Cinema Review: The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Directed by Nicholas Mross

Oct 01, 2014 Web Exclusive
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At this point, most of us have probably heard of Bitcoin but still have no use for it. According to the enthusiasts and industry insiders in The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, it’s only a matter of time. The film documents the roller coaster of Bitcoin’s early use, following the “internet’s first currency” through peaks and valleys, all while exploring its potential uses. The cast features an array of socially conscious anarchists who seek to undermine big banks and eager young entrepreneurs hoping to sell their first startup for a hefty chunk of cash. They all agree on one thing, though: Bitcoin is the future of money.

Director Nicholas Mross follows his brother, Daniel, as he mines for Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining involves spending a lot of money on supercomputers, installing some software, which then churns out codes for the currency, of which the miners take a cut. It seems like a pretty genius investment—to the technically un-savvy, Bitcoin mining looks like literally coding money out of thin air—until we learn that Daniel loses big on his investment as larger firms jump in on the opportunity. Despite his loss, Daniel is never discouraged about Bitcoin in general. Toward the end, he recalls how friends urge him to cash out his Bitcoin when it reaches a peak in U.S. dollars. But Mross isn’t interested in Bitcoin’s value in dollars, shrugging off such advice with a casual “No, don’t you see it?”

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin wants you to believe digital currency isn’t just a technical revolution, but a leap in progress with potential to restructure the entire global economy. The film makes a good case, explaining the barriers in banking for people in poverty and Bitcoin’s ease of access as a solution to some of these difficulties. At times the film feels like propaganda; Bitcoin’s critics are given uneven screentime to express concerns for the currency’s long term viability. Of course, it’s easy to dismiss critics as curmudgeons on the wrong side of history when you’re caught up in Bitcoin’s meteoric rise. Ultimately, the film proves that Bitcoin is at the very least more appealing than succumbing to any of its critics’ fears.

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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