Cryptocurrency in Popular Culture [Citation Needed]

I was watching a mediocre teen comedy and it contained not one but two jokes about cryptocurrency!

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. Being popular is an illusion. Like a magic trick, or cryptocurrency. You just have to believe in it. And then they will too.

And later:

Her uncle invented that crypto banking app, Money Grab. It's an app that's like a bank. But instead of going to an actual bank, you go to the app and like... grab money.

[sighs] No, Bree, it's an actual bank. It's just, like, the money that isn't real. Anyway, it'll be sick for the party.

So that's what presumably-Millennial screenwriters think Gen Z have to say about it.

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16 Responses:

  1. Amy says:

    What really surprised me about that one is it was made by Fox, which is now owned by Disney, and the Disney censors let a joke involving a tampon and a trans girl stay in.

  2. Doctor Memory says:

    Not sure if you subscribe to Matt Levine's "Money Stuff" newsletter but he's been following the FTX collapse and postmortem closely and today's OMG moment seemed relevant to your interests:

    Bankman-Fried had touted FTX’s “unique” liquidation engine, which he argued was a safer way for exchanges to manage risk. The 30-year-old had pushed legislators in the US to adopt FTX’s system, potentially opening it out to non-crypto markets.

    The system included a fail-safe: it incentivised large trading groups to take over trades where the initial margin was almost wiped out. But on the riskiest, most thinly traded tokens, only Alameda was willing to serve as that last line of defence.

    In April 2021, a crypto token called MobileCoin — used for payments in the privacy-focused messaging app Signal — suddenly spiked in price from about $6 to almost $70, before crashing back down again almost as quickly.

    The wild moves came after a trader on FTX had built an unusually large position in the little-known token. Two people familiar with the matter said that when the price rose, the trader used the position to borrow against it on FTX, potentially a scheme to extract dollars from the exchange.

    Without signing (as it were) on to all of our host's other critiques of Signal, the MobileCoin fiasco was exactly as idiotic as he called it, and I'm torn between thinking that Moxie owes everyone a public apology about that and hoping that actually he personally was the one who used MC to run a billion-dollar smash-and-grab on FTX.

  3. 1

    Saw a great segment on a Canadian Broadcast Corporation that I think captures the mainstream sentiment that crypto was an absolute fad

  4. CSL3 says:

    So... Hollywood's acknowledgement of Web3 outweighs their (relatively non-existent) acknowledgement of COVID.

    Seems about right.

    • Eric TF Bat says:

      The only show I've seen that acknowledged The Present Inconvenience was that especially trippy time travel episode of The Orville where one of the 21st century characters mentioned getting through the pandemic. I don't watch much that's set in the real world, but I'm still surprised at how little the biggest news story of the past three years has popped up.  Maybe they figure it'd be an immediate Trigger Warning for too many viewers and they'd all switch off.  That or they figure the details are still changing so much that everything they say about it would be immediately dated, though that's no excuse for shows with a political bent.

      • CSL3 says:

        I've heard that the Starz show P Valley apparently realises we're pandemic-deep, but I've yet to see the show. I do know that the recently-cancelled HBO show Betty (one of the best goddamn shows I've watched lately) spent its entire second/final year having its characters learn to live in a world that not only had COVID, but also the murder of George Floyd.

        Another great show is The Other Two, which I loved on Comedy Central before it disappeared. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally learned it was on HBO+ (which I learned because it was briefly mentioned in an article HBO/Warner/Discovery's clusterfuck of a 2022). The show's still funny and they can now say "fuck" uncensored, but it irritated me that they ignored the pandemic... until the last episode of Se.2. It's a great joke that comes out of nowhere, and I expect Se.3 to have masks as far as they eye can see.

        Other than that, pretty much every other show/film I've seen refers to COVID in the past tense or doesn't mention it at all.

        • Elusis says:

          "The Good Fight" kind of fast-forwarded through it but then again they were very nearly a COVID casualty, I think, so I'm impressed they dealt with it at all.

        • chaosite says:

          Superstore's season 8 had the pandemic as a major thing that is happening.

  5. Nate says:

    My daughter is in high school, and her friends take the same delight in trolling crypto bros that they do in, e.g., nominating FIFA22 for 'Most innovative' in video game awards.

    • dzm says:

      I'm all in on the trolling, but I would also like to understand it.

      What do Crypto Bros have to do with FIFA22, and why would the Crypto Bros even be aware that your daughter and friends had nominated FIFA22 for a game award? I feel like I'm missing some connective tissue between the different parts of the trolling.

      • tfb says:

        My guess is that the crypto bro trolling has nothing to do with FIFA22, other than that trolling them causes the same delight that nominating the nth (n might be 30) episode of a video game series as 'most innovative' does.

  6. jwilkes says:

    This got me curious:

    ChatGPT prompt: Write an extremely short gen z monologue in which a teen assuages their best friend's fears about not being popular. Make sure to make a subtle reference to cryptocurrency in it.

    ChatGPT output:

    "Yo, don't trip about not being popular. It's not a big deal. Plus, who needs friends when you have the future of money on your side? HODL on, fam."

    So I don't think mediocre teen comedy writers are out of a job quite yet.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure what happens to the content of something like Hacker News from this point on...

    • k3ninho says:

      >I'm not sure what happens to the content of something like Hacker News from this point on...
      For a long time, I thought it was self-parodying circlejerk but, now that GPT is training from HackerNews and I'm using it to bot-spam plausible conversation, we know it is.


      • jwilkes says:

        Digression-- last week I used the Hacker News stylometry tool to find a troll account belonging to a fairly well-known language developer. It appeared to be used almost exclusively to post low effort content flame wars to a) praise the free market, and b) elucidate how poor people can just ride the bus to a library to prep for getting into an Ivy League college.

        Reading through the post history, I noticed the moderator eventually stepped in a few years back to warn the participant against using "this account" to get in low-effort arguments with others. The participant's solution? Continue posting the low-effort content, but now from the account under that is under their real name.

        Another digression-- what I really wanted to find were the other accounts of the HN user "notamanager." This was an account that attempted to disrupt a discussion of a Google antitrust case a few years back on HN, and the moderator publicly confirmed that as a sock puppet account. Unfortunately, the post history was too short for the stylometry analysis.

        Ok, I guess that's quite enough discussion of HN on a blog that redirects links from HN in the way that it does. :)

        • Derpatron9000 says:

          Regarding HN, avoid the comment section at all costs.

        • rjp says:

          a fairly well-known language developer

          I suppose it's a sign that I waste far too many hours on that wretched Libertarian hellscape that I can probably guess who you're talking about...