Lights, Camera, Action! An Anthology of Feature Films about Bitcoins

Ten years ago Bitcoin was a niche thing for hardcore computer geeks, and now it is featured in Hollywood blockbusters and discussed in sitcoms.

In 2009-2010 cryptocurrency was mentioned only on specialized sites for cryptography, but now it is the hottest talk of the town, discussed in TV shows and even featured the films.

Cinema-men always know what’s hot and what’s not. They follow trends, and now the latest thing is Bitcoin.

Let’s see how the moviemaking industry has exploited the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.

The Good Wife – the first appearance

According to the crypto community’s wide-spread belief, the first mention of bitcoin in fictional films goes back to 2012, in The Good Wife, which was a CBS legal procedural drama about a lawyer Alicia Florrick played by Julianna Margulies. In one of the episodes of the show, Alicia helps to protect a programmer who invented a new digital currency against the Treasury Department. That was the first time when moviemakers referred to the legal and political aspects of a cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin in TV shows

After that, bitcoins were mentioned in many TV shows, including Mr. Robot, iZombie, and The Blacklist. Oddly enough, in the Almost Human series (2013-2014), cryptocurrency was kept on huge USB sticks, but on the other hand, the crypto community was pleased that the writers inserted a phrase stating that there’s no way to track bitcoins. Also, crypto enthusiasts were very much encouraged by the mention of bitcoin in The Simpsons, since this show has become famous for its successful predictions of future trends and events, like the crisis in Greece and the presidency of Donald Trump.

Bitcoin Heist – crypto hackers come to the spotlight

If we turn from TV series to feature films, then it’s worth recalling one of the first movies where the story develops around digital assets. It’s Bitcoin Heist, released in 2016 and, which is somewhat curious, filmed in Vietnam. Its plot centers on a team of high-profile hackers who became a part of the international manhunt of a criminal wanted by Interpol.

Coronation Street – Bitcoin in a soap opera

Back to the present, we still can come across cryptos here and there. Most recently, the world’s oldest UK soap opera, Coronation Street, also introduced a story with the fictional crypto asset, Whipcoin, involved. The episode tells a story of a guy who frantically tries to remember the password to his long-forgotten investment in whipcoins because their value has dramatically increased since then. However, when he eventually recalls it, the whipcoins’ price again falls to zero, which should be acknowledged as a very pressing issue for the current crypto market due to its excessive volatility.

Crypto – hand in hand with Hollywood stars

Recently, A-list actor Kurt Russell featured in a new movie called Crypto, which tells the story of a young anti-money laundering agent investigating a fraud case. Crypto’s producers promise their film to be “a thriller in the vein of The Firm and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but with the focus on crypto. “Cryptocurrency has captured the attention and imagination of consumers and entrepreneurs all over the world but has never been explored in film in such a nuanced and exciting way,” says one of the film’s producers, Jordan Yale Levine.

IMDb lists the movie as being in post-production but says nothing about the release date.

Bottom line

The feature film industry reacts to social demand as much as it reflects the life we live in. A camera catches what’s popular, what’s relevant and what’s exciting for a wide audience. The increasing presence of cryptocurrencies indicates that virtual assets are now a part of our lives.


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Author: Tanya Chepkova
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Top 11 Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Documentaries

The cryptocurrency market has a steep learning curve. For anyone who wants to understand why companies, banking institutions, friends and neighbors are talking about crypto or why Bitcoin is the subject of so much volatility, suspicion and interest – all at the same time – there are a number of excellent documentaries.

These films also serve as inspiration for the early adopters who are asking themselves why they still believe in cryptocurrencies in the face of obstinance, market downturns, regulatory challenges and hacks.

The list walks every viewer through the resistance.

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TV Just Can’t Seem To Get Bitcoin Right

 

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Think you know cryptocurrency? You’re probably wrong. Many people assume crypto will seamlessly replace financial institutions, eradicating big banks’ seemingly constant misconduct. Others believe crypto will be a surefire money-making solution, only to come out broke, devastated, and purporting that “cryptocurrency is a scam” for no reason other than their misunderstanding of the market.

