Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies do not have the best of reputations due to its supposed association with criminal activity. Netflix isn’t helping matters much with its Explained series. It only puts this new form of currency in an even worse spotlight.
Netflix Gets It Wrong
Most TV shows which touch upon Bitcoin and similar currencies tend to follow the same approach. Highlighting the negative side of cryptocurrencies seems to be the go-to solution in this regard. Even Silicon Valley ridiculed cryptocurrencies somewhat, although it also tried to inform viewers on multiple occasions. Netflix’s Explained series, however, is a different creature.
More specifically, this series touches upon innovative concepts and technologies. As such, Bitcoin was bound to be highlighted sooner or later. Among the use cases for Bitcoin, the series mainly mentions illegal services. That is not factually correct by any means and has already been disproven.
It is true there have been numerous associations between crime and Bitcoin. Ransomware, malware, exchange hacks, and so forth are all excellent examples. Even so, those transactions represent a minor fraction of the ecosystem as a whole. As such, it is baffling to see why Netflix thinks their episode is completely accurate in this regard.
More Flaws to Correct
While the association with crime is the main point of frustration, there are other issues in Netflix’s new show as well. It mentions how all cryptocurrencies use blockchains, which is not correct. There are quite a few currencies which do not use a blockchain at this stage. Until recently, EOS and TRON belonged to that list as well, as their infrastructure was only recently unveiled.
Additionally, Satoshi Nakamoto is a well-respected member of the Bitcoin community. However, he did not invent blockchain technology by any means. This concept is nearly three decades old, which is something Netflix could have researched with ease. Jameson Lopp pointed out his frustrations as well as this episode contributes nothing educational whatsoever.
Factual errors made by @netflix's "Explained" episode on cryptocurrency:
* Most bitcoin is spent on illegal services.
* Byzantine General's Problem is about being able to transact privately.
* Satoshi invented the blockchain.
* All cryptocurrencies use blockchains.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) June 10, 2018
All of this further confirms the “powers that be” have no love lost for Bitcoin and its technology. Such inaccuracies could have been addressed easily with proper research. For some reason, Netflix and Vox decided to take an entirely different approach. There is a lot more to Bitcoin than people realize, yet few people are capable of highlighting it properly. That is very unfortunate, and a situation which needs to change soon.
Do you think Netflix was just lazy in getting Bitcoin wrong, or did they intentionally do so? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Twitter/@lopp.