ProtocolTV’s highly anticipated Bitcoin short film “Bitcoin: Buenos Aires” has come a long way and is finally available for public viewing – and its portrayal of Bitcoin in Argentina is inspiring.
The first Protocol production, its genesis has been marked by a unique marketing/funding combination using crowdfunding site Tilt. As we reported earlier, the film had already completed production prior to funding being sought, following the style of Vitalik Buterin’s articles for which a teaser was released with the remainder dependent on funding.
A preview is available on YouTube now, with the full move available for US$2 in Bitcoin, US$3 by credit card or as a torrent file which allows users to name their own price.
The project as a whole has been well-supported. Its ‘tilt’ milestone, a feature of the funding website which allows donations to go through subject to a certain amount being raised, was surpassed prior to the closing date of September 12. Although the ultimate target was not reached, a respectable US$2,707 was received prior to release.
Director Valerian Bennett has been surprised by the level of support shown by the community.
“A lot of people are giving without really expecting anything in return,” he said in a podcast with YouMeAndBTC.com, commenting on the large number of donations received below or in between reward points on Tilt.
- Valerian Bennett
The result of his efforts speaks for itself. The 12-minute documentary, filmed in July 2014 shows the writhing downtown scene in an eerily up-to-date style, from somber facts about the economy to secretly filmed footage of hoards of black market exchangers on the high street.
The black market is perhaps the most tangible aspect of Argentina’s problems, with those involved sometimes even being reputable companies seeking to make extra income to counter the 30% annual inflation hitting the peso.
“I found it remarkable how legitimate businesses are willing to break the law by illegally exchanging pesos on the side for US dollars at ‘CUEVAS,’” Bitnation CCO Nathan Wosnack commented to Cointelegraph upon watching Bitcoin: Buenos Aires. “They have no other choice, except with cryptocurrencies.”
And it is this alternative choice which can be seen to be coming alive across society. Not only are Bitcoin startups thriving in the new Bitcoin hub in the downtown area; consumers are coming together in projects such as La Satoshi, in which they actively foster Bitcoin use in a non-technical environment.
“What interests me about La Satoshi is the ability to put Bitcoin in a social setting, and to attract more people who are not technologists,” member Carolina Cosentino tells the production.
The event has even taken place in a public space in Buenos Aires, the Plaza Francia, demonstrating an increasingly resilient community willing to do whatever is necessary to demonstrate a viable alternative to its fellow citizens.
Wosnack was similarly impressed:
“The La Satoshi Event, Plaza Francia, was inspiring. […] These people get it; you keep it too technical, and you'll scare people away. I’m glad these people in Argentina get it… and Bitcoin is the answer to their freedom.”
While Bitcoin’s progress in Argentina is by no means unhindered, it is the determination uncovered by Bennett, which provides not just food for thought, but also serves as a shining example of the Bitcoin ethos proving itself against adversity.
Bitcoin: Buenos Aires by Valerian Bennett and ProtocolTV can be purchased and downloaded here.
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