Bitcoin Movie Review - Deep Web
|2015||NR||Documentary||Alex Winter||Keanu Reeves||4|
This movie takes a deep dive into the government takedown of Ross Ulbricht and the Silk Road. It showcases the confluence of technology, libertarian ideals, and government intervention.
Though this movie only touches lightly only Bitcoin, it is a fascinating story. It details one potential, albeit criminal, use case for Bitcoin. And it touches on issues of privacy, cryptography, government concerns and legality around the technology. I highly recommend it.
The Deep Web provides, for the layman, an in depth look at The Silk Road and how Tor and Bitcoin were used in a mashup to create a truly free and anonymous marketplace. It further shines in the way it gives us a look behind the curtains, from the perspective of the accused, his colleagues and loved ones, into the investigation and prosecution of a dark web target. That we are guided through this journey by Wired magazine writer Andy Greenburg provides a consistent thread of credibility as well as bookends to the story.
There is not really much about this documentary that misses the mark. The 90 minute runtime was used judiciously to effectively tell the story. If one were forced to complain, it might be that more time was not spent discussing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But those technologies played supporting roles in this story. Ulbricht is the star.
What’s telling about this documentary is the lens it places on the government and its treatment of those who employ technology in the pursuit of criminal enterprise. In many ways, the justice system is playing catch up and the legal system appears to be further behind than law enforcement. The United States appears to be on the precipice of setting new and interesting precedence as it relates to Constitutional rights and technology. We should all watch this space, as it will likely have an outsized impact on Bitcoin, its regulation, and long-term viability and market penetration.