Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet

TODAY: As Bitcoin reached an all-time high we have unfortunately spent our entire festival budget
3/2021: Our broadcast sales agent is bringing the film to 100s of millions of TV households by the end of the year
2/2021: 34 Festivals, 15 Awards
9/2020: 1+ million social media impressions, 100k trailer views
4/2020: Official Selection DocEdge (Academy Award Qualifying Festival)
1/2020: Presented in Davos, Switzerland
Join award-winning filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann 5 years after his first Bitcoin documentary on his journey to understand the potential of blockchain technology and the future of the Internet. He meets with the big brains and big egos behind this controversial industry. Can we trust them to build a cyber utopia?

LONG SYNOPSIS: Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralized currency system. Its “blockchain” could provide a blueprint for a better Internet - challenging the dominating technology giants. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is undergoing severe price volatility and the community is facing a bitter internal ‘civil war’. Moreover, much of the media coverage is often misinformed or misleading and the general public is still confused about the technology and its larger implications. Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative? Can it and the people behind it be trusted to secure elections, prevent financial meltdowns and keep our private information safe? Or are cryptocurrencies just as unfairly distributed, easily manipulated and dangerous as our current systems? Join award-winning filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann four years after his first Bitcoin documentary on his journey to find the answers to these important questions that may redefine the future of the Internet (web3.0). He meets with the big brains and big egos of this new industry. Some of the hackers, hipsters and hustlers that Torsten met 5 years ago have broken their promises; can we trust them to build a trustless new cyber utopia?

  • Torsten Hoffmann
    Bitcoin: The End Of Money as We Know It
  • Michael Watchulonis
    FireAnts, The Wild Pacific, The Kings of Baja, Alligator Kingdom
  • Torsten Hoffmann
    Bitcoin: The End Of Money as We Know It
  • Torsten Hoffmann
    Bitcoin: The End Of Money as We Know It
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Technology, Society, Finance
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 14, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    300,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
    English, French, German, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • more than a dozen awards
  • Berlin Premiere
    February 22, 2020
    German Premiere
  • Australian Premiere
    January 14, 2020
    Australian Premiere
  • Davos Presentation
    January 23, 2020
  • DocEdge Selection
    New Zealand
    May 19, 2020
    NZ Premiere
    Official Selection
  • European Cinematography Awards
    United Kingdom
    July 6, 2020
Distribution Information
  • Studio Hamburg / NDR
    Country: Germany
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Hotel, Ship, Video / Disc, Free TV, Paid TV
  • 3dch Media
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
  • Sidewaysfilms
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Free TV, Paid TV
Director Biography - Torsten Hoffmann, Michael Watchulonis

Torsten Hoffmann is a producer of documentaries and an adviser to filmmakers. His debut as director has won four international festival awards: "Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It" (2015) went viral on the Internet and was licensed (VOD/TV) to more than 40 territories. He kickstarted and self-funded the project in 2014 when Bitcoin was a fringe phenomenon. The follow-on documentary #CryptopiaFilm will be released in 2019.

Torsten has been a popular speaker at major media and technology events and conferences. His engagements as moderator, panelist, jury member and speaker have taken him to 5 continents and include Cannes (9 times), Los Angeles, Seoul, Paris, Singapore, Beijing, Capetown, Hamburg, Brussels, Johannesburg, Munich, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Melbourne. He mainly focuses on the intersection of technology and content with a particular focus on content monetization of emerging content formats such as 3D, 4k, 8k, 360, VR. His Melbourne-based business specializes in distribution of factual content.

Previously, Torsten was a Managing Partner at a global media consultancy and a middle manager at a European cable TV company. He received a Finance MBA from Oxford University and has lived, worked and studied on four continents.

His additional producer and executive producer credits include Ancient Angkor (Discovery Canada), Denali Extreme Adventure (NHK Japan co Production), Kalahari Meerkats (South Africa/Germany), Baboon Diaries (CCTV China), Khumbu Valley (Korea Telecom), People's Republic of Desire (PBS) and several Virtual Reality projects.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The feature-length contemporary documentary “#CryptopiaFilm: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet” is an Australian production supported by Screen Australia was filmed in Melbourne, Tokyo, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Zurich.

I am a Melbourne-based media entrepreneur/filmmaker and have been working on this story for about 5 years. In 2009, I published an academic paper about alternative currencies as part of my Finance MBA at Oxford University and started to get interested in Bitcoin in 2013. Production of the largely self-funded micro-budget independent documentary “Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It” commenced in early 2014 which was also supported by an international crowdfunding campaign which helped the release of the film to go viral in mid-2015 and to win four awards at minor festivals (as first-time filmmaker).

Since 2014/15 the industry has grown by a factor of 100, fortunes were made … and lost. Countries that once banned Bitcoin are now openly supporting this innovation. Banks that lobbied against it are creating their own crypto currencies today. And technologist consider the underlying “Blockchain” system to be the most significant invention since the Internet which could decentralise existing power structures and challenge the global tech corporations.

“#CryptopiaFilm: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet” explores this story in-depth. We benefited from the relationships we built with the thought leaders, hustlers, billionaires and journalists in this young industry since 2014. For example, as only film crew we were given unprecedented access to a decommissioned military bunker in a secret location in Switzerland, where allegedly 10% of all Bitcoins worth billions of dollars are secured. We were also able to get access to the co-inventor of the Internet who draws parallels and set the historical context for this new technology.

Our audience is finance-literate, very tech-savvy, 87% male and largely under 44 years old (83%). This documentary is for this clearly defined passionate niche ‘nerd’ community (rather than try to please an undefined general audience). Starting with the first film and for more than four years now we have built our presence on Twitter (5200) on Facebook (2500). Moreover, some of our expert interviewees are ‘crypto celebrities’ and have a combined online following of 3+ million users. We managed to tap into their fanbases and achieved 700,000 social media impressions for our successful Kickstarter campaign in December 2018. We are able to mobilize the crypto/blockchain communities in most major cities around the world to create excitement for festival screenings.