Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.
The episode shows an interesting turn of events which the startup ‘Pied Piper’ has to live through when it decides to launch an ICO after failing to raise funds from venture capitalists.
In the latest episode 7 of Season 5 in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ series, cryptocurrencies have taken the center stage and became the theme of the episode. The episode is titled as “Initial Coin Offering” and takes a balanced approach while covering the very controversial and complex space of ICOs.
The episode shows ‘Pied Piper’ as a fictional decentralized internet startup that is exploring an alternative way of fundraising by the means of an ICO after its original plans for the Series B funding gets shattered. This episode has soon become the talk-of-the-town especially within the cryptocurrency community, who is discussing it on several social media platforms like Reddit.
In one of the scenes, Monica (Amanda Crew) warns Richard about venturing into the Bitcoin bandwagon and says:
“Before you walk away from stability and gamble your entire company on crypto, there’s another friend of yours I think you should talk to.”
One of the other scenes also shows the harsh reality of the cryptocurrency markets and the fact that how nearly half of the ICOs launched last year in 2017 have met a miserable end.
Instead of heaping all praises on the hype surrounding the crypto space, the episode shows the extremely volatile behavior and the ruthless path that the ICOs can take as the industry is filled with innumerable and unpredictable problems like fraudulent schemes, online hacks, regulatory inquiries and much more.
The episode’s main character is Bertram Gilfoyle, who is the chief systems architect of the Pied Piper ICO, and has been into mining digital currencies from the very early days of Bitcoin in 2009. Gilfoyle talks of taking the ICO route as a win-win situation because the management is not willing to dilute their control with the venture-capitalists ,but ready to take the risk in the volatile crypto markets instead.
The episode also shows Gifoyle giving an interview to Bloomberg Tech, where host Emily Chang is seen in a cameo. Gifoyle talks about the Pied Pieper Coin which was his idea.
WATCH: Pied Piper's Bertram Gilfoyle talks (rants) to @EmilyChangTV about the company's recent ICO and his opinion of banks, paper money and VCs (he's not a fan).
— Tech At Bloomberg (@TechAtBloomberg) May 7, 2018
When Chang asks Gifoyle about his decision and the idea of ICO, he says:
“What attracted me was the passage an ICO offers across the river sticks of venture capital. What attracted me was an informed disdain for traditional fiat currency, its paper stained with the greasy fingerprints of your banks and your mints.”
He further adds:
“What attracted me was cryptocurrencies’ fundamental anonymity that shields private transactions from the peering green eyes of the all-knowing governmental overlords.”
Also, there’s one scene, where the Pied Piper management team is discussing ICO with a “friend”, who claims to be an advisor to dozen of startups for organizing a token sale in the cryptosphere. When one member from the Pied Piper team asks whether the token sales have worked, the advisor elegantly notes, that it’s not always about money – sometimes it’s about wisdom.
— Silicon Valley (@SiliconHBO) May 6, 2018
The advisor has lost around $1 billion in deals and also $300 million in cryptocurrencies as the thumbdrive on which the funds were stored has been thrown in the trash. All in all, the episode shows how the fictional decentralized startup Pied Piper has put itself in a very critical condition. Quite a common situation, isn’t it?