Unfortunately the entire corpus of feature films lacks cryptocurrency. But imagine if this weren’t the case. Thankfully, I’ve rewritten the plots of some famous movies to account for bitcoin. How do things change? Marty McFly didn’t have a Coinbase wallet, and White Castle doesn’t accept bitcoin…But what if?
Back to the Future Part II
Without Bitcoin: In the future, Marty McFly purchases Grays Sports Almanac. Doc admonishes him for attempting to profit from time travel. Distracted by the police, Doc and Marty unwittingly leave the almanac in the reach of Biff Tannen, who was eavesdropping on their conversation. Biff snatches the discarded book and travels to 1955 in the DeLorean. He gives the almanac to his younger self, who gets rich making surefire sports bets. The future becomes the dystopian playground of Tannen, a now-corrupt casino tycoon. Marty and Doc scramble to restore the future to normalcy.
With Bitcoin: Distracted by the police, Doc and Marty unwittingly leave some papers in the reach of Biff Tannen, who was eavesdropping on their conversation about cryptocurrency. Biff snatches the discarded papers and travels back in time in the DeLorean. He gives the papers to his younger self, who then goes on to publish awhitepaper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The future becomes brighter than ever expected. Tannen uses a portion of his wealth to found the Tannen Institute for Bitcoin Studies.
The Shawshank Redemption
Without Bitcoin: Banker Andy Dufresne is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in Shawshank State Penitentiary. A couple years into his time, he overhears a guard complaining about being taxed on an inheritance. Displaying his financial knowledge but risking his life in the process, Andy informs the guard of a way around the tax.
With Bitcoin: Entrepreneur Andy Dufresne is wrongfully convicted of money laundering because his cousin’s friend’s customer’s banker’s business partner’s daughter was once in the same building as some cocaine. A couple years into his sentence at Shawshank State Penitentiary, Andy overhears a guard complaining about chargebacks threatening the life of his online model trains emporium. Displaying his cryptocurrency knowledge but risking his life in the process, Andy explains to the guard that he can avoid chargebacks and save a lot of money in processing fees by accepting bitcoin. The model trains emporium thrives from then on. The guard helps Andy escape.
Without Bitcoin: Desperate for dollars, Jerry Lundegaard hatches a plot to have his wife kidnapped and ransomed. To execute the deed, he hires two seedy criminals—Carl and Gaear. Unfortunately, they execute more than the deed. They also kill Jerry’s wife and several witnesses in the process. The botched kidnapping eventually gets traced back to Jerry, thanks to the detective work of a pregnant police chief.
With Bitcoin: Desperate for money, Jerry Lundegaard consults his father-in-law Wade and Wade’s business partner Stan Grossman. They suggest that Jerry invest some money in bitcoin and the emerging bitcoin derivatives market. Jerry abandons thoughts of a fake kidnapping attempt on his wife and eventually amasses a modest fortune in cryptocurrency.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Without Bitcoin: Two stoners embark on an excursion to White Castle. As their night gets progressively wilder, Harold and Kumar pick up a hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris. While asking for directions inside a gas station, Harris steals their car. After jaywalking across an ostensibly vacant street, the stoners encounter a racist police officer—whom Harold accidentally assaults. Wild shenanigans ensue and satiation via White Castle is delayed for hours.
With Bitcoin: Neil Patrick Harris attempts to steal Harold and Kumar’s ride. Thanks to smart property, Neil cannot commit the crime. Backed by the Bitcoin protocol, the car is safe and the would-be joyrider is quickly deterred. As a result, Harold never punches a cop, and the guys don’t spend any time in jail. An unforgettable White Castle potlatch ensues…several hours earlier.
Without Bitcoin: Three thieves plan to burglarize a home. The prize? Millions of dollars worth of bearer bonds left in the house by its previous owner. Unbeknownst at the outset, the new denizens—a mother (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter—have already moved in. Burnham (Forest Whitaker) grows increasingly reluctant about the entire operation when his criminal cohorts resort to violence. In the end, he narrowly saves the entire family from death.
With Bitcoin: The burglary never crosses anyone’s minds. All monetary assets have been transferred into bitcoin, making theft far too difficult—essentially impossible—even for sophisticated crooks. Forest Whitaker asks Jodie Foster out on a date. Panic Room is actually a rom-com.
Image via ocphoto @ shutterstock.