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For people having a hard time grasping what Bitcoin is all about, deliverance is at hand.
Released last weekend, "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin" tells the story of the creation and development of the much talked-about digital currency.
The documentary follows the journey of computer programmer Daniel Mross, who discovered Bitcoin in 2011. He immediately became obsessed with it. Shortly afterward he convinced his brother, Nicholas – who happens to be a filmmaker – to start making a documentary.
"The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin" does a thorough job of detailing the history of Bitcoin, from its creation by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto through the tumultuous events of early 2014.
The film also goes into the mechanics of how Bitcoin works. It uses graphics and plain language to explain how Bitcoins are mined and how the network functions.
These technical explanations, along with the historical background, should go a long way toward helping Bitcoin newbies make sense of the digital currency.
But there's also plenty here for long-term Bitcoin enthusiasts who already know most of that stuff. In particular, Mross interviews many of the key figures in the development of Bitcoin.
"The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin" Interviews Pioneers
These interviews make this Bitcoin documentary an incredibly valuable historical record.
Mross talks to such Bitcoin pioneers as:
- Gavin Andresen, a key Bitcoin developer who communicated directly with Satoshi Nakamoto in the early days.
- Erik Voorhees, who worked at early Bitcoin exchange BitInstant and founded Bitcoin gambling website SatoshiDice.
- Charlie Shrem, who was founder and CEO of BitInstant as well as a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation.
- Roger Ver, also known as the "Bitcoin Jesus" for his spirited support of the digital currency. Ver co-founded the Bitcoin wallet company Blockchain and is a Bitcoin angel investor.
- The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, who are working toward the launch of the first Bitcoin ETF, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (Nasdaq: COIN).
- Mark Karpeles, the notorious CEO of the failed Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. We get to see a confident Karpeles months before the crisis that brought down Mt. Gox.
A few of the comments in these interviews are eerily prescient. Charlie Shrem, for example, is interviewed extensively in the hectic early days of BitInstant.