A documentary film that profiles distributed ledger technology and counts an Ethereum co-founder as one of its executive producers had its theatrical release on October 26 in New York.
Written and directed by Alex Winter, Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain, runs for 84 minutes and covers subjects ranging from the history of Bitcoin to the promising use cases of distributed ledger technology. Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of Ethereum as well as the founder of blockchain software technology firm ConsenSys, is one of the film’s executive producers.
Regarding Bitcoin’s history, the film credits the 2008 global financial crisis as the reason that triggered the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto to develop an open, decentralized ledger for transactions. Not everything turned out perfectly, however, and the documentary laments that BTC initially became famous for its use in illicit deals on the internet and alleges that this, unfortunately, earned the flagship cryptocurrency a perception and a reputation that it is still trying to shake off.
Good for Newbies
Critics have pointed out that the doc serves as a useful primer anyone is unfamiliar with blockchain technology. As The New York Times film critic Ben Kenigsberg writes, the film serves as a solid teaching aid:
“A hodgepodge of boosterish arguments for blockchain technology, ‘Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain,’ directed by Alex Winter (Bill of “Bill & Ted” fame), is not always a model of clarity, but it does a decent job of explaining the basic concept.”
Some of the contributions that blockchain technology can make to the world that the documentary film focuses on include combating identity theft and transforming power distribution by empowering micro-producers of power such as households who are able to generate solar power and sell the excess to the grid.
Ticket to Riches
But, for all the revolutionary potential of blockchain technology, Winter’s film concedes that what is drawing most people to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is the desire to strike it rich.
“Still, for most people in the world right now, the most exciting thing about blockchain is the prospect of making a fortune overnight,” notes The Hollywood Reporter. “In its closing scenes, the film’s narration acknowledges how attractive this field is to scammers and speculators.”
As previously reported by CCN, this is not the first documentary Alex Winter has directed focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Three years ago, the actor-turned-director made a 90-minute film Deep Web, which documented the arrest of Silk Road marketplace webmaster Ross Ulbricht. The film was narrated by Keanu Reeves.
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