You can say Bitcoin and cryptos are everywhere these days. One giant billboard here, some pamphlets over there, several thematic-buses in different countries, and an awful lot of ads on the Internet. But that’s not all, because Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have already jumped to the small and big screen.
From animation to more serious topics, different aspects of our digital currencies have been pictured in more than a few TV shows, series, and movies, beyond the pure documental or informative genre. Funny, ambitious, or even dangerous, here we’ll check a list with some TV shows (and one movie) featuring Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
The Good Wife
This one probably was the first TV show featuring Bitcoin in a whole chapter. In this legal series, the housewife Alicia Florrick sees like her husband, the former Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney, is sent to jail following a notorious political corruption and sex scandal. Now alone, Alicia decides to retake her career as a lawyer to provide for her children.
Every episode uses to represent a different legal case for Alicia, and Bitcoin appears in season 3, episode 13 “Bitcoin for dummies”, from January 15, 2012. The main plot focus on Dylan Stack, a lawyer who supposedly represents Satoshi Nakamoto, and who’s being pressured by the government to reveal the name of the anonymous Bitcoin creator. They decided here it’d be illegal to compete with the U.S dollar, so, Bitcoin is on the rocks.
Luckily, that worked out better in our world, and The Good Wife didn’t give us a bad prediction for the future’s Bitcoin legality, but a nice explanation of what it was when almost no one didn’t know.
This yellowish middle-class family has talked about every available trending topic since its debut on TV by 1989. The Simpson is the longest-running American sitcom, and weirdly someone hasn’t heard yet about the satirical adventures of Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie. They’re classic, and Bitcoin couldn’t be missing into the series.
The first time Bitcoin appeared in there was brief, in season 25, episode 7 “Yellow Subterfuge” (2013). The episode depicts an act of revenge on Skinner by Bart, but there’s also a section where Lisa learns Krusty the Clown has gone bankrupt. He mentions then he invested in Bitcoin.
Seven years later, The Simpson decided to dedicate a whole episode to the topic, this time creating a new cryptocurrency: the Frinkcoin. This episode is the 13th of the season 31 and was launched in February, 2020. We can enjoy a plot where Professor Frink creates its own cryptocurrency, temporally becoming the richest man in Springfield, above even Mr. Burns. And Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) is there too, explaining what a blockchain is.
The Big Bang Theory
Talking about Jim Parsons, he portrayed the funny and endearing Sheldon Cooper in the popular Warner sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This show is centered on a particular geeky gang of scientists living in Pasadena, California: Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, who one lucky day meet and befriend Penny, the beautiful waitress (and aspiring actress) who lives across the hall of Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment.
It’s usual to see these socially awkward guys in all kind of funny situations, and one day, when Bitcoin was above $5.000 in 2017, they remembered their past investments in the cryptocurrency and decide to use them. Sadly, they can’t find now their funds inside the old wallet, and Sheldon may have something to do with it. This the 9th episode of season 11, called “The Bitcoin Entanglement”.
Similar to The Simpsons but with less yellow and even more dark comedy, Family Guy tell us the story of another animated middle-class family, the Griffins, conformed by Peter, Lois, Meg, Chris, Stewie, and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian. They’ve been dedicating to satirize about everything at hand, and Bitcoin wouldn’t be the exception.
In the 11th episode of season 14, “The Peanut Butter Kid” (2016), the family receives a letter from the bank and starts worrying about their financial future. Peter, the father, suggests “Bitcoin” as the solution, but Lois, the mother, doesn’t agree. Considering BTC was around $440 at the time and now is over $10.300 (+2.240%), it may have actually been an excellent idea.
This medical drama by ABC follows the life of Meredith Grey, a surgeon who’s starting her career in the fictional Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Along with her colleagues, Grey struggles to balance her personal life with stressful residency requirements. Meanwhile, we can peek into the treatment of the patients, often through complex surgeries and the existing competitiveness among the new doctors.
Sadly, Grey’s Anatomy decided to show the less kind side of Bitcoin in the 8th episode of season 14, “Out of Nowhere” (2017). The hospital computer system is attacked then by ransomware, a powerful virus able to kidnap data and even hardware till a ransom (in Bitcoin) is paid to the hacker. Monitors, phones, labs, and patient files go down, putting at risk the patients’ lives. The crew must decide then if pay the ransom or trust in the FBI and don’t pay it.
This thriller film by John Stalberg Jr. and Lionsgate is considered the first big-budget movie featuring cryptocurrencies. It was launched in 2019 and the cast includes figures like Beau Knapp (The Gift), Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls), Luke Hemsworth (Neighbors), Jeremie Harris (Legion), and the veteran Kurt Russell (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).
The story follows Martin “Marty” Duran, an anti-money laundering (AML) analyst at Omnicorp Bank headquarters in Manhattan. He breaks a millionaire deal for his company since he discovered the other enterprise involved was breaking AML official rules. As a result, he is demoted to a branch in his tiny hometown, but he still doesn’t want to stop his research, which finally leads him to a whole network of money laundering with cryptocurrencies by a giant enemy. And some cryptocurrency mining as well.
The movie got some bad critics because some things may be off. Like the chosen cryptocurrency to launder the money: Bitcoin, which has a transparent blockchain; or the fact that the plot isn’t especially surprising. However, “Crypto” can be considered as a pioneer that will pave the way for other films on the same theme in the future.
We need to say these stories aren’t always accurate about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but undoubtedly they’re a nice proof of how much this topic already belongs to the general culture.