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Having A Gas: This Week In Crypto Pop Culture, March 11-15




Taking down the bourgeoisie in space, CoinDaddy drops an anti-Coinbase (but pro-Backstreet Boys) anthem, and “Crypto” the movie feat. Kurt Russell.

It's Friday, March 15, everybody! I spent this week in a stupor, totally blindsided by the fact that the college entrance system favors white kids with rich parents. Who'd have guessed? Anyway, speaking of universally established norms, ETHNews is here with Having A Gas, our weekly roundup of some of the lighter stories you may have missed in crypto and blockchain news.

Beam Me Up, Karl

This week, Jordan Pearson of Motherboard beamed part of "The Communist Manifesto" up into space and then back down to Earth using bitcoin. More specifically, Pearson sent the message "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains" using a satellite service from the blockchain company Blockstream, which lets users broadcast messages using the satellite service and the testnet version of the bitcoin lightning payment network.

While I would have preferred having a Disney princess take down the bourgeoisie, I guess using bitcoin to spread "The Communist Manifesto" over satellites isn't bad either. In fact, I think you could make the argument that at this point, "The Communist Manifesto" is only able to peacefully exist in space. After all, according to Tim Curry, it's the only place left that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism. 

Bitboy Band

I'm sorry, but the Backstreet Boys are, and always will be, better than *NSYNC.

Now that that's settled, the cryptosphere's seminal musical artist, CoinDaddy, released "I'm Still on Coinbase" this week, a crypto-tinged parody of the Backstreet Boys' song "I Want It That Way." The parody was made in tandem with the #DeleteCoinbase Twitter movement, with CoinDaddy serenading his listeners in the reworked chorus, pleading, "I never want to hear you say / I'm still on Coinbase."

While CoinDaddy's song piggybacks on Coinbase's recent run of bad PR moves, the lyrics don't necessarily offer much of an alternative for those looking to move on. CoinDaddy namechecks both Ledger and Trezor as better crypto storage options for those leaving Coinbase, but both hardware wallet manufacturers have had their own recent security-related missteps.

But where the song's lyrics are weak, CoinDaddy's own voice shines through. There's no autotune, there's no reverb masking any mistakes; it's just CoinDaddy's raw singing talent on display. Most importantly, if you're going to rewrite "I Want It That Way," you better be able to nail the key change that introduces the last chorus, and CoinDaddy absolutely blows it out of the water. His voice is totally unfazed by the E chord pivot to an Esus4 as he effortlessly (emphasis on -less) shifts with the song from F# major to A major.


Here's the thing: I say you may have missed these stories in crypto and blockchain news, but it would be a miracle if you actually managed to avoid hearing about "Crypto," Hollywood's upcoming bitcoin thriller. The movie – starring Kurt Russell, Beau Knapp, and Luke Hemsworth (that's right, the other other Hemsworth) – chronicles the life of Martin (played by Knapp), an anti-money laundering bank officer sent to Elba, New York, on an investigation. As fate would have it, Martin uncovers a money laundering scheme perpetrated by the Russian mob. Eventually, before Martin can escape from Elba, the Russian mob kidnaps his semi-estranged farmer father, played by Russell.

In the trailer, Martin finds the Russian mob's computer files dubbed "Bitcoin Payouts" and "Kickbacks," so clearly he isn't going head-to-head with the best the Russian mob has to offer. In fact, based on the trailer alone, it doesn't look like talking about or portraying cryptocurrency is going to be one of the movie's strong points. Unfortunately, it looks like the movie might have some trouble with its portrayal of an anti-money laundering officer, as well. I scoured the internet for five to seven minutes and couldn't find an anti-money laundering officer job description anywhere that mentioned knowing how to use a gun, infiltrating a mob, or working through your relationship with your dad.

The movie trailer does get one thing right. It doesn't use the BRAAAAM sound effect even once. Props for the self-control, "Crypto."

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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