Ana is a filmmaker who gets hooked on Crypto trading. Her husband and her father want her to go to therapy, but instead Ana decides in desperation and as a healing exercise to make a documentary about Bitcoin fever. With her enabling producer, a chaotic production crew of newly-converted crypto-speculators and an exasperated economist father who wants to protect his daughter from being bankrupted by a scam Bull Run takes us on a rollercoaster exploration of the world of Crypto Trading. With humour, honesty and insight, we meet the people and investigate the technology, diving head first into the culture of Crypto speculation. A world where normal citizens become pundits and every trade can make you rich or bankrupt you, and the line between investment and gambling is ever more blurred.
In the same way that the first applications of computer technology can now look primitive and undeveloped, the same will likely be said about blockchain and the current focus on cryptocurrencies. The potential is so vast and expansive that it is difficult to fathom, while also being widely misunderstood.
Put simply, blockchains are shared ledgers that don’t require any trusted third-party administrators; transactions or data can be accessed transparently and are said to be incorruptible. Blockchain technology has the potential to become a foundation of every business interaction that requires trust and co-operation – but is there more to it?
Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet takes a deep dive into the crypto ecosystem and blockchain technology to discover the good, the bad and the ugly of this controversial industry, its major narratives, conflicts and the major players behind it. Can we really trust them to build this trustless cyber utopia or are their projects just as unfairly distributed and easily manipulated as our current financial systems and tech platforms?
Beginning with the basics of Bitcoin and the origins of the blockchain movement we highlight the recent debate within the community: Is Bitcoin digital gold, a new asset class to invest in or is it the global currency of the Internet? In the second act, we explore other crypto currencies and the many different uses of blockchain technology including the new concept of smart contracts. Finally, we look at the history of the Internet to show what developments have lead to our current crisis of mega-corporations controlling information.
While some see the development of blockchain-based systems as having the potential to take down the Facebooks and the Amazons, and decentralise governance – leading to calls for regulation – others fear that the technology will be co-opted, privatised and derailed by these same forces.
While some see the potential for transparency and the removal of lawyers, bankers and wall street from our lives, others see greater opportunities to scam and defraud.
Can blockchain technology be used to create a new, fairer, decentralised and uncensored web3.0 where we can control our data and protect our online identities? Or will the potential be squandered as mega corporations once again compete for dominance in this new field.
With his unrivalled and exclusive access, award-winning filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann (Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It) takes us on a journey into the heart of this brave new world.
Cryptopia has been officially selected as part of Academy Award Qualifying film festival DocEdge 2020, and has won 16 awards at international film festivals in 2021.