The HBO series Silicon Valley has just aired an episode lampooning the recent ICO craze that swept cryptoland at the turn of the year:
But is it a good or a bad thing?
The old adage is that all press is good press, and this especially holds true for the crypto space: an area few people know about and even fewer people are actively engaged in. Crypto will only grow when more people know about and become comfortable with it.
The shown in question, Silicon Valley has a wide (read: 'mass') viewership and is not only broadcast nationwide in the US, but is syndicated to many other countries.
So what are the benefits and drawbacks?
Well, the main advantage is that it not only mentions cryptocurrencies, but substantially dedicates an entire episode to it. The importance is that it helps Bitcoin and the like enter the zeitgeist: that ephemeral, almost indescribable cloud of the world's awareness of an idea or occurrence. Think about Instagram, social media in general and the idea that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK.
The more people become aware of the crypto market - and its potential to make them money and improve their lives - the more people will begin the trust and involve themselves in our area of expertise.
That can, assuming the blockchain is a sound and viable concept (which we know it is), only be a good thing.
But the show isn't shy about showing us how fallible such an investment can be either. The episode's protagonist - no spoilers! - offers us and the casual viewer a inescapable insight into this.
That is also important. We should not look to proliferate the idea that the blockchain and those ICOs and existing projects that exemplify it offer some hallowed, inevitable route to lambos and golden bathtubs and robot butlers.
We must be realistic, and prove to the wider populace that Bitcoin and the blockchain are realistic - realistically the future.
Let's get to it.