Cryptopia documentary review
Opinion

Cryptopia review: a documentary that doesn’t know what it wants to say

4 min read

There aren’t many documentaries about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology. And between those that exist, so few are actually good and worth watching. That’s why I’m always on the hunt to find new ones and my last endeavor was watching a documentary called “Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet”. This is my cryptopia documentary review.

First, let me give you some general information. This documentary came out in 2020 after almost two years of fundraising through kickstarter, recording interviews, field trips to underground bunkers and of course editing all the film they had and mixing it up with some footage from their first documentary which was called “Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It”. You can pay for the documentary and watch on their own website, amazon prime or vimeo.

The writer, director and producer of this documentary is Torsten Hoffmann, an independent film-maker and according to his twitter bio, a “media and tech entrepreneur”. At the time of writing, cryptopia had a 7.2 (out of 10) rating on IMDB and a 4.3 (out of 5) rating on amazon prime.

You can also read:
Crypto meaning and types of cryptocurrencies (+why should you care)

Hoffmann splits his documentary into three main parts. The first part is mostly about bitcoin and its recent history, kind of a follow-up to his last documentary. For people who are not very familiar with digital money, bitcoin and how they work or haven’t followed the crypto market in the last few years, this part can be quite educational.

Hoffmann tries to bring forth the good and bad use cases of bitcoin and also every argument about what this cryptocurrency should be and some opinions about why it’s not a very good thing and hasn’t worked like it was supposed to. But there is also some information here that no one really needs or wants to know. And in my opinion, the first part, which is like half of this documentary, is the best part. So it’s all downhill from here.

In the second part, we learn a bit about the blockchain technology, smart contracts, what they can do and also some other cryptocurrencies and blockchains that exist today aside from bitcoin. We see some good examples and some bad ones. More than the first part, the documentary seems very confused about what it wants to say. And the information doesn’t give the viewer a full picture.

The third part is the weakest link. In it, Hoffmann first tries to compare the blockchains with the worldwide web by giving the viewer some historic facts. We then move on to discuss web 3.0 and the future of the internet. And I must say he fails in painting a full picture, especially when he interviews Craig Wright.

In the last minutes, we see Hoffmann trying to summarize the whole story. And I think, just like the viewer, he is confused by what he has said thus far. “Isn’t this a bit too much to ask of a nine page document?” he asks.

He’s of course referring to the bitcoin white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, like everyone is waiting for just bitcoin to change the world and the internet and everything in between. Here, Hoffmann seems like a bitcoin lover/maximalist who just can’t understand what people want from these new things called cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology. This is ironic, considering how he says in the first part about the media that “they don’t understand what’s going on” and “just want to stir controversy”.

You can also read:
Crypto meaning and types of cryptocurrencies (+why should you care)

All in all, I don’t think cryptopia deserves the ratings it has on IMDB and amazon prime. I would give it a 6 out of 10, maybe a 6.5 if I was feeling generous. But like I said at the beginning, there aren’t many documentaries about these topics. So I wouldn’t discourage interested people from watching it. It can give you some new information and maybe some questions that you can research online.

Your turn

Have you watched this documentary? What were your thoughts?

Is there any other documentary that you want us to review?


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