Several cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, monero and zcash were featured on the recently released and highly anticipated second season of Altered Carbon, a cyberpunk Netflix series set about 400 years in the future. A scene from the show clearly depicts a shop where prices are set in crypto, with no fiat in sight.
Netflix Features Cryptocurrency on Second Season of Altered Carbon
Will the cryptocurrencies of today still be in use in the early 25th century? The creative minds at Netflix seem to think so.
Altered Carbon is a cyberpunk television series featuring off-world mining colonies, extinct space aliens, rogue artificial intelligence agents, mind uploading, digital immortality, corrupt corporate overloads and sword-wielding Yakuza members fighting against gritty bounty hunters armed with laser pistols. To this list of tropes we can now add using crypto assets to facilitate shopping for contraband and other illicit items.
The second season of Altered Carbon was released on Thursday, February 27, 2020, and it stars Anthony Mackie, best known for playing Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The plot takes place approximately 30 years after the first season, which was mainly set in the year 2384, placing the events of the second season in the early 25th century.
The world of Altered Carbon suffers from extreme economic inequality and focuses on the effects that has on society. As such, the need for money is a central driver of events in the show but the characters usually only refer to it as ‘credits’ and by no other name. However, a scene in the fifth episode of the second season reveals that, at least in some markets, cryptocurrencies are the real medium of exchange in this dark future.
A scene from the second season of Altered Carbon on Netflix that features an augments repair shop with prices are all set in cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, monero, zcash and litecoin.
Without giving away any spoilers, you can see that when the hero goes to get some gear from an augments repair shop for a major adventure all the prices in the venue are set in cryptos with the logos of bitcoin, monero, zcash, litecoin and a few others clearly shown. This might have been used to give the place the look and feel of a real life darknet market.
While it is impossible to predict how the economy will look in 400 years, the show’s creators are most probably right about the lack of support for current fiat currencies in a future where humanity is spread out across dozens of plants. So if you ever plan to buy a replacement cyborg hand, military-grade clone body or the ability to enhance your senses with wolf DNA on the black market, you’d better hold some privacy-enabling cryptos just in case.
Media Loves to Hate Bitcoin?
Bitcoin has recently returned to appear more frequently on television, beyond the financial news shows where the topic is often in the headlines. In February 2020, for example, animated family sitcom The Simpsons featured an almost two-minute segment explaining how cryptocurrency and blockchain work with the actor who played Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. In the segment, the animated Parsons tries to prove that he is not a nerd and actually “super cool” by the fact that he is talking about the subject.
February 24, 2020: Cast attends Netflix sci-fi Altered Carbon season two premiere at AMC Lincoln Square in New York City
In contrast, some parts of the media often like to employ anti-crypto tropes such as that bitcoin is only used by hackers or criminals. A recent example of this came from an episode of True Life Crime, a new series on MTV, that focused on the story of a $5 million SIM swapping scam. The producers brought on to talk about the incident included Rachel Siegel, a bitcoin advocate and proponent of mass adoption, but cut out all the positive things she had to say about cryptocurrencies.
What do you think about Netflix’s Altered Carbon showing cryptocurrencies being used in the year 2400? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Netflix, Fair Use.
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