Grab some popcorn🍿and watch a film🎥 from our list of the 7 best documentaries about Bitcoin.
Click on the title to watch each documentary!
The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin is a documentary made in 2014 that provides a simplified overview of the leading cryptocurrency. The film is narrated by computer scientist and early Bitcoin miner Daniel Ross, setting the scene with his digital currency obsession and the expansion of his mining operation.
The documentary also features the story of Mt. Gox plus interviews with former Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and Vitalik Buterin (while he was lead writer at Bitcoin Magazine before he created Ethereum).
Other early adopters also make an appearance such as the Winklevoss twins, the founder of America's first exchange TradeHill and the co-founders of payment processor BitPay. The documentary is an interesting watch if you're unfamiliar with what happened in the early years of Bitcoin between 2012-2014.
The Most Elusive Identity on the Internet is the first of a three-part investigative film exploring the question who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The documentary was put together by YouTuber Barely Sociable, who really digs deep into the beginnings of Bitcoin and follows the breadcrumbs attempting to determine who exactly Nakamoto is.
Barely Sociable also provides an informative summary of the history of Bitcoin, such as the 'Block Size Debate' giving a useful backstory to cryptocurrency newbies and highlights who he thinks the creator of Bitcoin is with some convincing arguments.
Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It was released in 2015, funded through Kickstarter and won three awards (Top Film and Best Libertarian theme at the Anthem Film Festival as well as the Special Jury Prize at the Amsterdam Film Festival).
The film contrasts the decentralised, peer-to-peer Bitcoin protocol with the traditional banking system, explaining how the banknotes in your pocket are backed by debt (unlike Bitcoin which has a mathematically proven supply and is secured by cryptography).
Photo from Adobe Stock
If you're a history nerd, you'll certainly enjoy this exploration of money, including interviews with Bitcoiners such as Andreas Antonopolous and also explaining how the world ended up with the debt-backed system that exists today.
The documentary explores the case of the Silk Road, the first dark net market that accepted Bitcoin. It starts out by detailing the early investigation by Homeland Security Investigations agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan, who had linked the Silk Road to the operators of the Mt. Gox exchange.
Then it tells the story of how other law enforcement agencies eventually got involved, the takedown of the Silk Road marketplace as well as the arrest and trial of Ross Ulbricht.
By drawing on a variety of different evidence (including court filings, transcripts, trial exhibits and much more), the documentary provides a very detailed outline of the fascinating Silk Road story with something for everyone: crime, corrupt government agents, drugs and plenty of mystery.
Life on Bitcoin (released in 2013) follows a couple as they attempt to use only Bitcoin to cover their living expenses during the first three months of their marriage. The couple, Beccy and Austin Craig, raised $70,000 via Kickstarter to promote the film.
The documentary shows that while it's not possible to use Bitcoin anywhere, you can survive by paying for your daily expenses with cryptocurrency. Beccy and Austin take a journey across the world convincing merchants to accept the cryptocurrency after successfully sustaining themselves with Bitcoin in their hometown of Provo, Utah.
While Life on Bitcoin showcases a Bitcoin-fuelled journey across the US, Europe and the Far East, the film also includes dialogue from experts such as Jeffrey A. Tucker, so if you're new to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, you'll likely learn something.
This excellent investigative documentary by YouTuber Barely Sociable covers the story of the infiltration of Dream, the longest running dark net market.
Dream is longest running dark net market and the reason for its closure is unknown. Source: Wikipedia.
Dream: The Infiltration of the Dark Net starts with the story of dozens of dark net markets getting taken down in a coordinated effort across the globe shortly before Dream gained traction, covers the research published to take down some markets and argues that Dream was likely a honeypot being run by law enforcement to track sellers.
A more recent documentary from 2020, Banking on Africa - The Bitcoin Revolution tells the story of the cryptocurrency pioneers in Africa, illustrating how blockchain technology can improve the lives of people in developing countries.
The plotline centers on two African entrepreneurs: Lorien Gamaroff (the founder of social outreach program Usizo) and Alakanani Itireleng (known as ‘Africa’s Bitcoin Lady’ after setting up SatoshiCentre to get the word out about Bitcoin).
Banking on Africa also includes easy-to-understand explainers about Bitcoin and is a brilliant film to watch to understand the African perspective on cryptocurrency.
For more Bitcoin documentaries, check out a full list here.
-The Rollbit Team