On Sunday night, in a move that caught many aback, The Simpsons a good portion of their latest episode (Season 31, Episode 13) to cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Bitcoin.
While what was said was arguably questionable and somewhat inaccurate, this marks a large step forward for the awareness of this budding industry, which is seemingly on the verge of its next full-fledged bull run.
The Simpsons Mentioned Crypto!
While cryptocurrency may still seem like a fringe industry that is populated by hardcore early-adopters, criminals, and opportunists, there are signs this asset class is going mainstream.
On Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons — dubbed “Frinkcoin” because the episode’s A-plot centered around a cryptocurrency built by character Professor Frink — the show makers included a two-minute segment of a Simpsonified Jim Parsons, the actor behind The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper, discussing cryptocurrency.
Parsons was acting as himself, kinda, putting on the nerdy persona he most often acts as.
During Parsons’ explainer, a few key topics were mentioned: how blockchain underpins cryptocurrency and how the ledger works, including the distribution of nodes/ledgers and how blocks are added to the chain). This writer noticed some, say, shortcomings in the script, but he can give it a pass.
The segment also included a sing-a-long, during which a Louis Armstrong-esque-voiced cartoon book, a representative of the ledger of a cryptocurrency. Lyrics included “Each day I’m closer to being the cash of the future,” “I’m a consensus of shared and synchronized digital data,” and “I’m not in your wallet, I’m on your computer.”
The most notable part of The Simpsons‘ segment was when there was a caption card on the screen, describing “all the other things you need to know about cryptocurrency.” Points on that caption card, which was seemingly satirical, started off serious and then devolved into jest. Indeed, some lines of the lower half of the card include:
- “Using the word ‘cryptocurrency’ repeatedly when defining cryptocurrency makes it seem like we have a cryptocurrency novice’s understanding of cryptocurrency.”
- “[Crypto can be] generated by fiat like traditional currency or just thrown around randomly or all given to LeBron.”
- “Also, we know who Satoshi is, but we’re not telling.”
The caption card also poked fun at the Proof of Work consensus mechanism that Bitcoin utilizes, with an excerpt reading: “so we have big buildings full of energy-gobbling, air-conditioned computers solving useless math problems.”
Some have taken the segment positively, though, because it mentioned cryptocurrency potentially being “the cash of the future.” With The Simpsons being known in some online circles for accurately predicting or forecasting the future — such as when it depicted a Trump presidency over a decade before it happened — some have half-jokingly said the segment is a validation of the industry’s future.
The Simpsons show is actually known for often predicting the future
Here we go 🔥 https://t.co/qMDhfrnoNO
— Hailey Lennon (@HaileyLennonBTC) February 23, 2020
While it isn’t clear how viewers of the staple comedy show ran to buy Bitcoin after the show finished airing, if at all, it does mark a strong step forward in the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency.
The Simpsons, per data from Statista, has an average viewer count of four million, which is quite a bit lower than its all-time highs in the earlier seasons, but still not a number to sneeze at.
This mention of Bitcoin in a mainstream setting comes as there has seemingly been a rapid uptick in the level of the mainstream media in cryptocurrency.
While anecdotal, this writer has noticed a strong uptick in mainstream media outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, Barron’s, Financial Times, etc.) covering Bitcoin and the broader industry. Case in point, CNN earlier this month released an article about Bitcoin’s surge to $10,000, trying to give its readers insight into the revival of this embattled market.