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Best 10 Bitcoin Movies and Cryptocurrency Documentaries to Watch in 2019

  • Denys Serhiichuk
    📚 WikiCoin

    Nowadays, one can get information about Bitcoin and Blockchain from everywhere. That could be forums, social media, and even books. This trend has become so popular that even directors have started to shoot movies about it. We selected the 10 best films about the main cryptocurrency so you can find that one which you would like the best.  


Best 10 Bitcoin Movies and Cryptocurrency Documentaries to Watch in 2019
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With the beginning of cryptocurrency hype, documentary filmmakers are also interested in the blockchain and the opportunities it provides.

However, few people know that there are documentaries that shed a realistic light on “digital gold” and describe their positive and negative sides without embellishment. We picked the top 10 films that describe the history of Bitcoin.


Alt: Bitcoin movie

Banking on Bitcoin

This movie will give you the possibility to know better the earliest users of Bitcoin technology. It discusses the features of revolutionary cryptocurrency technology, and its potential and ability to change people's lives. Erik Voorhees, Gavin Andresen, and Charlie Shrem took part in the creation of this documentary.

The film deeply analyzes the successes and falls experienced by the early users of the currency since Bitcoin was released in 2008. Throughout the film, its creators tried to find a so-called harmony between regulation and innovation. The movie reveals various points of view on topics related to Bitcoin, as well as talks about how technology pioneers contributed to the creation of blockchain technology. If you are passionate about innovation and legal regulation, you should definitely watch this film.

Bitcoin Gospel

Bitcoin Gospel” logo

It is a Dutch documentary that gives answers to questions about what Bitcoin is, how to pay with it and why it has become so popular. The film is focused on the speeches of crypto-enthusiast Roger Ver, who is called Bitcoin Jesus. He explains in detail how this currency operates. The movie mainly revolves around Ver, who has devoted his life to the promotion of the use of Bitcoin. It also analyzes the mining industry in China. Other prominent Bitcoin-angels, such as Andreas Antonopoulos, also appear in the film.

Furthermore, the film focuses on the performance of Roger Ver in Japan, a country that is supposedly drawn to Bitcoin much more than others. If you would like to master your knowledge of Bitcoin, this film is clearly for you.

Magic Money

Magic money” logo

This film was prepared specifically to answer lots of issues about Bitcoin that exist in the public space, including what Bitcoin is and what its consequences for society are. The creation and further development of the first form of digital currency is described here. Bitcoin is a currency that is not currently controlled by modern monetary institutions, but by people using it. “Magic Money” analyzes the origin of the currency and its key functions. It also addresses the point of whether this currency is really the solution for the whole society. The movie seriously investigates the mysterious origin of the revolutionary currency and what outcomes it may have for the future of our world.

Unlike other similar films, it does not concern the history of cryptocurrency but rather its practical use. During the film, businessmen from different countries of the world express their opinions about Bitcoin as the main payment instrument.

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Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know it

Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know it” logo

The film was directed by Torsten Hoffmann and appeared in 2015.

It explains the following features of digital assets:

  • Peculiarities of virtual currency

  • Intricacies of commerce and trade

  • Reasons why Bitcoin can be useful

This film traces the evolution of money from the ancient times to Wall Street’s commercial centers.

It is mentioned how Bitcoin is in many ways different from any other currency created in the history of mankind, and how it could blow up the minds of most people since the currency is decentralized and reliable from the point of view that it does not have official intermediaries and every user has the ability to independently monitor transactions within the network. Bitcoin challenges traditional banking and monetary systems. The producer of the film wanted to stress how much the new currency would violate the usual monetary systems we are all used to.

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” logo

Filmed in 2014, it is one of the first documentaries about Bitcoin and other coins. In this film, the author talks about how he has become interested in BTC and how, through participation in the Bitcoin community, he learned about the global influence of this breakthrough technology on our world.

The essence of the picture is an optimistic view of virtual money. Here we consider the history and features of cryptocurrency. Special attention is paid to the personality of Satoshi Nakamoto, who managed to create the unique money that grabbed the attention of the whole world. The film tells about important events in the Bitcoin system, offers a more detailed overview of the virtual currency and its features. During the filming, interviews were given by many famous people, including the Winklevoss brothers, Vitalik Buterin and others. According to many experts, this film received the greatest publicity in the cryptocurrency environment and has many good reviews.

“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” is a film that documents the unpredictable journey of Bitcoin. It covers all Bitcoin-related events that have ever led media headlines.

