“Bitcoin Billionaires” author Ben Mezrich has joined the hit Showtime TV series “Billions” as a consulting producer. The move will ensure that more crypto story lines will bubble up in forthcoming episodes of the finance-centered show.
Mezrich shared the news on Twitter, where he joked that he’s “taking the Acela straight to Hollywood, baby!”
— Ben Mezrich (@benmezrich) July 22, 2019
‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Chronicles Winklevoss Twins’ Crypto Journey
“Bitcoin Billionaires” is the bestselling book that documents the Winklevoss twins’ meteoric rise in the cryptocurrency industry.
In 2017, the twins were crowned the “world’s first bitcoin billionaires” based on the market value of their bitcoin holdings.
Ben Mezrich first wrote about Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in his 2010 book “The Accidental Billionaires.” That book was later adapted into the Facebook-centered movie “The Social Network.”
In 2004, the Winklevoss twins sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he had stolen their idea for Facebook when they were students at Harvard.
In 2008, Zuckerberg settled the lawsuit by paying Tyler and Cameron $65 million in cash and 1.25 million in Facebook stock. The twins used part of that settlement to buy bitcoin and made their move into crypto.
‘Billions’ Explored Crypto In Past Seasons
Starting this week, Mezrich — who’s based in Boston — will travel to New York to consult on crypto story lines for “Billions.” He’ll also be on the set during the filming of season 5, the Boston Globe reported.
Mezrich is a huge fan of the TV show, which stars Damian Lewis as hedge fund czar Bobby Axelrod and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, the ruthless New York State Attorney General.
“I’m psyched to be working with the smartest people in TV,” Mezrich gushed. “I’ve been a huge fan of [co-creators] Brian Koppelman and David Levien since ‘Rounders.’ I love ‘Billions.'”
As CCN reported, “Billions” has broached the topic of cryptocurrencies in several episodes. However, most of the references were negative, with crypto being used almost exclusively for money-laundering.
On Season 4, a recurring theme involved using blockchain technology to allow people to vote using their cell phones. And on Season 3, billionaire Bobby Axelrod twice featured Ledger‘s crypto hardware wallet.
Naturally, Ledger was thrilled with the shout-out and tweeted: “It was a great surprise for us! Getting more and more mainstream.”
Ledger Nano S featured in the last episode of @SHO_Billions (Billions S03E07) "one million dollars straight in crypto, in cold storage". It was a great suprise for us! Getting more and more mainstream. pic.twitter.com/KYrprYAMSJ
— Ledger (@Ledger) May 7, 2018
Bitcoin Is Becoming More Mainstream
With the addition of the “Bitcoin Billionaires” author as a consultant, it’s a certainty that crypto will be featured more extensively — and positively — on “Billions.” The show will increase visibility for crypto, since “Billions” averages 4.2 million viewers a week across all platforms.
Bitcoin’s profile has spiked dramatically during the past three years, so it’s no surprise that crypto is starting to enter the mainstream consciousness.
As CCN reported, Google searches for “bitcoin” soared to a 13-month high in May, just as the market was emerging from the brutal 2018 bear market.
The mainstreaming of bitcoin was recently aided by a feature on the CBS News show “60 Minutes.” Being spotlighted on the popular news magazine program was a watershed moment for the budding ecosystem.
As CCN reported, the May 19 bitcoin-focused “60 Minutes” episode scored a stunning 8.2 million viewers.