Hollywood’s never been a bastion for nuanced thought.
The need to push clickbait narratives and to find the edgiest ways to culturally introduce and explain the world in which we live, often means that while movie producers are thrilled with high box office revenues, society ultimately suffers from the inaccuracies that are portrayed as truths.
With regards to the upcoming and creatively-titled bitcoin movie, “Crypto”, it’s more than likely that neither the production companies behind the potential trainwreck, or the film-goers it’s being inflicted upon, will be satisfied with the result.
It can be said that any publicity is good publicity for the world’s largest cryptocurrency and the entire industry in general, that’s true. In reality though, building the story of the film around a stale and over-worn trope thats been the go-to talking point for media since the inception of cryptocurrency, displays exactly how broken the idea of what Bitcoin is within the general public today.
The Plot: Get any Russian Mafia film ever, and replace ‘nuclear weapons’ or ‘kidnapping’ with ‘Bitcoin’
The plot is predictably that the Russian Mafia uses Bitcoin to launder money, Kurt Russell stars in the film as a trader who gets caught up in it all, and Luke Hemsworth is an anti-money-laundering agent investigating.
From the trailer the film looks cheesy and clichéd, but that alone could be forgiven. No-one expects a crypto-focused equivalent to Shawshank Redemption to be released any time soon. Where the main issue lies with this film is the misguided perpetuation of the same narrow ideas surrounding virtual currencies which are preventing the general public from considering anything other than pump-and-dumps or the dark net.
As is typical, media is doing what they do: find an idea people are interested in, spin the shit out of the narrative to sensationalise it to the nth-degree, and then release it on unsuspecting observers who know no better.
Another missed opportunity?
Any kind of mainstream exposure shows that cryptocurrencies are moving more and more into the ‘real’ world. Kurt Russell may be an unlikely poster-child for Bitcoin, but depending on the success of ‘Crypto’ this film may be the first of many more movies with crypto-centric plots.
This was, however, a largely missed opportunity to create a film which took the harder path of turning the clickbait dial down, and the creative-thought dial up. Stories covering the lives of some of the pivotal members of the cryptocurrency community would be equally as catchy as a story about the Russia Mafia laundering their ill-gotten gains with Bitcoin.
The obvious difference would be that in the process, the main target audience (aka ‘cryptocurrency users’), wouldn’t feel as slighted by being forced to sit through 2 hours of the same lazy story-lines we’ve been reading in newspapers for the past decade.