5 Instances of Cryptocurrency in Pop Culture during 2023 - Even in the wake of a downturn in the crypto market, digital assets managed to find their way into various aspects of pop culture, ranging from balloons in a Thanksgiving Day Parade to featuring in an entire episode of Futurama.

    Gone are the days when merely mentioning Bitcoin or Ethereum on a streaming series would make headlines. However, it’s worth reflecting on the instances when cryptocurrencies stepped out of the ecosystem and made appearances in mainstream media, be it on Netflix, comedy shows, or viral sensations.

    In 2023, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has a history spanning 99 years, featured a design from the crypto and blockchain space for the first time ever. Viewers across the country could spot the blue cat and milk carton characters from Cool Cats Group’s nonfungible token (NFT) collection.

    Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, often referred to as crypto’s “Golden Boy,” had already been arrested and charged when the year commenced. However, his luck took a turn for the worse as the year progressed. Following accusations of intimidating his former girlfriend Caroline Ellison, he was remanded to jail. One of his defense lawyers described Caroline as “the worst person I’ve ever seen do a cross-examination.” In November, Bankman-Fried was convicted of seven felony counts.

    Bankman-Fried became the main focus of the book Going Infinite by Michael Lewis, which was released during his trial. As one of the most high-profile figures in enforcement cases related to cryptocurrency, he became the target of mainstream media reports and late-night comedians.

    Actor Jonathan Goldsmith, known for portraying “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in a Dos Equis beer ad campaign starting in 2006, revived the character to promote Bitcoin for Bitwise Asset Management ahead of a potential exchange-traded fund approval. Goldsmith’s commercials, which included humorous “facts” about his character, attracted a wide audience.

    In April, John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, delved into cryptocurrency for the second time in over five years. The comedian discussed the crypto market downturn of 2022 and its associated events, including the setbacks faced by FTX, Terra, and Celsius.

    The animated sci-fi series Futurama, which underwent another reboot in 2023, parodied a distant future where Bitcoin mining experiences a surge in popularity following a thousand-year price rebound. The episode featured jokes about moving to the Old West town of “Doge City” and miners using such staggering amounts of power that it ionizes the atmosphere.

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