- A trailer for the ‘Crypto’ film was released on March 11, 2019, starring Kurt Russell and Beau Knapp
- The film follows an anti-money laundering agent who uncovered a connection between crypto and the Russian mob
You know something has caught on in larger society when it gets the Hollywood treatment. It happened with emojis (the Emoji movie), Angry Birds (the angry birds movie) and now, cryptocurrency is finally getting its Hollywood treatment with the new movie aptly titled Crypto.
The trailer for the movie was officially released on March 11, 2019, and stars Kurt Russell and Beau Knapp.
From the title, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the movie will be a crypto-focused saga that humanizes the decade-old industry and educates the audience in an entertaining fashion.
However, From the 2-minute long trailer, it is obvious that we’re in for more of a crime heist than a glorious introduction of cryptocurrency to the movie-going audience.
The story follows a young finance wunderkind who is sent to his hometown to investigate a money laundering conspiracy that is somehow connected to an art gallery. Upon reaching there, he comes across something called ‘Deltacoin’ which, ironically enough, is the name of an actual cryptocurrency. He is stunned to realize that there is an account holding millions of dollars in cryptocurrency without any known address or phone number.
In the next clip, he is seen having a frantic video call with a colleague where he explains that he believes the Russian mob is involved in the whole thing as a means to launder money. It is not long after this that he and his associates find themselves being stalked by members of the mob and threatened. The final seconds show different people being kidnapped, tortured and possibly killed with the tagline “Fear is the ultimate currency” flashing across the screen as a climactic police raid takes place.
Again, while the title would have you think this is a crypto-focused film, it is obvious that it is more of a finance crime thriller in which crypto could be swapped out for the dark web and nothing would change.
Education (And Lack Thereof)
The crypto industry was built from the ground up by the tight-knit global community that believed in it from the start. As a result, they are very wary of being exploited or used as a quick cash grab.
This film could expect a similar reaction from the community as, rather than embrace a possible teachable moment, it feels more like a formulaic crime thriller that slapped the word “Crypto” onto its title as a means to gain attention. While it might end up being an entertaining film, it feels disingenuous to the crypto community.
Setting the Tone
When faced with the idea of a movie about cryptocurrency, there are many options that could come to mind. Possibly a Social Network-esque Oscar-bait film about the rise of an interesting internet phenomenon that captured the financial apathy of a generation? Even a joy ride comedy about two friends who get rich quick from cryptocurrency and proceed to engage in all manner of mischief would at least feel authentic in some way.
Instead, this film seems to mostly focus on crypto as a tool for crime, in this case, for the Russian mob. While it is true that crypto has been used for crime, anti-crime laws such as know-your-customer requirements are being set up around the world to crack down on this. The character is posted to the small town as an anti-money laundering agent, which is ironic considering that anti-money laundering laws with regards to crypto are very prominent across the globe.
This sort of depiction only furthers the narrative that crypto is synonymous with crime and this does nothing to help further acceptance or adoption and reduces it to a buzzword to be used for the purpose of selling movie tickets.