Bitcoin has made its way into the great canon of television drama. The e-currency made its television drama debut last night on CBS’s legal thriller The Good Wife. Jason Biggs guest starred as an information rights lawyer who gets in trouble when he refuses to reveal to the Treasury Dept. the name of a client who created an online currency called Bitcoin. Treasury wants the name of the mysterious Mr. Bitcoin, as anyone who mints a private currency in competition with the dollar is in violation of the federal law—and puts Mr. Biggs’s character on the hook for 18 months, then 10 to 30 years of inprisonment. Treasury thinks Bitcoin is being used for illegal activities. Jim Cramer testifies in court. Drama!
This scenario is likely why the creator of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto,” has kept his or her (or their) identity secret (not even The New Yorker could pin it down). In the show, the creator of Bitcoin is actually three people, a theory that has been proposed for Satoshi. The title of the episode is, “Bitcoin for Dummies.”
The story went over well, for the most part, with the Bitcoin community; less so with The Good Wife community. “This episode confused me. Partly it was because the bitcoin story was boring, and dare I say it a bit stupid,” one commenter wrote. “What ever happened to all the ‘computer problems’ they had several episodes ago. Surely that has not just been dropped?” another viewer wrote. The Wall Street Journal dinged it for “requiring far too much attention to tedious detail.”