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Having A Gas: This Week In Crypto Pop Culture, February 25-March 1




Oscars night with IBM and Veil, cryptic crypto messages in video games, and “Rick and Morty” gets a blockchain makeover.

It's Friday, March 1, everybody! Mysteries were everywhere this week, and if you weren't trying to help Kraken crack the QuadrigaCX case, then I imagine most of your sleuthing time was dedicated to finding the truth behind Lil Xan's allegedly faked ultrasound pictures. Whatever way you spent your time, ETHNews is here with the newest edition of Having A Gas, where we gather a few of the lighter stories you might have missed this week in crypto and blockchain news.

And the Oscar Goes to…

In case you thought the Oscars was only about celebrating movies and the people who make them, IBM and Veil wanted to convince you it was about blockchain tech and prediction markets as well. During the ceremony, IBM aired its "Dear Tech" commercial. Among cameos by Janelle Monáe, Buzz Aldrin, Arianna Huffington, and Mayim Bialik, the commercial featured a plea for blockchain technology to be used to help prevent poverty.

Unfortunately, Veil's night wasn't as smooth. Before the airing of the Oscars, prediction market and derivatives platform Veil gave "Roma," the Spanish language Alfonso Cuarón flick, a 70 percent chance to win the best picture award. The award ended up going to "Green Book," the Don Shirley/Tony Vallelonga biopic.

Luckily for IBM, this year's Oscars saw a 12 percent increase in viewers from 2018, which means IBM's blockchain call for action didn't go unheard. That's bad news for the Having A Gas publication universe (HAGPU) since generally unhelpful blockchain projects are our bread and butter.

As for Veil, the platform shouldn't really be called into question for getting its best picture pick wrong. The Academy, a 91-year-old organization meant to advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures, gave "Bohemian Rhapsody" best film editing. Veil isn't even two months old. The fact that it can speak Spanish shouldn't be considered anything less than an absolute miracle.

Video Games Have Always Been Pro-Crypto

A fan of the massively popular online first-person shooter "Call of Duty: Black Ops III" posted a screenshot on Medium of what they believe to be a pro-crypto message hidden in one of the game's online maps. Amongst the rubble of a post-apocalyptic Singapore stands an almost untouched billboard that reads "Live life in confidence knowing your bank will take care of your future."

Okay, so the statement might be slightly more anti-bank than it is pro-crypto, but the fan uses the billboard as a sign (eye-roll-inducing pun, check) that more gaming companies are likely to start referencing cryptocurrency and crypto-related projects more often. But I'd argue that most video games are already referencing cryptocurrencies and the industry around them.

Just the title "Minecraft" makes it clear that this particular video game was cashing in on the obsession with mining that cryptocurrency sparked in everyone.

Remember those 900 korok seeds that all mysteriously went missing in "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"? That has the QuadrigaCX disaster written all over it.

In fact, Activision, the publisher behind "Call of Duty: Black Ops III," obviously took a page right out of the crypto-industry itself when it fired 800 employees just a few weeks ago.

Uh Oh! Somersault Jump!

Lastly, "Crypto creative" Twitter personality Brekkie von Bitcoin released a new episode of his Twitter series "Blockchain and Morty." The series features episodes of the Adult Swim show "Rick and Morty" overdubbed by Brekkie von Bitcoin with references to cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech. The newest episode, "Free the Ripple," draws its story from a suggestively titled season two "Rick and Morty" episode. "Free the Ripple" follows the alien life form and Ripple shill Tiffany as it preaches the good word of Ripple and XRP to its unquestioning followers.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Isn't the problem with toxicity and violent language the only link between "Rick and Morty" and the cryptosphere? Well, I'm here to tell you, way back, further than most of us can remember, in 2017, the first and only official link between "Rick and Morty" and the cryptosphere was born. And that link is … drum roll please … your very own ETHNews. Not only was the first episode of "The Comment" Rick and Morty themed, it was inspired by the very same episode "Free the Ripple" is based around.

As our first act of power as the true and mighty ambassador to all things "Rick and Morty," ETHNews would like to formally apologize for the Pickle Rick episode. Let it be stricken from the record.

That's it for Having A Gas. Join us next week, and remember, [insert clever catchphrase here].

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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