The U.S. government has discovered the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. They label him as a terrorist, they capture him, and they ask him to help them control bitcoin. Nakamoto refuses. So he’s water-boarded until he relents, but unbeknownst to the government, Satoshi is playing his own long con… and is he even the real Satoshi Nakamoto?
Such is the premise of Decrypted, a British dark comedy that just finished production. It sounds like a conventional thriller until you learn that Satoshi is a gay masochist who gets off on the torture, his girlfriend is trans, and they argue with who writer Mick Sands describes as a “raging racist,” as Sands admits that “I’m definitely being provocative.”
With the possible exception of documentaries, films about blockchain have been, at best, “mixed.” No one seems to be clamoring for the return of Kurt Russell in Crypto 2. (Crypto 2: Factor Authentication). But one is bound to succeed at some point, right? Crypto’s raw material is gold. There’s plenty of money. And there’s a built-in audience. Maybe Decrypted will be the breakout? (At the time of publication, press screeners were unavailable.)
Then there’s the larger industry question. For years, many have looked to blockchain technology as a way to revolutionize the film industry, just as they have looked for blockchain to revolutionize every industry, from porn to the Catholic Church. Decrypted producer Phil Harris says this is now actually starting to happen, which can help disrupt the “outdated, bloated and often dishonest status quo.”
I spoke with writer Mick Sands and producer Harris to learn more about the torture of Satoshi Nakamoto, what it’s like to fundraise in crypto, and how exactly blockchain could revolutionize the film industry.
See also: Jeff Wilser – Bitcoin Bull Run: OGs on Why This One’s Different
Note: Mick Sands was refreshingly – almost charmingly – indifferent to sharing massive spoilers of the movie’s plot, including what appear to be its biggest twists. So if you’re spoiler-phobic, proceed with caution.
CoinDesk: Mick, you made a bold choice in using Satoshi Nakamoto as your main character. Why’d you go that route?
Mick Sands: I just thought it was more interesting to have him as the main guy. And the fact that nobody knows who he is gave me a license to do whatever I want with him, because actually it’s not him. And of course, the NSA doesn’t know what he looks like. So, if he could answer the right questions, then they were going to buy it.
Wait, did you just drop a big spoiler? Are you saying that the main character of your film – Satoshi Nakamoto – is not actually Satoshi Nakamoto?
MS: It’s a surprise. It’s a spoiler. The NSA is planning to talk to Satoshi to get a backdoor into the blockchain, so they can control it. Unbeknownst to them,…