Jeopardy! The Bad Bitcoin, The Good Wife: The B-Word Goes on TV
From House of Cards to Jeopardy, HBO Silicon Valley to The Simpsons, Almost Human to Supernatural, Bitcoin appears on mainstream TV, making it a cultural phenomenon.
While the crypto world is waiting for Bitcoin to be mentioned in a blockbuster movie, let’s review some TV series that have already mentioned the B-word.
“As a technology gets more adopted, it gets covered more. In the beginning, a new technology is always regarded as something negative and threatening”, commented Torsten Hoffman, director of the film, “Bitcoin: the end of money as we know it”.
'Send me your lunch money online! - Accepting Bitcoin'
“Bitcoin is a cultural phenomenon that fascinates many people, and it is also quite controversial as it obviously undermines the most powerful institutions on this planet, which are banks and governments. That's great story material”, added Aaron Koenig of Bitfilm Production.
In fact, many TV series have mentioned Bitcoin during their episodes. This could be really important news for the cryptocurrency as it could potentially allow Bitcoin to reach more users all around the world.
Bad Light Going Dimmer
Unfortunately, for the most part, Bitcoin is primarily mentioned on TV within the context of the purchasing of drugs, which undoubtedly paints the digital currency in a very bad light.
“I saw some of these TV series on YouTube. Some are quite funny, but usually they have the same rather low level of understanding of Bitcoin that you find in most”, said Koenig.
Bitcoin for Dummies
Some mentions of Bitcoin on mainstream TV include:
The Good Wife
In Bitcoin for Dummies (episode 3x13), which aired on January 15 2012, the protagonist, Alicia Florrick, has to defend Stack, a lawyer who doesn’t want to reveal the identity of his client, the unknown Satoshi Nakamoto, who is wanted by the U.S. Treasury Department for creating Bitcoin.
“I saw the Good Wife and thought that it was an excellent episode and it was quite early to be talking about Bitcoin on mainstream TV. I believe Bitcoin was mostly mentioned in a negative light, but that's the same for most newspaper headlines and TV news reports at the time. I think by now the general sentiment has switched from a means for illegal drug money and money laundering to revolutionary technology and promising opportunities", said Torsten Hoffmann.
Bitcoin has been mentioned on two different episodes of The Simpsons.
The first one, “Yellow Subterfuge”, Season 25: Ep. 7, aired on December 2013. Krusty the Clown is bankrupted following the Bitcoin market crash. The second, “Clown in the Dumps”, Season 26 Ep. 01, aired on September 28 2014. A big poster can be seen showing James Corky Jones saying, “Send me your lunch money online! - Accepting Bitcoin”.
During the “Arrhythmia” episode (1x6) Bitcoin is mentioned at minute 30.40. Kennex and Dorian are investigating a strange death - a man claimed someone was trying to kill him and inexplicably, he knew his time of death. During the investigation, they discover the existence of an organ market where someone is selling hearts that can be remotely turned off in case of non-payment.
House of Cards
“Chapter 15”, the second episode of season 2, aired on February 2014. It follows the story of Lucas, who is looking for a hacker on the deep web. In his speaking to others he explains what Bitcoin is in the context of the ‘deep web’.
In October 2014, the episode, “Paper Moon” (10x4) spoke about Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is mentioned during ‘Articles of Incorporation’, the third episode of season 1.
Dunn: Hey, Dinesh. Dinesh. I'm on the phone with the bank and they say they need an extra form for your payroll, because of your visa?
Dinesh: Visa? What visa? I'm a fucking US citizen.
Dunn: [on phone] I have Dinesh Chugtai here, and he's pretty irate because... Oh, I see. Bertram Gilfoyle is the foreign national. Citizen of Canada. Okay, thank you.
Dinesh: You're Canadian?
Gilfoyle: Your "borders" are merely a construct. I prefer to think of myself as a citizen of the world.
Dunn: Do you mind just sending them the form so they know you're here legally?
Gilfoyle: Yes, I mind. And also I may not be. To wit, maybe you could make out my checks to cash? Or bitcoin.
Dinesh: I didn't know I was working with an illegal.
Bitcoin is also mentioned during the first episode of season two.
Jeopardy! is an American game show during which, some years ago, the TV host asked the definition of Bitcoin, described as “a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank”.
At that time, on Reddit and Bitcointalk, many pointed out that the question could have been answered with ‘Litecoin’, ‘Primecoin’, or ‘Ripple’ too.
Bitcoin is mentioned during “Bit by Bit” (episode 1x12), which first aired on May 2015.
During this episode, the team investigates a hacker who created a blackout to hide a jewelry store robbery and a homicide. However, it is discovered that the real robbery concerns Bitcoin, and detectives try to use the blockchain to track the transaction.