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Bitcoin: The Next Frontier for TV Execs

"Bitcoin" (CC BY 2.0) by cafecredit

TV executives are often looking to jump on the latest bandwagon and ride the trend-train towards mega ratings. Whether it's capturing the zeitgeist and focusing on innovations in the crime fighting world like CSI, Law and Order and NCIS did or it's Manga mania in Asia, TV shows often reflect societal trends of the time.

Because those behind the cameras are often quick to reflect society back towards us in the form of light entertainment, it's little wonder that Bitcoin has become a TV trope in recent years. First developed in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, but only really hitting the mainstream in the last three years, Bitcoin is essentially a digital currency that's made, spent and traded online.

Like something out of a sci-fi movie, Bitcoin isn't controlled by government agencies, doesn't have a physical form and is the product of impressive technology. However, unlike a sci-fi creation, Bitcoin is real and, today, it can be used in a variety of industries.
Bitcoin Transforming the Ways We Pay

"gogocoin launch" (CC BY 2.0) by pinguino

For those wanting to book a flight, companies like, Expedia, Bitcoin.Travel and even British Airways all accept Bitcoin payments for flights and holidays. One of the main benefits of using the currency for travel is that the price doesn't change. Unlike traditional currencies where the price can fluctuate because of currency exchange rates, Bitcoin has a universal value so the price of a ticket will be the same wherever you are in the world.

Another industry where Bitcoin is making an impact is the iGaming world. Thanks to Bitcoin's inherent security protocols, players are now using the currency to bet on all manner of casino games. Indeed, for example, Bitcoin jackpot slots at now offer a safe and, importantly, anonymous way to play for prizes without using dollars, pounds, the yen or anything else.

Tycoons, Mr Vegas and Fruit Bonanza are just three of the Bitcoin slots you can find at VegasCasino. And, in much the same way you'd do at a traditional online casino, each game has a rating, free play options and, most interestingly, jackpots worth 14BTC+ ($10,000+).

Bitcoin Transforming the Ways We Watch

So, with various industries now getting in on the act and consumers starting to realize the benefits of Bitcoin as a payment method, TV producers in the US and abroad are now using it as a theme. Indeed, possibly the most interesting example of Bitcoin on TV in the US today is StartUp. First airing in September 2016, the crime drama features Martin Freeman (aka Tim from the original version of The Office) and something known as GenCoin.

Based on Bitcoin, GenCoin is a highly secure cryptocurrency that's under threat from criminal gangs. However, using his team of digital security experts and investigative officers, Freeman (aka FBI Agent Rask) manages to beat the bad guys and protect society (and GenCoin) from those with malicious intentions.

Another TV show that's jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon in recent months is BitGirls. Coming out of Japan, the show is set to be broadcast to around 13 million viewers in November 2016 and the premise is simple: the girls (contestants) undertake challenges in order to win the support of viewers. The Bitcoin twist, in this instance, is that the show is funded by a digital currency known as Torekabu.

Viewers of the show can purchase Torekabu tokens for the girl they think is most deserving and the one with the most money at the end of the season will be declared the winner. However, to ensure everything is kept as digital as possible, Torekabu can only be purchased using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Get Ready for a Currency Revolution

"bitcoin" (CC BY 2.0) by fdecomite

As well as making one million Torekabu available for viewers, the show's creators are also setting as 500,000 tokens to promote and market the show. So, from the top to the bottom, this show is not only promoting the use of digital currencies, it's actually helping to fund and support it.

TV shows are often a good indicator of the latest trends in society and if the above offerings are anything to go by, then it seems as though we're in the midst of a currency revolution. Does that mean we can start burning our dollar bills? Probably not, but it certainly seems as though we now have more ways to pay than ever before.

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