Right, OK, so let’s get this out of the way. There’s a new gritty TV drama about bitcoin—except it’s called GenCoin, it stars Adam Brody, it’s called StartUp because of course it is, it’s a Crackle Original™, and the first trailer is out today, which is also 4/20.
That StartUp exists at all is remarkable for a few reasons. First off, the horse-race of which will jump the shark first, bitcoin or this show, is sure to be a nailbiter.
Secondly, what? Crackle, Sony’s play at competing with Netflix in the crowded streaming market, is officially hitching its wagon to bitcoin hype in order to elevate itself above the perception of being a D-rate Netflix alternative. This is either a genius move or a terrible miscalculation.
While Mr. Robot traded on legit hacker cred to attract a more tech-savvy audience, it also relied on tech tropes recognizable to a wider audience—just ask a friend to tell you what both Anonymous and bitcoin are and see which they manage to get through. Bitcoin is still a relatively niche interest, and it’s not clear if its cultural cachet can float an entire TV show.
As for the content of StartUp itself, the trailer doesn’t