The big day is finally here. Morgan Spurlock released his awaited Inside Man reveal on Bitcoin and it doesn’t disappoint. You can watch the full episode here on YouTube, but its unknown if CNN will take it down for copyright violation (lets hope not). For those with a CNN Go account they can watch it online here. However if you’re reading this chances are you either just found out about the episode or those links don’t work for you, but fret not I’ll explain it bit by bit.
Morgan starts his journey at the mecca of all Bitcoin meetups, the Bitcoin Center in New York City just a stones throw away from Wall Street. There he listens to none other than Andreas Antonopoulos preach the good news to the gathered crowd. Inspired by the speech Morgan buys his first Bitcoin for $630 USD and leaves the hub inspired and ready to start living on Bitcoin. What’s really awesome about the episode thus far is the amount of detail put into the animations and explanations of what Bitcoin is and how it works, everything communicates very easily to someone who’s new to the Bitcoin space.
Day one on Bitcoin starts and Morgan buys a slice of Pizza with his Bitcoins, then gets his groceries which he pays for using Bitcoin as well. To wrap it up he then gets a relaxing massage paid for with bitcoin. Morgan is quite at home with living on Bitcoin, but he’s weary of how safe the currency is, so he contacts Dan Kaminsky a white hat hacker to shed some light on just how secure the Bitcoin code really is. Sure enough Dan says its core functionality is rock solid, the only problem being the meta data which surrounds the core code.
“So Far Living in the Bitcoin world has been incredibly simple, but I’d be lying if it didn’t feel kind of surreal.” -Morgan Spurlock
Next Morgan goes up state New York to Geneva to visit an actual Bitcoin mine. He books his trip and stay all on Bitcoin of course and a few clicks later is off the couch and out the door. Morgan walks into the mine, dones a polo shirt and helps the crew set up a new rack of Bitcoin miners. During this time the mechanisms behind Bitcoin are revealed along with how transactions are processed and why mining is a core part of the bitcoin ecosystem. When the job is all said and done Morgan has the honor of flipping the switch and bringing a new set of miners online. Morgan is then paid in Bitcoin for his hard days work and sets off to buy some lunch.
This is where Morgan hits his first problem…no one in the small town of Geneva accepts Bitcoin and a few of them don’t even know what it is. This is of course completely understandable as Bitcoin is still growing more and more every day and sadly has not penetrated many small towns across the United States. Disappointed Morgan turns the next thing he can buy with Bitcoin, illegal goods.
To help him out Morgan turns to the FBI agent who lead the Silk Road investigation, Chris Tarbell and together they get on Tor and head on over to Silk Road 2.0. Of course Morgan can’t buy any of the illicit materials and goods available on the infamous website, but he can however buy a replica Rolex and with Chris at his side they buy the watch and pay with Bitcoin.
Later on Morgan tries to pay some bills with Bitcoin, but has no success as the companies have no idea what Bitcoin is. However Morgan sets out again to buy some coffee and the shop he visits says that although he can pay with Bitcoin he must buy $25 worth of food or coffee to do so. The shop keeper claims this is to offset the volatility of Bitcoin, however there are solutions to getting a direct cash out system like the type Bitpay offers. However Morgan agrees and buy ten cups of coffee for him and his crew.
The show the focuses on the volatility of Bitcoin for awhile, showing us more fancy animations and why more users will help balance out the nature of Bitcoins rapid ups and downs. He meets briefly with Senator Joe Manchin who voices his concerns for consumer protection and of course the tiring argument that Bitcoin is used by criminals to avoid the law. We all know easy answers to these but Morgan nods and soon there after the they part ways.
“This is the third wave of the internet. The first wave was websites, the second was social interaction – you now have the possibility of exchanging value – creating real economic infrastructure all on the internet.” -Andreas Antonopoulos
To wrap up the show Morgan gets a local coffee shop to accept Bitcoin and then invites Andreas Antonopoulos to have a coffee with him. They discuss how Bitcoin can shake its darker uses and how the general public can get more acquainted with Bitcoin, Andreas of course a master in all things Bitcoin affirms Morgan that the Bitcoin space is growing faster than the internet did back in its early days. Morgan then takes a minute to say that if Bitcoin is the next big thing, but notes that if anything is going to be a real game changer its likely going to be the code behind Bitcoin, aka the blockchain. Take from that what you will, but in the eyes of this author although they could have done more more research, it was a pretty good intro to the world of Bitcoin.