I used to wonder where these gross misconceptions were coming from. Who was spewing out these lies about crypto either being our savior or our tormentor?

Then I turned on the TV….

It’s an inspiring reflection of socioeconomic progress that cryptocurrency is infiltrating pop culture. But each time a show propagates misinformation relating to the basics of the crypto industry, this progress is tarnished. After all, the average viewer doesn’t know better: In an age where Facebook is a trusted source of news and information, our trust spills over into other media forms, like TV programs. People aren’t exactly fact-checking their favorite characters’ quips, so it’s easy to mistake the misinformation they deliver to be the truth.

So let’s do it right now. Here are some examples of the common crypto misconceptions that pop culture is propagating.

Myth #1: Bitcoin is a get-rich-quick financial solution

Reality: Bitcoin, along with all cryptocurrency, is an educated gamble at best. There’s no guarantee of a return on your investment, and if you don’t do your research, you can lose your money very quickly.

In other words, don’t be like Peter Griffin on Family Guy, who suggests bitcoin as a solution to his family’s financial trouble. Their problem is that they don’t know how to save, and exchanging their fiat cash for digital money is not going to change that. (Being like Peter is also generally just a bad idea.)

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Myth #2: You can lose your digital money the same way you can lose your digital files

Reality: The beauty of cryptocurrency is that it exists on a blockchain. This means that when you buy coins, your purchase is recorded on a distributed ledger, which is a network of computers that keeps track of each coin’s ownership. So if you buy bitcoin using your laptop, for example, and you lose that laptop, your money will still be safe because the blockchain has your back. You can easily access your coins from another device.

This may surprise you if you saw the Big Bang Theory episode devoted entirely to searching for a laptop, which ostensibly held bitcoin that Sheldon and his friends purchased seven years earlier. Ultimately, they discover that the coins were downloaded onto a USB that is long gone, therefore insinuating that their bitcoin is long gone, as well. No matter how smart you may think Sheldon is, please do not trust him here. The blockchain, in reality, would have had Sheldon’s back, just as it has yours.

Myth #3: Bitcoin is easy and convenient to send, spend, and receive, just as fiat currency is

Reality: Bitcoin is a store of value. While originally intended to operate as a currency, it’s now widely accepted by crypto users to be more like gold. (This is a reality specific to bitcoin, however, and does not speak for the larger potential of cryptocurrency.) The reason bitcoin is unlikely to ever be used in the place of fiat payments is its slow transaction time and overall systemic complexity.

Leslie Knope’s befuddlement is therefore understandable in Parks and Recreation, when a web developer tells her to “PayPal [him] some bitcoins” for compensation. Aside from the impossibility of PayPal’s current platform transacting bitcoin, cryptocurrency transactions aren’t instantaneous… yet. They are massively secure, but they aren’t quick.

Myth #4: Criminals can easily hack into, steal, and transfer your digital money

Reality: A fundamental part of cryptocurrency is the safety it grants individuals through high-tech security protocols. Your money is secured in a digital wallet, which is secured by a private key, which is secured on a ledger device, which is protected by multiple passwords. Someone would need all of this to access your coins.

It would be impossible to have any idea of this safety, however, from the Billions episode where Axe “gives his trading partner” a ledger containing a million dollars in crypto. Aside from the fact that digital currency isn’t stored on a ledger—only private keys are—the trader doesn’t have what he needs in order to access the funds Axe is promising.

Instead, here is the unglamorous truth not meant for the silver screen: Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are incredibly complex; it’s challenging even for insiders to navigate the terrain because it changes almost daily. However, one guarantee we can make is that neither will be going away. Cryptocurrency is an opportunity for wealth to transcend borders globally and open new monetary opportunities for those who need them the most.

It’s worth it to educate yourself on crypto, even if you build just a basic understanding. But really educate yourself, and don’t simply absorb what’s portrayed on TV. There are a lot of great resources out there, many of which aim to strike a common ground between jargonized language and layman’s terms.

How, and to what extent, you choose to embrace crypto is up to you. But whatever you do, keep in mind that fundamental research is key.

 


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Author: Nick Saponaro
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