The old saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” became particularly relevant in the bitcoin community this week.
That was the case of what PayPal thinks about a new parody video that rips off its “New Money” commercial that was created to run during Super Bowl 50. That video pitches PayPal as the “new money” solution to the old-school financial world that isn’t open outside of business hours.
“There’s a new money in town,” the text in the commercial reads. “PayPal is new money.”
This commercial was particularly important for PayPal as it was the company’s first major brand campaign of its type in such a high-profile setting that brought such a vast audience. So, when a video director took it into his own hands to rip off PayPal’s theme with a bitcoin parody, one could imagine that PayPal may not have been so flattered.
That director was Shiloh Silverman, who runs the video production firm Silver Park Studio and who decided to share a little message that there was already a “new money in town” and that “new money” was bitcoin. At least for bitcoin enthusiasts, that’s how the digital currency has been pitched to the wider public.
The parody, which uses the same background music, proclaims: “New money is decentralized” and “Old money is fiat. State issued.” Pretty entertaining, right? Well, PayPal didn’t agree and asked for the removal of the video, which was eventually blocked by some sites.
The original creator took the video down, it appears, but it has since resurfaced on YouTube via other users. PayPal claims that its request to remove the video has nothing to do with being anti-bitcoin, rather it was to avoid sending mixed messages about its new campaign. After all, PayPal has made partnerships with bitcoin companies, like CoinBase, that allow users to accept bitcoin payments through its Braintree platform.
“Our vision of New Money includes bitcoin,” a PayPal spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal by email. “But to avoid customer confusion, we asked them for the video to be removed.”
While PayPal did request the parody be removed, the spokesperson did share a few remarks about what it thought about the bitcoin video: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think this demonstrates just how excited customers are about the concept behind PayPal’s ’New Money’ campaign.”
And when asked about why he created the video, Silverman said he was “not a bitcoin fanatic.”
“I just love the whole world of it,” he told WSJ.
And, just in case you want to check out what all the fuss was about, here are the two videos:
Bitcoin Tracker: Week 109 | The Top Bitcoin News Of The Week
Are Regulators Finally Warming Up To Blockchain’s Tech?
The answer to questions about whether financial regulators will help propel blockchain technology’s potential may come sooner rather than later.
What this means, of course, is that there’s evidence that those financial regulators have warmed up to how blockchain technology could be used to innovate financial transactions, among its other uses. At least, that’s according to ex-JPMorgan banker Blythe Masters, who runs the blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings.
“Regulators are very interested in the potential of this technology to improve transparency, audit trails, transaction reporting and reduce operational risk,” Masters told Reuters.
Since launching the blockchain startup, Masters has been on a crusade to push the technology’s initiatives across the financial ecosystem, particularly as the blockchain has been viewed as being a more efficient, cheaper and more secure way to move money around the world. Blockchain, however, is the technology underpinning bitcoin, which has brought plenty of controversy with it.
A New Bitcoin On The Block? Or Just Another Debate?
Leave it up to the bitcoin community to threaten its own future. That’s what’s happened in the latest debate in the bitcoin world after a virtual fight broke out over a newer version of bitcoin was released.
Because traditional bitcoin has a limit on how many can be produced and how many transactions it can handle, there are challenges the bitcoin community has faced since day one in terms of making it go mainstream. It’s also under the sway of a small number of people who control a large part of the bitcoin universe.
That’s created limits, concerns about its legitimacy and fears for its future. Those debates have also prevented bitcoin’s technology (blockchain) from innovating itself in order to change how the virtual currency is used. And now, there are bitcoin developers who have been discussing Bitcoin Classic, a rival to the old-school virtual currency. This vision doubles bitcoin’s recorded transactions (AKA blocks) and would help the network’s capacity grow.
But, of course, there are skeptics who suggest that growing bitcoin’s capacity would destroy the virtual currency. And there’s another side of the debate that’s saying this divide in the bitcoin community is preventing any innovation from occurring.
Either way, it appears bitcoin is going through an identity crisis.