Money is changing. With the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, traditional notions of currency changed forever, expanding to include a digital, community-driven monetary system known as cryptocurrency. Since Bitcoin’s inception, new cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin are created each month with unique agendas, technical advancements, and varying personalities. Because monetary systems are shifting so rapidly, there is an urgent need to critically explore this transformation and document history before it is lost. Award-winning director Adam Cornelius and This American Life contributor Chris Higgins have joined forces to produce Coined, the first ever feature-length documentary to focus on altcoins, the lesser-known cousins of Bitcoin.
The film will shed light on the stories of those who embraced Bitcoin technology and took it to the next level: those who invented new coins, built businesses around them, and created communities to support each other. Since they began filming in January 2014 Cornelius and Higgins have shot over 20 hours, with significant coverage of Dogecoin, a meme-based cryptocurrency that surged in popularity and value since its creation in December 2013.
Existing footage includes:
• First-ever on-camera interviews with Dogecoin creator Billy Markus
• Exclusive footage of the “Dogecar”—a Dogecoin-sponsored race car—and interviews with NASCAR driver Josh Wise
• Interviews with Josh Mohland, creator of the Dogecoin tipbot
• The first “Dogeparty” on Wall Street in New York City
• Interviews with cryptocurrency activists, economists, and business owners who accept Bitcoin and Dogecoin
To finance additional filming of new digital currency stories as they develop, the duo is launching a Kickstarter campaign today. The campaign will run for 30 days, ending on July 16th, 2014, with a funding goal of $72,000. Kickstarter backers will receive behind-the-scenes updates about the film during production and rewards options include digital downloads of the film, DVDs, the film’s soundtrack, and even producer credits.
Higgins, whose workhas been featured in The Atlantic, Mental Floss, and This American Life says, “Dogecoin is like Bitcoin’s goofy, awesome nephew, but it’s also serious business. We’ve interviewed key Dogecoin community members—including Billy Markus!—who are turning an internet meme into a part of the global economy. It’s a rare privilege to capture a story with so much heart, at the moment it happens.” Higgins added, “We went to Kickstarter because we want to build a community around this film, much like the communities that form around altcoins themselves.”
Cornelius previously directed two feature-length documentaries: Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters and People Who Do Noise. He notes, “I’m really interested in the subcultures that develop around niche technologies. The first time I went to a Bitcoin meetup, the energy was just off the charts. It was like stepping into a different world. I immediately knew there was a story there worth filming.”
Please visit their Kickstarter page here. View the trailer below.