Bitcoin’s emergence as the first decentralized digital currency has captured global attention far beyond just the world of finance. In recent years, Bitcoin has seen a dramatic rise in prominence across popular culture as its popularity and awareness spreads more widely.
Mainstream movies, TV shows, music videos and social media have increasingly featured Bitcoin as a plot device or cultural reference point. Celebrities from Hollywood, sports and music have also driven Bitcoin’s rise in popular culture by openly discussing or promoting it.
In this article, we explore some of the key ways Bitcoin has infiltrated popular culture and become a mainstream topic of discussion far beyond just technology or finance circles. Bitcoin’s growing cultural presence demonstrates how profoundly it has impacted our collective zeitgeist.
Movies and Television
Some of the earliest major mentions of Bitcoin in entertainment came through movies and TV shows looking to capitalize on audiences’ growing interest:
- The Big Short (2015) – Bitcoin is featured as a speculative investment in this film about the 2008 financial crisis.
- Silicon Valley (2015-) – The HBO comedy series frequently references Bitcoin in jokes about tech culture and startups.
- Ant-Man (2015) – In a post-credits scene, Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym pitches the idea of a “digital currency” like Bitcoin to his former company.
- Billions (2016-) – Bitcoin features prominently in multiple plotlines in this popular Showtime series about finance and trading.
- Ocean’s 8 (2018) – Bitcoin plays a key role in the heist plan in this all-female reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.
These mainstream portrayals helped introduce Bitcoin to wider audiences outside tech and finance circles through major entertainment platforms. Its rise in popular culture was underway.
High-profile celebrities openly discussing Bitcoin on social media and beyond has generated significant buzz and interest:
- Rapper 50 Cent announced in 2014 he was accepting Bitcoin for his album Animal Ambition, helping introduce the cryptocurrency to hip hop fans.
- Actor Ashton Kutcher is an early Bitcoin investor and advocate, frequently tweeting about the cryptocurrency.
- NFL star Russell Okung became the first professional athlete to receive part of his salary in Bitcoin in 2020.
- Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has invested in Bitcoin startups and discussed the cryptocurrency’s potential on his ABC show Shark Tank.
Celebrity endorsements have brought Bitcoin to the attention of their massive fanbases, helping drive mainstream awareness far beyond tech circles. Their open support has also lent legitimacy to Bitcoin.
Music Videos and Lyrical References
Popular music has increasingly incorporated Bitcoin into music videos and lyrics:
- Rapper Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 music video featured a scene where he buys Bitcoin on Coinbase.
- Katy Perry’s music video for “California Gurls” included a brief scene where Snoop Dogg checks his Bitcoin wallet.
- Rapper Lil Yachty’s song “Yacht Club” includes the lyrics “I just copped some Bitcoin, it’s goin’ crypto.”
- 21 Savage’s “ASMR” music video portrays him receiving Bitcoin on a crypto exchange app.
Incorporating Bitcoin so prominently in popular songs and videos has introduced the cryptocurrency to millions of young music fans worldwide. It’s become a signifier of wealth and status within hip hop culture in particular.
Social Media Buzz
Social media platforms have played a huge role in driving Bitcoin’s rise in popular culture through organic sharing and discussion:
- Bitcoin routinely trends worldwide as a top hashtag during major price movements and announcements.
- Celebrities with hundreds of millions of social media followers tweeting about Bitcoin catches the attention of mainstream audiences.
- Memes humorously referencing Bitcoin prices, adoption or regulation go viral on platforms like Twitter, Reddit and Instagram.
- YouTube is flooded with videos from influencers, news reports and explainer clips about Bitcoin that rack up millions of views.
Social sharing has been a core driver in Bitcoin penetrating the public consciousness on an unprecedented scale. Its rise in popular culture is a testament to how social platforms have spread awareness.
From movies to music, celebrities to social media – Bitcoin has firmly cemented itself within popular culture in a short span of less than a decade. Its rise demonstrates how a technology can permeate the mainstream zeitgeist and shared cultural discussion points. As Bitcoin adoption continues growing, its presence in entertainment and popular culture will likely expand further.