: Supplied.

Aussie blockchain startup intimate.io has launched a new crypto payments gateway for adult e-commerce websites, and it’s beta testing through a partnership with Singapore-based vibrator business Smile Makers.

Smile Makers designs and manufactures women’s sex toys, with a focus on “the wonders of the female orgasm”, and normalising women’s sexuality.

Through the partnership with intimate.io, consumers can now purchase products such as The Millionaire, The Frenchman or The Fireman using Ethereum or intimate.io tokens.

Co-founder of intimate.io Leah Callon-Butler tells StartupSmart the crypto gateway launched at the Women in Blockchain Seattle event at the end of January. Here, about 10% of attendees purchased a vibrator, and half of those paid using cryptocurrency.

In a statement, Smile Makers co-founder Mattias Hulting said some customers are more hesitant than others when it comes to making this kind of purchase.

“Whether the hesitation is being seen buying a vibrator at their local drugstore or leaving a digital footprint when buying online, there has always been a challenge in achieving privacy for the more shy Smile Makers fans,” he said.

The intimate.io crypto payment gateway “provides us with the perfect solution”, he said.

“We can now ensure that anyone wanting to buy a sexual wellness product will be able to do so without worry.”

Launched in 2017 by Callon-Butler and co-founders Reuben Coppa and Nathan Smale, intimate.io raised $4.5 million in its token pre-sale in February last year.

The startup strives to make payments in the adult industry easier, while introducing a system of verification and immutable trust.

Just this week, Callon-Butler appeared on a panel at The Blockchain Hub in Sydney, where the Smile Makers vibrators were on sale. During the event, intimate.io received a notification saying its Square payments account had been blocked.

The note from Square, shared with StartupSmart, said the payments startup “found your business is prohibited by the Square AU Seller Agreement, which means we can’t accept payments related to your business”.

Callon-Butler says she continued with sales using cash or crypto.

“This is exactly the reason why intimate.io exists—to challenge this mode of financial discrimination against perfectly legitimate, tax-paying entities within the legal adult industry,” she says.

“Our merchants have been battling against this economic exclusion for too long, and it’s time to put an end to the moral arbitration.”

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Stephanie Palmer-Derrien

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien is the editor at StartupSmart. You can contact her at [email protected].

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