Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It

Synopsis: Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It traces the history of money from the bartering societies of the ancient world to the trading floors of Wall St. The documentary exposes the practices of central banks and the dubious financial actors who brought the world to its knees in the last crisis. It highlights the Government influence on the money creation process and how it causes inflation. Moreover, this film explains how most money we use today is created out of thin air by banks when they create debt. Epic in scope, this film examines the patterns of technological innovation and questions everything you thought you knew about money. Is Bitcoin an alternative to national currencies backed by debt? Will Bitcoin and cryptocurrency spark a revolution in how we use money peer to peer? Is it a gift to criminals? Or is it the next bubble waiting to burst? If you trust in your money just as it is - this film has news for you.
Genre: Documentary, News
Director(s): Torsten Hoffmann (co-director), Michael Watchulonis (co-director)
  3 wins.
60 min


[Voiceover] Look closely.

What do we all have in common?

No matter what corner of

the world you live in,

You need food, water,

shelter and money.

Half of every transaction

involves money,

in exchange for

goods or services.

Stocks, a loaf of

bread, illegal drugs,

You gotta pay for it.

We spend much of our

live chasing money

to make a living,

and accomplish our dreams.

But it's also an

instrument of destruction.

Some might say evil.

Driving criminals to lie,

steal and even murder.

- The existing banking system,

extracts enormous

value from society

and it is parasitic in nature.

- [Voiceover] Money is

a catalyst for the worst

and the best of human endeavor.

Before civilization,

we created currency.

Fuel for wars.

The path to power.

Champion and enemy

of innovation.

Money is so integral

to our society,

and our global economy,

that its true nature

remains a mystery to most.

This is the story of money.

Perhaps the end of

money as we know it.

No matter how fat

your bank account,

or how thin your wallet.

To us it's all cold, hard cash.

There are some who

want to kill it.

Get rid of it.

Burn your dollars,

your euros, your yen,

and transform every

penny you have,

into ones and zeros.

Digital currency

entrusted to the web

and computers spread

across the planet.

Magic internet money.

It's called

cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

Invented in secret,

it was a gift to the world.

- It's not just a currency,

but it's actually

programmable money.

- [Voiceover] A potential

curse on bankers.

- I mean, there's nothing

that the big banks or

politicians can do to stop it.

- [Voiceover] Breaking

every governments grip

on money supply.

- What the internet

did for information,

Bitcoin is doing for money.

- Could it be the new gold?

- No, you have to really stretch

your imagination,

to infer what the intrinsic

value of Bitcoin is.

- Regulators, the Federal

Reserve, the banking system,

at least understand

this is a thing

that they have to

take seriously.

- This going to change

the economic culture.

- Bitcoin could be a

micro-economic miracle worker

and it could be a

macro-economic wrecking ball.

- [Voiceover] Is Bitcoin

the currency of the future,

a Godsend for criminals,

or a recipe for

financial disaster?

If you trust your

money just as it is,

we have a little story to share.

(dramatic instrumental music)

Once upon a time

there was a big party,

with everyone standing

around the punch bowl, drunk.

Politicians credited

the strong economy

to their wise decisions.

Businesses jumped into

new profitable markets,

ignoring risk.

If fact the experts

said there was no risk.

Then, troubling market

data from minor countries,

spooked the markets.

Rumors spread.

More bad news rattled

housing prices,

at the heart of the

financial world.

A major bank went insolvent.

Investors and

businesses made a run

on the other banks,

demanding their cash deposits.

The largest financial


in the center of the

modern world were frozen.

Assets were seized,

banks foreclosed.

A credit crunch threatened

the entire world economy,

and then finally,

the government stepped in.

The largest bank bailout ever.

Swift action by the head

of state had saved the day.

Remember that?

No you don't.

It happened 2,000 years ago.

Rome, 33 A.D.

Ground zero for the first

recorded liquidity crisis

and government

bailout in history.

The largest empire the

world had ever seen,

was brought to its knees

by a banking disaster.

Emperor Tiberius used money

from the National Treasury,

to bail out the country's

troubled banks and companies.

History may not repeat itself,

but it certainly rhymes, badly.

People in power and their money,

have always been at

the very center of it.

(violin instrumental music)

The story of money

is as old as

civilization itself.

When we lived in small tribes,

keeping track of debt was easy.

You owed somebody

a load of firewood.

A neighbor owed you

a piece of meat.

Credits and debits

were kept in your head.

A mental ledger.

- Currency's a

language that allows us

to express transactional

value between people.

It's technology that's

older than the wheel.

It's as old as fire.

- [Voiceover] When

humans wanted to trade

outside their tribe or village,

they needed something,

everyone could agree had value.

Something scalable.

Enter commodity monies.

There were many kinds,

but each had to embody

the same five characteristics.

A commodity money is

relatively scarce,

easily recognizable,

can be cut into smaller pieces.

You can substitute one piece

for another of equal value.

And you can carry it around

without too much trouble.

In ancient Rome, it was salt.

The Aztecs used Cacao beans.

It was whale teeth on Fiji.

Yak dung in Tibet.

Shells in Africa and China.

Grains, metal,

ivory, rare stones,

leather, fish.

If it had the five characteristics

of commodity money,

someone probably

used it as currency.

- And then you ask,

what value did these

currencies have?

If you go into a primary school,

you'll see children

exchanging rubber bands

and Tamagotchi

and Poke-man cards

and baseball cards and sweets

and candy and any

other form of currency.

People invent currency,

when they have no

other currency.

And now they're going to

invent digital currencies.

- [Voiceover] But commodities

that aren't durable,

are a lousy store of value.

A bad Cacao crop,

or a huge new salt discovery,

can throw your currency

and economy into turmoil.

A more stable system was needed.

About 2,500 years ago,

the first metal coins

were minted in China,

and in what is now Turkey.

These coins shared the

same five characteristics

with commodity money,

but were also very durable.

In some cases,

coins are the only thing left

of entire civilizations.

- Money does not originate

with governments.

Money arises naturally,

as markets begin to develop.

And as people with a

division of labor realize,

that if I have eggs,

and you have a cow,

we may need some

medium of exchange,

in order for you to buy my eggs,

or for me to buy your cow.

- [Voiceover] Coins

were an objective

and universal unit of account

and they allowed people

to buy and sell goods

over vast regions.

The market economy was born.

Coins worked,

but only if people trusted

that the king or emperor,

who issued them,

wasn't cheating on

the metal content.

Using coins also meant,

that an authority now

controlled the supply

of your currency.

Money and political power,

were inextricably

linked, centralized.

Minting coins in a steady

and predictable manner,

allowed economic

growth and stability.

The Wu Zhu coin in China,

retained its value

for 500 years.

In Constantinople, the solidus

lasted for 700 years.

- But in those times,

the coins didn't

have the milled,

this sort of milled edge.

They were flat,

and what used to happen,

was as coins were passing

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Torsten Hoffmann

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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