Netflix ‘Explained’ Falsely Claims Bitcoin is Mostly Spent on Illegal Services

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Netflix ‘Explained’ Falsely Claims Bitcoin is Mostly Spent on Illegal Services


Netflix, one of the biggest entertainment giants of $159 billion, had started a series known as ‘Explained’ in the early months of 2018. It collaborated with a US based media company, known as Vox, which runs a very popular YouTube channel which dives deep into few difficult topics and tends to provide informative videos regarding the subjects in a more understandable way.

But a prominent Bitcoin developer by the name Jameson Lopp, has criticized Netflix ‘Explained’ for its wrong information regarding Bitcoin as well as cryptocurrency market.

What did Netflix ‘Explained’ interpret WRONG?

Netflix ‘Explained’ tends to give insights on various matters ranging from Kpop to the recent Bitcoin or blockchain technology. The episode focused on Bitcoin, the structure of cryptocurrency industry, blockchain technology and the use of Bitcoins as a widely recognized as well as most utilized currency.

Jameson Lopp was not only a prominent Bitcoin developer, but he was also a former lead engineer at BitGo. Lopp agreed that the episode was indeed well informative but it failed to give the accurate and precise analysis of the Bitcoin technology as well as the dominant use of this cryptocurrency.

Lopp Tweeted on his Twitter account, by highlighting the following factual errors based on this particular episode –

  • Most bitcoin is spent on illegal services.
  • Byzantine Generals’ Problem is about being able to transact privately.
  • Satoshi invented the blockchain.
  • All cryptocurrencies use blockchains.

The errors corrected by Lopp-

  1. Most Bitcoin is spent on illegal services- Netflix dismissed the entire fact that Bitcoin is transparent by nature and not anonymous. In many covert as well as public investigations, the transparent nature of Bitcoin led many dark web marketplace operators and illicit content distributors to leak their identities to the authorities.
    Transactions and Wallets can be viewed by all and they can be traced by using Blockchain Explorers. Thus, making the cryptocurrency one of the poorest methods of transaction used on the dark web marketplaces.
    In fact, a Japanese government official from FSA (Financial Services Agency) said, “It’s a typical money laundering scheme. In a way, I’m not surprised. If you are going to do something illegal, then everyone knows to use the ‘three anonymous siblings (Monero, Zcash and Dash which are used to store, receive and send private transactions)”.
  2. Byzantine Generals’ Problem is about being able to transact privately- The fundamentals of Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, involves Byzantine Generals’ Problem, the origin of Blockchain and applicability of Blockchain. These need to be explained clearly to beginners.
  3. Satoshi invented the Blockchain- Lopp explained in his comments that Blockchain which is a timestamp-technology that secures information through cryptography, wasn’t created by Satoshi Nakamoto.
  4. All cryptocurrencies use Blockchains- Lopp mentioned that “Blockchain is just a data structure that has nothing to do with consensus mechanisms which may be built around such a data structure.”

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