As much as Learn Crypto has put a huge amount of effort into producing content that explains how crypto works, some people prefer to learn by watching rather than reading. With that audience in mind we’ve pulled together a list of best movies and documentaries about crypto and blockchain. So if you prefer a HD flat screen to a Kindle, mobile or laptop, grab some popcorn. These crypto films come highly recommended.
The Big Short doesn’t mention crypto or Bitcoin once, so you won’t learn anything about how the technology works. What you will see is a compelling case for why our currency economic system is broken and needs replacing; in that way the Big Short is bullish Bitcoin.
Based on a book by multi-award winning author, Michael Lewis, the Big Short charts the 2008 Financial Crisis through the few people who saw the storm coming. Through their experiences it peels back the superifcial veneer of the financial system to expose the rot inside.
It isn’t anywhere near as boring as it may sound, and features a host of top Hollywood stars including Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale. If you bought the dip you’ll associate with some of the characters from the Big Short.
Having directed Disney’s Enchanted, Christopher Cannucciari, may not seem like the obvious choice for a documentary looking at the impact that Bitcoin will have on the financial world, but he does a great job without an animated character in sight.
As from the title, this documentary is about Bitcoin, rather than the broader crypto ecosystem, but having been made in 2016 that shouldn’t be a surprise, with much of what dominates the cryptosphere yet to even exist.
Cannucciari seems to have caught the Bitcoin bug as, according to IMDB, he is directing a yet-to-be released documentary - The Search for Satoshi.
Don’t be put off by the fact that this documentary is directed by one half of the Wyld Stallions. Aside from playing the part of one of the most famous slackers (Bill from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) Alex Winter pursued a career behind the camera, making several well-received documentaries including this ‘The Trust Machine - The Story of Blockchain’.
The documentary was released in 2018 and has a level of production value that is missing from many of the films about crypto up to that point in time. This is evident from the balance between explaining the roots of blockchain, what a blockchain is and does, as well as its future implications via real-world stories which make it far easier for the newbie to grasp.
There are a few famous faces from the crypto community, most notably venture capitalist, Adam Draper, who provide talking head viewpoints, alongside reportage and traditional documentary analysis.
The only weakness is that crypto and blockchain move so fast that parts of this already look a little dated, but that shouldn’t detract from its overall value.
We’ve bundled these two titles together because they are both directed by Torsten Hoffmann who clearly wanted to return to the subject he first documented in 2015.
Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It looks at money in historical context, and for most people, who take money for granted, provides a useful eye opener about why we need more, how it works and crucially, the weakness of modern money.
This sets up the intro to Bitcoin as the evolution of money, which is where the follow-up Cryptopia takes over, looking in more detail at Bitcoin, Blockchain and the Future.
Both films rely heavily on interviews with key individuals from the crypto space, including some of the most controversial characters. Watching both would certainly get a relative newcomer up to speed, if you’re familiar with the subject you may be more critical of what/who the film includes, as well as excludes.
It may be a bit of a cheat to include a two minute sponsored film about how money is changing, but given it is narrated by and features Spike Lee, we’ve made an exception.
Spike Lee has made a name directing films that expose issues of racial inequality, most recently BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods, so it's a very interesting choice for him to direct and star in a commercial for a Crypto ATM.
There are clearly parallels between racial and financial exclusion, and the film certainly aims to make a case for progress via new digital currencies, but at two minutes it is more about raising awareness and triggering discussion than providing any detailed insight.
Fake is one to look out for rather than available right now, given that it is the first movie about crypto with blockbuster appeal. Oscar winner, Kate Winslet, plays the starring role in the story of the OneCoin Ponzi Scheme based on a book by Jen McAdam, a personal account of being scammed and the repercussions of fighting back.
Jen McAdam’s story came to light via the BBC Podcast about OneCoin ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’. It would be worth listening to that first; if you enjoy it, look out for ‘Fake’ in cinemas and online.
Though it focuses on the dark side of crypto, the OneCoin story should remind you what gives crypto value and what doesn’t.