While this is a given, news media platforms are not the only ones trying to catch up on crypto frenzies and create narratives that might boost their ratings. Recently, mainstream television is showing more affinity for cryptocurrency, and popular TV shows are increasingly infusing elements of digital asset technology in their contents. In this article, I will highlight 10 times that crypto featured on mainstream television.
Media powerhouse in France, M6, is introducing a version of the US’ popular TV show, Shark Tank, to its audience. However, instead of sticking to the title format adopted by other variations of this show, the producers of M6’s version have chosen the subtle and yet self-explanatory “Who Wants To Be My Partner” title. The principle of this program is the same with older variations, as it picks business gurus whom aspiring entrepreneurs would pitch ideas to.
According to Cryptoast, one of the selected judges is Éric Larchevêque, the founder and president of Ledger. And in the excerpt released, Éric Larchevêque was captured talking about his ascendance in the crypto business landscape. It remains to be seen how this remarkable feat unfolds, and I expect the crypto community in France to keep a close tab on it.
One of the few shows that have made an effort to understand the concept of cryptocurrency and its related terminologies is USA Network’s Mr. Robot. In an episode that aired on November 24, the main character, Elliot Alderson, was working on creating a crypto mixer, which is a tool that makes it difficult to track the history of cryptocurrency.
More impressive is how the show went further to flash a public address on the screen, which fans have reportedly been crediting with crypto.
Billions is one of the popular shows with a historical inkling towards crypto references. In earlier seasons, Billions had done a tacky job at buttressing the importance of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology. However, recently, the show has turned it up a notch, as one of the episodes released in 2019 debated the possibility of introducing blockchain technology into the US’ voting system.
Some believe that Billions’ fresh outlook on cryptocurrency was spurred by the hiring of Ben Mezrich, author of Bitcoin Billionaires, as a consulting producer.
Another TV series that treads the crypto path with elements of realism is Silicon Valley. In its fifth season, Silicon Valley referenced ICO, bitcoin mining, and price volatility, as the show continues to highlight trends sweeping across the tech industry.
Netflix knows how to capitalize on its audiences' thirst for original and inclusive stories. One of Netflix’s series that follow this trope is “How to Sell Drugs Online fast”, which tells the story of 18-year old German selling drugs online for cryptocurrency.
For those who find this narrative familiar, it is a somewhat vague retelling of the story of Maximilian S., a real-life 18-year-old, who facilitated a huge drug business from his room.
One of the most iconic moments in crypto space played out in 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. Well, CNBC took the liberty to highlight this event in 2018, as Laszlo reminisced on his crypto exploits in the world-renowned “60 minutes” program.
In perhaps the most vivid iteration of crypto themes in pop culture, Startup, a tv series, which premiered in 2016, tells the story of three entrepreneurs looking to create a coin that would change the world. Also, they had to contend with a crook FBI agent who will stop at nothing to stop them.
Hollywood took a major gamble on cryptocurrency for the first time early last year. A movie named Crypto premiered with Kurt Russel and Luke Hemsworth playing major roles.
The movie centered on a grand cryptocurrency laundering scheme and did feature tidbits about cryptocurrency and compliance.
Ads are one of the major ways startups get to tell the crypto story to a mainstream audience, and this was on show when France’s biggest TV network, TF1, aired a bitcoin ad multiple times per day.
Also, famous actor, Alec Baldwin was in full acting mode, as he starred in etoro’s TV ad released late in 2019.
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is one individual who has shown, time and again, that cryptocurrency is an essential technology. Nonetheless, it was a surprise when he appeared on national television holding what looks like a Trezor hardware wallet. Regardless of the motives behind this gesture, it was great publicity for cryptocurrency.
The above-mentioned events are just a handful of instances where crypto featured on mainstream TV in the past 3 to 4 years. As always, I am looking forward to a similar trope in 2020, albeit with even more fascinating and real narratives.