Bitcoin is growing ever more popular as the years pass, even though it has only been around since 2009. Around 42 million bitcoin wallets were in existence at the end of 2019, and there are now an estimated seven-million bitcoin users, especially in emerging markets and on the Dark Web.
As bitcoin becomes a permanent fixture in popular culture, it’s not surprising that it’s beginning to appear in movies as part of the narrative thread. In the last two years, there have been a number of movies where bitcoin has been the main topic or a plot device. So, if you love bitcoin games and movies, read on for some inspiration.
Released in 2019, Crypto was a movie about laundering money using cryptocurrency. It starred two big names: Luke Hemsworth and Kurt Russell, but was not a commercial success, scoring a dismal 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. The plot centres on an AML (anti-money laundering) agent caught up in a web of intrigue. After being fired for being too good at his job (really??), he goes home and promptly discovers a shameful plot involving his dad. You’ll either love it or hate it, but it’s a fast-paced movie that requires very little cognitive engagement. Settle in for a fun romp through the world of crypto and money laundering and see how many references to bitcoin you can tag.
The 2015 movie, Deep Web, is more of a documentary than a movie, but the critics liked it and it scores 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s definitely worth watching. In this story, bitcoin is a side dish, as it explores what happened to the infamous Silk Road website and is narrated by Keanu Reeves. Director Alex Winter does a good job of digging deep into the story, and if you’re interested in how the government goes after shady Dark Web entrepreneurs, this is a must-watch piece of filmmaking. It also raises important ethical issues about how far a government should go to achieve its goals.
Magic Money: The Bitcoin Revolution
This 2017 movie is a bit more on-topic, placing bitcoin front and centre. It examines what bitcoin is and the effect it could have on society, as we know it. Again, more of a documentary rather than a movie, Magic Money does offer some interesting insights into bitcoin and its origins. Watch this one if you’re still in the dark about how bitcoin works and what you can do with it.
Unfriended: Dark Web
Released in 2018, Unfriended: Dark Web focuses on what happens when hidden files are discovered on a laptop. It has been described by critics as a modern-day horror story based in the digital realm, where the hapless characters are hunted online by psychopathic trolls. It’s not exactly about bitcoin, but cryptocurrency does play an integral role in the plot.
Two other bitcoin related movies/documentaries worth checking out include How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) and Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution.
Disclaimer: I do not hold bitcoin or any other crypto currency.