“Everyone wants to start their own cryptocurrency – Kodak, Playboy, Venezuela,” begins the Wall Street Journal’s documentary on cryptos. “We therefore decided to start one of our own.”
Not unusual in the cryptocurrency space, the 8.2 billion circulation WSJCoin was conceived to have no real use case and no apparent token mechanics to drive up its inherent value. The coin was minted – but later destroyed – as part of some wider investigative reporting by the US’ leading business daily into the cryptocurrency phenomenon.
Wall Street’s Continuing Scepticism
“To really understand the crypto-craze, you kind of have to be part of it,” states journalist Steven Russolillo in the documentary film. On the other hand, the film itself arguably gives a much better understanding of how traditional Wall Street currently views cryptos as opposed to providing any kind of real insight into cryptos per se.
Presented for the most part as an eccentric cultural meme, the WSJ documentary makes almost no effort to explore the potential impact of cryptos and blockchain technology over the longer term – particularly in the fields of banking, logistics and personal data management.
On the other hand, Russolillo has emphasised one defining feature of cryptos today – the rampant stories of Bitcoin millionaires which hide a more painful reality for a much larger number of people that have become involved in crypto, particularly in 2018 as a bursting bubble saw thousands losing their life savings.