The latest episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, on May 6, comes titled “Initial Coin Offering”, and the cryptocurrency community is pulsating on social media, with Reddit members mostly acknowledging the episode as just to the market and providing “great exposure.” As one Reddit member points out, Silicon Valley didn’t back away from some of the risks associated with ICOs, either.
The series, whose opening sequence, includes a shot of US Bitcoin exchange Coinbase in the corporate landscape, is all in, with Pied Piper, a fictional decentralized internet startup opting to pursue an ICO when their original plans for Series B funding go south.
The storyline is crying out with references to cryptocurrency and moreover features a premature purchase of a Tesla by one of the engineers.
Protagonist Bertram Gilfoyle, chief systems architect of Pied Piper – who has been mining digital currencies since 2009 when Bitcoin emerged – presents the ICO as a “win-win” because the management team doesn’t have to dilute control with venture capitalists. Gilfoyle introduces the Pied Piper Coin in a televised interview with Bloomberg Tech with host Emily Chang making a cameo.
“What attracted me was the passage an ICO offers across the river sticks of venture capital. What attracted me was an informed disdain for traditional fiat currency, its paper stained with the greasy fingerprints of your banks and your mints.” said Gilfoyle to Bloomberg’s Chang in the episode. “What attracted me was cryptocurrencies’ fundamental anonymity that shields private transactions from the peering green eyes of the all-knowing governmental overlords,” he added.
The show’s engagement with Blockchain consultants for the series makes the characterization seem illustrative of the cryptocurrency market.
“It’s not always about money. Sometimes it’s about wisdom”, said a ‘friend’ with whom Pied Piper’s management team discusses the ICO. This advisor lost $1 billion across the deals and physically lost $300 million in digital currencies when the thumb drive on which the funds were stored was thrown in the trash. Pied Piper Coin started trading at $0.07 and must trade for $68 per coin to attain the valuation they would have received with the venture capital backing.
Don’t forget to check out the episode for yourself!