A new documentary called ‘Banking on Bitcoin’ is to release in select theatres and VOD on January 6. Focusing on the 2008 financial crisis with many bitcoin advocates questioning early on why money was being controlled by central banks, the documentary highlights bitcoin as a ‘monetary revolution.’
Despite the fact that money has been issued by central banks for hundreds of years with bitcoin a person is able to send money digitally to someone else directly. All records are then held on the blockchain, bitcoin’s distributed ledger.
As bitcoin believer and convicted felon Charlie Shrem notes in the trailer, ‘bitcoin is the largest, social economic experiment the world has ever seen.’
Since its introduction the digital currency has grabbed the attention of many people. Not since the Internet has there been a controversial technology that has attracted media attention. And yet, while its countless early pioneers have sought to make it the currency of choice it hasn’t been an easy road.
The Dark Past of Bitcoin
In the early days of its existence, the use of the digital currency has been used by criminals as a form of payment online due to the fact that it’s difficult to trace back where payments were made from.
As the trailer states, ‘the idea that someone could create a marketplace where you could freely transact without oversight or regulation had to be dealt a massive and public blow.’
Silk Road was one particular haven for individuals who wanted to buy illegal items such as guns and drugs online without getting caught.
The now defunct Japanese-based Mt Gox was also another dark moment in the currency’s history, which saw around 850,000 bitcoin allegedly stolen. A significant proportion of the currency remains missing. This incident dealt a major blow to the currency and people’s confidence in it.
And yet, while the digital currency has steadily risen in the public’s opinion over the years despite the number of cyber criminals using it, the digital currency has failed – so far – in one area: taking over the banks it was meant to destroy.
Other Bitcoin Documentaries
Over the last few years the digital currency has featured in a number of documentaries and TV shows.
In the 2015 American crime comedy-drama, Dope, bitcoin featured around a group of high school friends who became mixed up in drug dealing.
The currency also played a significant role in the second series of Mr. Robot after he recruits hacktivists who are tasked with erasing debt held by Evil Corporation.
Marvel Comics Deadpool features bitcoin as a form of payment in Deadpool’s bar.
While the 2015 documentary, Deep Web, focused on events relating to Silk Road, the digital currency and politics on the dark web.
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