The rise of bitcoin may have been one of the biggest stories of 2017, but its acceptance as a means of payment is still limited. Now, the Bunny Ranch, the famous Las Vegas brothel, is looking to cash in on the trend.
The setting of the HBO series "Cathouse," The Bunny Ranch announced it "is the latest retailer to get on board the Bitcoin bandwagon," due to popular demand for cryptocurrencies.
Dennis Hof said that his brothels are currently looking at ways to accept bitcoin as a payment for services. “We have some of the richest men in the world coming in and out of my brothels” Hof said in a press release. “Our high dollar clientele is accustomed to getting anything they want here, so when I started hearing requests from them to look into accepting Bitcoin, I took those suggestions very seriously.”
Hof also noted that bitcoin has become a popular topic among his celebrity friends, including Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, whom he had a previous relationship with.
“Friends of mine like Heidi have been trusted with a lot of powerful secrets, and the anonymous nature of Bitcoin is a natural fit for people who have much to lose if their private matters were to ever fall into the wrong hands," he added.
Aside from the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies, Hof mentioned that he was intrigued by the security and safety concerns that come with it, as opposed to paying via credit card or cash.
“We have guys carrying duffle bags full of cash right up to our cashier’s window, and we’ve had to install a safe the size of Fort Knox to hold it all,” Hof said. “Not that I mind good old fashioned cold cash, but Bitcoin is making it so much more practical for those same clients to live out their sexual fantasies here at the Bunny Ranch without literally having to carry a lot of excess baggage.”
In addition to The Bunny Ranch, Hof owns a total of seven legal brothels throughout the state, including The Love Ranch, Love Ranch South and Alien Cathouse. The Bunny Ranch was the setting of "Cathouse," which ran on HBO from 2002 to 2014 and was also the setting of two documentaries, looking into the inner lives of legalized prostitution, the working girls and some of their clientele.
Cryptocurrencies and in particular, bitcoin, have had a volatile start to 2018, after spending the majority of 2017 in an upswing.
Since the start of the year, bitcoin has fallen nearly 20 percent, including a 15 percent drop on Tuesday to $11,530.79, according to CoinDesk.
Concerns about a ban on trading in South Korea, one of the largest bitcoin markets in the world, and China shutting down bitcoin miners and blocking access to cryptocurrency platforms have weighed on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Ripple.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia