In brief

  • Bitcoin was mentioned on the season five premiere of Billions last night.
  • In the scene, two characters discuss the worth of Bitcoin versus the US dollar.
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have now been featured on several hit shows, and even some feature flicks.

Bitcoin (BTC), the world's first and most successful cryptocurrency was just featured on the popular Showtime TV show Billions in its season five premiere.

The show features Paul Giamatti as Charles “Chuck” Rhoades. Image: Billions.

Billions is a popular TV series about billionaire hedge fund kingpin Bobby Axelrod, or 'Axe' and his duel with the hard-hearted US Attorney Chuck Rhoades.

Bitcoin back in Billions

Bitcoin's recent mention comes in the first episode of season five of the show, which airs each Sunday at 9 pm ET on Showtime.

Like most mentions of Bitcoin in mainstream media, the recent episode discussed Bitcoin in a negative tone—with attorney Rhoades remarking on the fact that it isn't backed by any physical assets.

"[...] So your multitude of computers can solve abstract math equations resulting in the mining of Bitcoin, worth millions right now but backed by what? Nada, nix…zat," said Rhoades during an interrogation.

The suspect fires back, "What’s the Dollar backed by since we went off the Gold Standard?"

While many TV shows—and even films—have been namedropping Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there’s a key reason why they were mentioned in Billions.

The show’s creators revealed on Twitter today that Ben Mezrich, the author of Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption, was the co-writer of season five of Billions.

“Bitcoin on Billions! It’s beautiful, baby. :):):):)” Mezrich tweeted today.

This isn't the first time a cryptocurrency was featured on the show. In an earlier season, main character Axe offered to pay a trader $1 million in an unnamed cryptocurrency, and the popular Ledger Nano S hardware wallet has also been featured in the series.

In usual fashion, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was quick to remark on the news, retweeting an earlier post made by Crypto Godfather to his more than half a million followers.

Billions joins the crowd

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have seen their discussion in popular culture climb in recent years, due in part to the publicity they receive thanks to their frequently volatile price action.

Back in March, Decrypt reported that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were featured in another popular Showtime show Altered Carbon.

Cryptocurrencies have also been featured on the big screen, including in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, and Crypto—a movie that once again perpetuates the misconception that cryptocurrencies are mostly used to facilitate crime.

Beyond this, the documentary feature film Monero Means Money, which discusses the privacy coin Monero, hit theatres recently, temporarily becoming the number one cryptocurrency documentary film on IMDB and the number one box office film in the United States.

Although—with the coronavirus stopping the release of new films—this was largely due to a lack of competition.

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