Netflix, in collaboration with Vox on June 6 released an episode on cryptocurrency in the running series ‘Explained’ and according to the crypto community, this was a deliberate attack. With the industry already suffering from a few challenges, the documentary put the innovative currencies in an even more controversial position. The crypto community was also very disappointed and angered by the lack of accuracy in the episode’s reporting. A few didn’t hold back and were quick to air their grievances on popular social media platforms like Twitter. Bitcoin developer and cypherpunk Jameson Lopp, and CEO of Wealth Chain Capital, Phillip Nunn were among the many who called out the approach taken by Netflix and Vox in releasing the episode.
When looking at progressive concepts and technology, blockchain is bound to come up. For most films, they will take a rather fair approach that highlights the good and the bad of blockchain. So far the technology has proven to do more good than evil, with the bad being merely a challenge that requires time, commitment and effort to ensure it is flawless. However, Netflix and Vox decided to take a completely new and unique approach that many criticized as being geared towards hurting the industry. Additionally, this ‘Explained’ series got numerous facts wrong which begged the question if Netflix was just being lazy or making a deliberate act to attack the crypto industry.
The first inaccurate claim that the crypto community noted, was in regard to the creator/inventor of the blockchain. Although Satoshi Nakamoto is a highly regarded person in the industry, as the person who brought together the blockchain elements, he did not invent blockchain. Netflix made this claim without investigating; if they had, it would be clear that blockchain technology dates back to 1991 when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described the first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks, as noted by Jameson Lopp on his Twitter
"Blockchain" can be traced to 1991 when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described the first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks. In 1992, they incorporated Merkle trees into the design allowing several documents to be collected into a block.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) June 10, 2018
The use of cryptocurrencies has been challenged by many irregularities with some institutions and individuals using it for illegal operations. According to the film, it noted that bitcoin has been used for unlawful operations more than for its intended purposes. This is not the case as reports and publications have proven that the industry might be challenged with fraudulent use of the currency but the lawful use of the currency outdoes the unlawful. This is something that would be easily proven with just a bit of digging.
Another inaccurate claim made on the film was that all cryptocurrencies use blockchain. Again this was as false and inaccurate, to say the least. To see the truth to this, Netflix did not even have to look past the top ten cryptocurrencies by market value. The ninth-ranked cryptocurrency by market cap, IOTA (MIOTA), does not use blockchain but instead uses Tangle, which is based on a mathematical concept called a directed acyclic graph.
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