The digital currency bitcoin first made the news back in 2009, but it has taken quite a long time for it to become anything like mainstream. To begin with, it only made sense to the techy few and remained a bit of a mystery for the rest of us.
Nowadays, though, there are all kinds of things you can do with bitcoin. It can be used to buy and sell goods, some major retailers now accept bitcoin payments, and there are a number of sites that sell bitcoin gift cards to use with the big retailers that don’t accept the cryptocurrency directly. One area where it’s really taken off is the iGaming industry. Gaming platforms such as Microsoft and Stream accept bitcoin and you can also play casino games betting with bitcoin. Bitcoin pokies is a site which reviews the best bitcasino games out there, as well as detailing the benefits of playing with bitcoin rather than with fiat currencies.
As bitcoin has become something that’s generally better understood and more wellknown, it’s not surprising that it’s finally beginning to make its mark in the movie world too. The first film that’s really had a plot that revolves around bitcoins was released earlier this year and is a Vietnamese comedy action movie called Bitcoin Heist (Siêu Trộm).
The premise of the movie is a group of specialist criminals who are recruited by a special agent, DaDa, to catch one of Interpol’s most wanted individuals, “The Ghost.” Think Ocean’s 11 meets Mission Impossible, set in Saigon. Although bitcoin features heavily, with lots of transactions using fancy gadgets taking place throughout the movie, there’s plenty of fighting action and comedic moments too. The story unfolds in the streets, clubs and the financial centre of the Vietnamese capital.
The criminal crew includes a street magician and pickpocket called Jack Magique (Petey Majik Nguyen); a dad and daughter pair of grifters, Luhan (Jayvee Mai The Hiep) and Linh (Lam Thanh My); and Vi, an expert hacker and League of Legends champion, played by Vietnamese rap star Suboi. The final member of the squad is the inside man – Phuc, (Thanh Pham), the Ghost’s accountant. Phuc has agreed to work for the police to get protection from his employer, a Mafioso Korean-German playboy industrialist called Thomas Nam (Teo Yoo).
Of course, nothing’s straightforward when you get an alliance of criminals working together, so the plot offers plenty of twists and turns in amongst the action, and director Ham Tran adds to the entertainment with loads of special effects.
Before Bitcoin Heist, the only films about bitcoin had been documentaries – such as the Rise and Rise of Bitcoin (2014) – which explored the history and gradual adoption of the currency, and acted as a way of introducing the concept of cryptocurrencies to wider audiences. Bitcoin Heist takes things a step further, weaving a classic heist tale around a technological phenomenon. This may be the first time that we’ve seen a bitcoin-centred feature film, but with the currency’s increasing popularity, it’s unlikely to be a one-off.