The HBO series “Silicon Valley” has a long history of mimicking reality with the twists and turns of companies within its seasons. The companies featured on the smash hit series have frequently been representative of the latest trends within the world of technology in the real-life Silicon Valley, a part of California’s financial district known for its embrace of financial technologies and computer-related innovative startups.
As the place where fintech dreams are made, both the part of California and the show surrounding it are perfect places for cryptocurrency to make its debut to an even broader portion of the general financial community, including sections of the country which otherwise might not be exposed to the technology, now still in its infancy. And in its latest season, a blockchain focus is exactly what they show’s creators had in mind.
The fictional startup company was named+ “Pied Piper,” and the slogan for the season was that the new company wanted to work to build a “new internet.” And build they did; Pied Piper gained massive success as an organization within Silicon Valley, garnering the praise of investors and the public alike. But the company was not just a product of the creative minds behind the T.V. show.
Instead, the idea from the company originated from an existing concept developed by a New Jersey-based startup company founded in the year 2013. The startup, called Blockstack, was created in order to form what the founder refer to as a “new decentralized internet.” At its core, the technology is a platform which allows for the creation of blockchain-fuelled web applications.
Parallels to Reality
Along with its following of the trend of cryptocurrency-based startups trying to create a new spin on the old concept of the internet, Silicon Valley also included an extensive parody of the ICO trend. As blockchain-based companies become more and more reliant on the non-traditional, non-venture form of investment known as the Initial Coin Offering, public awareness of how the process works is key to long-term stability of the market.
Silicon Valley did not shy away from the difficult topic. The fictional blockchain startup struggled with funding throughout the fifth season, and solved many of their problems by creating their own currency for their ICO, known as the Pied Piper Coin.
Their funding struggles closely follows the path to financial success experienced by its real-life equivalent, Blockstack. The New Jersey startup eventually moved away from the traditional funding scene, though they had experienced some success from VC firms such as Union Square Ventures and Y Combinator. The small company instead turned to its own tokens, referred to as Stacks, raising over $50 million through crowdfunding methods.
An Open Dialogue
Blockstack was heavily involved in the creative process by Silicon Valley. The company’s executives were invited as creative consultants, and appeared in the background team of the show’s development on several occasions.
This exposure for the crypto community is just one more example of the industry’s increasing involvement with mass media, a trend which is surely integral to the long-term cultivation of interest in blockchain for millions of investors and speculators alike.