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The Bitcoin Experiment

The Bitcoin Experiment” logo

The film was released in 2016. This is a social test about the legal points of Bitcoin as a digital currency. The filmmakers went to Scandinavia, which they showed as an example of how applicable digital currency is in a person’s life. The film is a documentation of a social experiment. The authors of the film examined the question of how people are ready to use cryptocurrencies in everyday life.

 

The movie captures moments of how cryptocurrency creates freedom from pre-established financial institutions, even for the average citizen of the country. It also demonstrates the benefits that consumers can derive from the use of revolutionary digital currency.

Life on Bitcoin

Life on Bitcoin” logo

From the name of the film alone, one can already draw conclusions about its features. The documentary movie tells about the life of young spouses who give themselves the task of living for three months using only the cryptocurrency. The main intrigue is that they started the experiment immediately after their wedding.

The film consists of two parts that are related. The first tells about Bitcoin, the problems of using it, its features, and other aspects. In the second part, the young couple films their attempts to live on the cryptocurrency.

“Life on Bitcoin” clearly showed how rarely cryptocurrency is found outside of large cities and how hard it is to convince vendors to accept Bitcoins as payment.

I am Satoshi

I am Satoshi

This is a 53-minute documentary film. It conducts a detailed study of Bitcoin from the position of a participant in the global economic system. The film raises the question of whether the technology behind Bitcoin cryptocurrency can upgrade the modern world. In 2014, this tape was awarded in the nomination for “The most creative cinema.”

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The Bitcoin Story

The plot of this film is developing rapidly. It contains all the secrets associated with the emergence of Bitcoin, and also describes the fundamentals of technology, the political background and the ability of Bitcoin to transform the financial sector. In addition, the directors included the points of view different venture capitalists have on cryptocurrencies.

The Bitcoin Phenomenon

The Bitcoin Phenomenon

The film tells the story of how the main cryptocurrency Bitcoin was created. Let Satoshi Nakamoto remain anonymous, but the personalities of the people with whom he made his creation are well known. One of them, Gavin Andresen, talks about his experience of communication with Nakamoto. He explains why the idea of ​​creating Bitcoin is ingenious, and how it fundamentally differs from earlier cryptocurrency projects that remained unfulfilled.

The movie shows the importance of BTC as a means of payment, as well as the uniqueness of the Bitcoin network from a technical point of view. In addition, the film tells the stories of Bitcoin-evangelicals Erik Voorhees and Trace Mayer.

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SegWit Explained: What Is Bitcoin's Segregated Witness?


SegWit Explained: What Is Bitcoin's Segregated Witness?
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Segregated Witness (SegWit) is an implemented protocol update that solves the problem of the Bitcoin’s blockchain transaction malleability. The point is in one of the transaction components. The first part is the Basic information (the sender, the amount, the recipient). And the second part — Witness — carries a special cryptographic signature (code). This code is a confirmation of the virtual transaction in Bitcoin currency.

Witness’ signature creates difficulties for the blockchain because the form can be changed after the appearance in the block. Bitcoin will still reach the addressee, but the construction of new transactions will be complicated because they all go along the chain. Unconfirmed transactions slow down the speed of new ones, reducing the overall Bitcoin network performance due to pulling data from a past virtual transaction.


The current Bitcoin protocol makes it difficult to implement large-scale updates, as well as to conduct fast transfers. The problematic network feature is called the “transaction malleability”. Against this background began the movement for the introduction of SegWit.

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The goals of SegWit

Segregated Witness must restore the Bitcoin network and adapt the blockchain technology to new realities. The main task is to solve transaction malleability and scalability. SegWit optimizes the transaction process and creates conditions for the subsequent increase in virtual block size. SegWit has to solve such problems and questions:

  • If Witness signature is segregated from a block of Bitcoin increases size and bandwidth of the entire network.

  • The transaction size is reduced by 2 times.

  • Reducing the blockchain size, which saves disk virtual space for nodes.

  • Starting and synchronization of nodes speed up significantly.

  • The enhanced spam protection mechanism of Bitcoin currency.

It follows that SegWit addresses the most important aspects for Bitcoin: scalability, protection level, transactions speed, and interaction with new protocols.

The story of Segregated Witness

The first talk about the need to modernize Bitcoin’s protocol and about possible ways to solve the transaction malleability problem appeared in 2012. Bitcoin-Core developers Russell O’Connor, Luke Dashir, Gregory Maxwell and others became initiators. Active actions for the currency began in the summer of 2014, when Maxwell, Pieter Wuille and cryptographer Adam Back launched the blockchain research company called Blockstream. In this environment, they found a solution to Bitcoin’s problem. It was decided to separate special cryptographic signature from the main part of the transaction. They called this function Segregated Witness.

