Spoilers ahead for the penultimate episode of Silicon Valley.
In The up to date season of Silicon Valley, startup Pied Piper braves all kinds of hindrances, from an competitive pizza corporate looking to steal their coders to contending with their archnemesis Hooli ’s Galvin Belson (performed by Matt Ross). In final night ’s episode, it addresses certainly one of the most salient issues of the tech global: Bitcoin. In The procedure, it explains two recurrently complicated aspects about cryptocurrency: why are people obsessed with Bitcoin and why aren ’t more other people getting rich off it?
Bitcoin enters the image whilst Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) and Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) create a plan to release their very own cryptocurrency in hopes of constructing a quick buck. They ’re absolutely immersed within the cryptocurrency craze, believing that it will raise sufficient capital to do away with their want to depend on a venture capital company, and also glance just right for their brand image to build a decentralized internet funded by means of decentralized money.
If this display followed the pattern of earlier seasons, they’d ’ve lucked out and located tens of millions of greenbacks in funding, very similar to the messaging app Telegram elevating $1.7 billion in non-public rounds of funding in its digital tokens, or the Winklevoss twins who invested in Bitcoin back in 2013 and are now billionaires. Had the show long gone down that course, it will have invested even additional within the well-liked fantasies round speculative digital tokens as fast routes to fast money. As An Alternative, the show cuts to the PiedPiperCoin ’s release value at a tragic $0.07 consistent with token, and the upset faces of all the company. “Richard, adversity is an ideal instructor,” says Jared (Zach Woods), consolingly, “Just Like cigarette burns.”
The display is brought crashing down into fact
The scene cut successfully brings the display crashing down into the harsh reality of cryptocurrency; just about 1/2 preliminary coin services introduced in 2017 failed by means of February. It ’s by way of no approach easy to get rich in an trade filled with countless unpredictable issues together with hacks, schemes, high transaction fees, and regulatory scrutiny. instead of feeding the hype, the display does a pretty good process of depicting what a volatile and wild route launching an ICO may also be for a tech startup. in a single scene, Monica (Amanda Group) warns Richard against hopping on the Bitcoin bandwagon, via saying, “Sooner Than you walk away from balance and gamble your whole company on crypto, there ’s every other loved one of yours i think you want to check with.” Monica points to Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos), a flashy billionaire who has all the time made questionable industry choices, as a main instance of what not to do.
We learn that of the 36 ICOs that Hanneman launched, only one has in fact earned him back the entire cash he ’s blown. Unfortunately, his maid threw away the keys to the cash, that have been stored on a thumb force, so he ’s combing thru a tremendous pile of rubbish to seek out it. for example how desperate his scenario is, his worker reveals him a real thumb and not a thumb force.
It ’s a ludicrous sequence of events, but it surely ’s exactly the type of inanity that makes Silicon Valley cherished among tech fans. In a tradition where extra and more other folks have started mining cryptocurrency the use of their own mining rig setups or invested into exchanges in hopes of constructing a handy guide a rough greenback, it ’s refreshing to see Silicon Valley avoid the lure of blindly promoting those digital cash that may infrequently blow up in traders ’ faces. Likewise, it will be unfair to paint all cryptocurrency-related companies as shady companies, and the show ’s now not quite announcing that either. Even the SEC chairman Jay Clayton, who leads a lot of the regulatory scrutiny in opposition to the forex, has admitted that the era in the back of cryptocurrency holds “unbelievable promise” for the financial business.
Cryptocurrency is not a black and white issue, and despite continuously being more of a soap opera than an actual depiction of tech problems this season, Silicon Valley manages a nuanced and balanced strategy to covering this complicated matter. It ’s a unprecedented and needed standpoint in a sphere where many people are eagerly promoting one ICO or every other, whilst awesome public figures like Warren Buffett have instructed other people to stay from it altogether. since it ’s new generation, staying away without end doesn ’t appear to be excellent advice, however neither is making an investment with out studying all of the high-quality print and holding vigilant in opposition to fraud. As An Alternative, it is better understood as a box that calls for so much of shrewd concept or dumb blind good fortune to profit in.
Picture by way of Michele Doying / The Verge