The biggest challenge for new cryptocurrencies is convincing people that they’re worth using. There are a couple of successful strategies; some developers airdrop their tokens or give them away to fake followers. Dash, a second-generation cryptocurrency , has taken the most untested path yet: making their own science fiction shows about the awesomeness of blockchains.
Introduced as a “a crypto-noir thriller,” the series HardFork will be set in a dystopian society “where decentralized factions work to overthrow their society’s Central Financial Services.” The show is a joint creation of Eric Vance Walton—who apparently dislikes editors so much that he published his first novel on the blockchain—and Doug Karr, whose reel includes some award-winning Shorts and a movie on Netflix.
Blade Runner, or BattleField Earth?
We haven’t read the script, but we’ve watched enough TV to know that this story only has two possible endings:
1. The show is kind of good and lots of people watch it.
2. The show is fucking terrible and millions of people watch it.
We don’t want to get too analytical on the trailer, which is only a proof-of-concept. Apparently the future’s not bad: there’s augmented reality and digital strippers, as well as some very unfashionable tattoos. Bitcoin is still around, as well as a couple of other currencies. There’s a tantalizing suggestion of criminal bounty hunters being paid out by a Smart Contract.
There’s also plenty to cringe about. Karr has no experience directing Sci Fi, and the trailer shows it. Headings like “ the only bogeyman is decentralization,” don’t exactly burnish Walton’s writing credentials, either. Dash may well have funded the cryptocurrency version of Sharknado.
But even if the show turns out to be an expensive embarrassment, there’s still a good chance of putting blockchains, smart contracts and cryptocurrency technology in front of a large audience.
Let’s just hope that the audience isn’t laughing.
How to Fund a Sci Fi Show: The Crazy Way
As fun as it sounds, the idea of a cryptopunk TV show is not quite as innovative as the way it was funded. Instead of peddling their pilot script around Hollywood, Karr and Walton pitched their show to the Dash community.
Most currencies are created by a governing body; with Dash, it’s the other way around. Ten percent of all mining goes into a community-run treasury, controlled by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, with the nicely cyberpunk acronym DAO. Although the word is usually associated with Ethereum, the Dash DAO is actually older. Every stakehodler with over a thousand Dash takes part in monthly votes to decide how money is to be spent. It’s like an entire decentralized government, with budgeting coded into a colossal smart contract, and the community voting on how money is to be spent.
It cost five Dash(around $2500 at the time of writing) to pitch a project to the community, as well as some heavy marketing. Hardfork nearly didn’t make the cut. “In the last few crucial hours we nearly had it,” Karr told Dash Force News “then clearly didn’t… and finally garnered 8 positive votes minutes before the bell; it was electrifying, dizzying, crushing and ultimately life changing.”
In exchange for the sponsorship of 810 Dash, the currency will be favorably portrayed through “a character representing Dash” with a “minimum of 60 spoken lines of dialogue.” As well as Dash giveaways, an executive producer credit, commercials, and PR spots.
This isn’t the first time the Dash DAO has stepped foot into entertainment. Besides sticking their Ð in martial arts, Poker, and the Crypto Show, Dash voters have also sponsored Ben Swann’s Reality Check and the sixteen-episode Great American Pilgrimage.
Depending on their success, Hardfork could be a demonstration of the revolutionary power of cryptocurrencies…or a cautionary tale on the folly of decentralized governance.
Watch the trailer, below.
Header text: “In totalitarian 2029… the only bogeyman left…is decentralization.” Let’s hope the rest of the show is better written.