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In parallel with Segregated Witness, the idea of ​​optimizing Bitcoin’s blockchain by increasing the block size (the default is 1 megabyte) appeared. It could be realized only through a hard fork — a rigid network separation through the introduction of changes incompatible with the current protocol. SegWit, on the contrary, was a soft fork or partial update of Bitcoin’s protocol. To implement it, the Witness’s signature must be segregated in a new part of the virtual block. And its anchor (Merkle Root) recorded in the transaction of miners’ fees. As a result, more space remained in Bitcoin’s block, and its size increased without actually increasing. This result allowed us to solve the problem of the Bitcoin network scalability, which was also quite acute.

After the appearance of the second idea, a real war broke out, including among the developers of Bitcoin currency. Miners and pools couldn’t come to a consensus from 2015 to August 2017. As a result, SegWit was accepted and activated. A special code called BIP91, developed by Bitmain engineer James Hilliard, turned out to be the best compromise among all the proposals received over several years.

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The main advantages of Segregated Witness

The list of benefits which will be received by the Bitcoin network with the introduction of SegWit is very large, we focus the main ones:

  1. The third party will lose any options of signature’s changing, which will facilitate the development of new smart contracts.

  2. Dividing special cryptographic signature from Basic data will significantly increase transaction size and Bitcoin’s blockchain bandwidth, and the average virtual block size will be 1.7-2 MB.

  3. With Segregated protocol, transactions in Bitcoin currency will remain available to participants who have accepted SegWit, and those who refuse to do so. At the same time, users with an updated protocol will work with smaller commissions.

  4. The adoption of SegWit greatly simplifies the implementation of new soft forks, allowing to introduce new ideas to improve the security of Bitcoin currency.

  5. The block validation rate and transaction security will increase due to a change in the signature hash function from linear to exponential.

  6. A segregated signature will reduce the currency’s charging fees.

  7. SegWit will have a positive impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem here and now, as well as create a springboard for further development.

Arguments against SegWit

Even today, Segregated Witness is not fully accepted by the Bitcoin network. Sceptics believe that this will take years because the number of nodes has already exceeded 10,000. An increase in the number of participants and a virtual transaction will result in a Bitcoin’s block size of 2 MB is small for the needs of the ecosystem.

Partial centralization of Bitcoin’s system due to the implementation of the SegWit protocol will increase the number of unconfirmed transactions, which will strip the network and make currency vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Some Bitcoin developers and pools believe the adoption of SegWit is dictated by the economic gain of Blockstream, which owns the Lightning Network protocol. Its technical implementation in the Bitcoin network without Segregated Witness is almost impossible.

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Will the time come for SegWit2x?

Speaking about the implementation of Segregated Witness and Bitcoin currency, it is impossible not to mention the postponed indefinitely SegWit2x. The agreement was the result of heated discussions and a search for consensus. It was decided to make a hard fork, after which the block size should increase to 2 megabytes. The split was scheduled for mid-November 2017. In fact, Bitcoin would split into two networks with its own coin, rules, signatures and standards.

However, the idea was not destined to come true. Firstly, the negative attitude of the developer community and the launched NO2X campaign did not play into the hands of the “Segregated” protocol. Secondly, BIP91 was implemented earlier and it was successful.

As a result, on November 8, 2017, the complete closure of the project was announced. But there were people who positively evaluated the results for Bitcoin. For example, the head of Blockchain.info, Peter Smith, who initially supported the Segwit2x idea, spoke as follows:

“We’re relieved. The goal of the NYA was to bring the community together and keep the majority of the users on the same chain for at least a little while longer.”

SegWit usage metrics
Image by 123rf

Results for Bitcoin and blockchain

From the moment of implementation of Segregated Witness, a year and a half has passed, but the protocol is not accepted by 70%. Many large services have not yet implemented it into their processes. However, positive changes are already visible, especially for ordinary users. Now the average transaction cost with confirmation within 20 minutes, according to Bitcoin Core Fees, is estimated at 5 satoshi/byte, that is, about $ 0.08 for the entire virtual transaction.

Spam attacks on the Bitcoin network have also stopped, the mempool remains free, and the average block size has exceeded 1 MB. In addition, the activation of SegWit has opened the doors to the implementation of new solutions and prospects for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.

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