‘51 percent attack’ in Silicon Valley TV Series – Real Life Possibility?

Most modern technological marvels make their way into mainstream media, but a select few are influential enough to feature on some our favourite TV shows.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are no exception, having captured the imagination of millions around the world during a breakout period in 2017.

Primarily driven by Bitcoin’s astronomical boom in value as the year drew to a close, people from all walks from life had either heard about Bitcoin or were actively looking to get involved.

With mainstream media headlines came all the fanfare with it, and popular TV show writers weren’t about to be left behind. This led to Bitcoin being covered by famous comedians Ellen Degeneres as well as John Oliver on their respective shows.

Both comedians gave satirical takes on Bitcoin. While these should be taken with a pinch of salt, both celebrities reach millions of viewers on their shows, meaning whatever perception is portrayed has the chance of influencing a significant number of people.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have also featured in popular TV shows over the last few years, with Big Bang Theory being a notable series to have talked about Bitcoin. Following in their footsteps, some of the narrative of Silicon Valley’s season 5 is heavily centred around the topic.

Silicon Valley – a show about tech startups

For those unfamiliar with the show, Silicon Valley is centred around the lives of five programmers and a startup company based in Silicon Valley, California. If you’re a fan of the show, and haven’t watched season 5, this is an official spoiler alert!

The star of the show Richard Hendricks creates an app known as Pied Piper which is a data compression platform. The show ebbs and flows between projects succeeding and failing in a parody of the real world of IT startups.

The fourth and fifth season, which aired in 2017 and 2018 respectively, slowly introduce the concept of decentralized blockchain systems and cryptocurrency using the characters in the show.

The protagonist, Richard, comes up with a revolutionary idea in season 4. He dreams up a decentralized, peer-to-peer internet using a network of cellphones which eventually ties into the original Pied Piper app.

The idea has even led to the creation of a parody website, while actual projects like Storj and Sia are just two examples of real-world working examples of decentralized data storage services powered by blockchain technology…

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