Playboy Enterprises sues cryptocurrency company, alleging fraud and breach of contract

The Beverly Hills-based Playboy is seeking damages from a Canadian blockchain company over the development of a digital wallet.
(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

Playboy Enterprises, the parent company behind the legendary adult magazine, is suing a cryptocurrency technology company on allegations of fraud and breach of contract, claiming that it failed to live up to an agreement to integrate blockchain technology into Playboy’s online media channels.

The lawsuit, recently filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims that Playboy reached an agreement in March with the Canadian company Global Blockchain Technologies, under which GBT would implement the third-party cryptocurrency Vice Industry Token on Playboy’s sites. Playboy said GBT hasn’t made good on the deal and also failed to pay the $4 million it promised as part of the agreement.

The Beverly Hills-based Playboy is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, according to the suit filed by attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. GBT dismissed the suit as a “normal dispute” between two commercial parties, adding that the allegation of fraud is “frivolous.”


“Global believes it has a strong defense to the action and will be vigorously defending same,” the Vancouver, B.C.-based company said in a statement to The Times.

Playboy announced in March that it was developing an online payment wallet that would support a range of cryptocurrencies across the company’s online media, digital and casual gaming businesses. Playboy.TV was expected to be the first of the company’s platforms to feature the new wallet, which would enable the online platform to accept Vice Industry Token and other cryptocurrency tokens.

GBT announced separately in May that it was working with Playboy on the wallet, including an interface to the different platforms.

Playboy and GBT declined to comment on the provision.

Playboy is one of many adult entertainment brands exploring the world of cryptocurrency as a way of circumventing traditional payment methods like credit cards, which typically add a hefty processing fee. The technology also addresses privacy concerns for customers concerned about maintaining anonymity.

Major sites like Pornhub and Brazzers have announced that they are accepting cryptocurrency payments, though widespread industry adoption is still relatively low.


Twitter: @DavidNgLAT