By CCN: Bitcoin now has its very own version of “Adult Swim.” A cartoon called Bitcoin and Friends will soon be launching its second episode pending fundraising through a combination of donations and sponsorships. The cartoon features the voice of rap artist Petey Pablo who plays Jones, a car dealer turned ice cream truck driver/drug dealer.
Bitcoin's Own South Park
Bitcoin the character is born into a dark world blown out by the 2008 financial crisis. Every 10 minutes or so, he spews out a bunch of children who go scurrying off-screen. Satoshi Nakamoto is featured in the first couple of minutes, a shadowy figure who tells him that he will discover his destiny eventually. In the first episode, Mitalik, Harold, Bitcoin, and Jones meet Pal Fifty, a character very reminiscent of Hal Finney. They also meet someone who seems an awful lot like Dorian Nakamoto in a memorable scene.
The artwork brings to mind the world of several Adult Swim cartoons. In a conversation with Robert Allen, however, we learned that the creative inspiration for the cartoon comes mainly from cartoons like South Park, Futurama, Rick and Morty, and an “eclectic mix” of other animated comedies.
Allen told CCN that he’s wanted to create something fun for the crypto space since he entered in 2013. His other endeavor, Coincube.io, is much more serious. It's a portfolio automation service that helps crypto investors secure profits through diversification. Allen says “Uncle Chris”, who does the voice of Bitcoin, approached him with the idea last year. Coincube.io sponsored the first episode. The crew has a budget of $20,000 per episode and is currently over two-thirds of the way to funding the second episode.
Bitcoin and Friends Navigate a Dark Landscape
Over the long term, they’re hoping to pick up sponsorships from deep-pocketed firms or even potentially find other distribution avenues later on. Allen says that he and his team are dedicated to making the show as accessible as possible. That goal makes options like subscriber-only or even airing exclusively on network television out of the question.
“Our hope is that we can get people laughing a little bit more at themselves and at each other and hopefully just try to lighten the mood a little bit. And try to bring people together. The common enemy that we all have is that central banking is a huge problem. Allowing a small group of individuals to decide monetary policy, to set interest rates, to decide if they print a trillion dollars out of thin air to bail out their buddies on Wall Street – that is a level of corruption that is hard for most people to even grasp. It’s pretty awful. It needs to be addressed head-on. That was, I think, the original impetus for the creation of bitcoin and that is what should be bringing everyone in crypto together – the realization that we should be working together.”
All of the likenesses in the show are used without permission, so names are changed to protect the guilty. Mitalik Buterin, for example, is a leading character. The producers tried to reach out to Vitalik Buterin through this vlog where Bitcoin the character addresses him directly:
The high production quality of the show gives us hope for its prospects. Bitcoin and Friends has already amassed nearly 20,000 subscribers on YouTube after releasing only one episode. Allen says the team is fully committed to getting out the first season regardless of anything, although they have some funding hurdles to get over.
Just now, as you were reading this, Bitcoin recorded a new vlog from his life in Los Angeles, circa 10 years ago.