That’s it, crypto is now official mainstream. It’s been explained by the world’s highest paid sitcom star on the prime time animated sitcom The Simpsons.
Admittedly it probably would have been a bigger deal a few years ago. These days being featured on The Simpsons provides only slightly more mainstream exposure than getting written up in your friend’s blog.
Don’t get me wrong, I love The Simpsons and I still watch every episode (and watched the first ten seasons on a loop every night for more than a decade), but after 31 years I’m very much in the minority.
The world’s longest running prime time scripted show hit has slumped to all time low viewing figures, with the February 9 episode nabbing less than a million viewers and a dismal 0.3 in the 18-49 demo
Still, it’s great to see The Simpsons explaining cryptocurrency to viewers.
The weirdest thing about the segment for me, is that instead of mocking the get rich quick insanity of cryptocurrency, or poking fun at its many absurd complexities, the segment flat out delivered a serious and fairly good explanation of how blockchain works.
In the style of an educational film set to music, Jim Parsons (Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory) explained the concepts behind “distributed consensus-based cryptocurrency“.
“Each day I’m closer, to being the cash of the future. Not in your wallet, I’m in your computer!
“For cryptocurrency to work, we need a record of every transaction that occurs. These are recorded in what’s called a distributed ledger.
“When you use the currency, the transaction is recorded in the ledger. And when one ledger book gets filled up, we add to a chain of previous books. That’s the blockchain.”
About the only gag in the segment came at the end when some further information about blockchain claimed “we know who Satoshi is but we’re not telling but you needed to freeze frame to read it.
No doubt there’ll be some more gags in the full episode which is due to screen in a few hours in America.
The full description of the 13th episode of season 31 is:
“Homer and Marge compete to be the topic of Lisa’s “Most Interesting Person I Know” essay; Professor Frink develops a cryptocurrency, overtaking Mr. Burn’s title of richest man in Springfield; Mr. Burns schemes to take his title back.”
It’s not actually surprising that the show delved into cryptocurrency – a little known fact is the writing staff includes a number of math geeks who have been inserting obscure math gags into episodes for years.
Al Jean, the long running executive producer who has worked on the show since the first seasons, went to Harvard University to study mathematics at the age of just 16.
This is also not the first time cryptocurrency has featured on The Simpsons. Back in 2014 a gag billboard showed bully Jimbo Jones saying ‘Send me your lunch money online’ Accepting Bitcoin.
Being featured on The Simpsons is good karma though because the series has been uncannily accurate in predicting the future, including famously tipping 17 years ago that Donal Trump would become the US President and foreshadowing the famous London Shard building 14 years before it was constructed.
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