In brief

  • Popular cyberpunk TV show Altered Carbon recently featured several cryptocurrencies.
  • Despite the skeptics, Bitcoin still exists in this version of the future.
  • But, the prices don't look so good.

An episode of the Netflix original Altered Carbon features cryptocurrencies as the means of payment in its fictional version of the year 2400.

The currencies are several top cryptocurrencies that we have now, including a few privacy coins and one governance-focused coin. They are being used to price various items including gloves and guns. But, if you take the prices seriously—which, let’s face it, probably weren’t particularly thought out—it seems like the writers foresee a drop in the value of these coins.

In the show, the prices of a variety of small items can be seen listed in several different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH) during a scene where the main characters load up on weaponry as part of an earlier plot. Also listed are two privacy coins, Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), as well as governance-focused token Decred (DCR).

Although it is unclear exactly what is being sold in the shop—with various pieces of unspecified technology on show—at least one of the items appears to be a pair of gloves, being sold for 0.867 Bitcoin, or around $7,700 at today’s rates. Likewise, it appears that the same pair is also listed for 3,089 Litecoin, currently worth around $189,000.

To put things into perspective, buying even a high tech $50 pair of gloves today with cryptocurrency, would cost around 0.0057 BTC or 0.82 LTC. Unless these are super expensive gloves, that means the prices of these coins are probably much lower in this universe.

This is the second time mainstream media has featured cryptocurrencies in recent weeks. Last week, The Simpsons ran an episode where The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons explained how cryptocurrencies work. It featured coins including Bitcoin, Litecoin and, even Dogecoin.

“Each day I’m closer to being cash of the future,” a singing book explained, in the video.

According to analysis from Luno, each time The Simpsons predicts a trend—such as Donald Trump becoming US President—it takes, on average, 15.6 years to come true. So, bring on 2035.