Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It (2015) - Film Review
Directors: Torsten Hoffmann, Michael Watchulonis Writer: Torsten Hoffmann Starring: Andreas M. Antonopolous, Roger Ver, Bernard v. NotHaus, Jeffrey A. Tucker, Michael J. Casey and more
In 2015, cryptocurrencies have gained wide public attention. If you want to know what Bitcoin is, this is the film to watch this holiday season. The title says it well. This 60-minute documentary film is a masterpiece, depicting both the history and future of money. It reveals the hidden threads in the development of money and where it is going.
One could not ask for a better introduction to the invention of the blockchain. The directors, Hoffmann and Watchulonis were able to successfully depict what this disruptive technology embodies, revealing the past lineage of money and the serious problems inherent in its current centralization, while at the same time presenting a viable alternative. I found this to be a fine work, historically documenting the birth of crypto-currencies.
From the mental ledger to metal coinage and the separation of the Federal Reserve note from gold, the film succinctly portrays the history of money. It does an excellent job of showing the inner working of the fractional reserve process and its fraudulent nature, without explicitly saying it.
I found it especially impressive how the directors made the intersection between money and technology, helping all to see money as an innovation. By comparing it to the invention of the printing press and the move from the horse and buggy to the automobile, it places Bitcoin in historical context as a further advancement of technological innovation.
The film is concise and very engaging. It packs in a lot of information, yet paces it well, helping the audience digest the material. The selection of speakers was great and the way their voices were woven into the visual narrative was very effective. It was nice to see leading figures in the Bitcoin space taking turns speaking for this groundbreaking technology.
This is a very entertaining and educational film, a mandatory watch for anyone who’d like to witness the unfolding history of money and get a sense for its future. This is not a typical Bitcoin enthusiast film that tends to frame it only in a positive and optimistic light, yet it is true to the revolutionary spirit of this innovation without watering it down.
By the end of the film, one may come to realize how money is something vital like water, yet many rarely know what it truly is. After watching Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It, one walks away with a deeper understanding. I finally found a film that I would direct my friends and colleagues to the next time they ask me: ‘What is Bitcoin?’