5 times crypto appeared in pop culture in 2023


Society is past when even mentioning Bitcoin or Ethereum on a streaming series would make the news. Still, it’s good to look back on all the times crypto stepped out of the ecosystem and appeared in mainstream media — whether on Netflix, a comedy show, or any viral sensation.

NFT balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

2023 marked one of the first times in the 99-year history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that a design from the crypto and blockchain space was featured as either a balloon or float. In November, Viewers from around the country could see the blue cat and milk carton characters from Web3 firm Cool Cats Group’s nonfungible token (NFT) collection.

Covering the Sam Bankman-Fried trial

Crypto’s so-called ‘Golden Boy’ Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried had already been arrested and charged by the time 2023 started, but the former FTX CEO’s luck took a turn for the worse as the year progressed. He was remanded to jail after intimidating his former girlfriend Caroline Ellison, called “the worst person I’ve ever seen do a cross-examination” by one of his defense lawyers, and convicted of seven felony counts in November.

SBF was the main subject of Michael Lewis’ Going Infinite book, released the same week his trial started. Compared to other enforcement cases in the crypto space, Bankman-Fried was seemingly the most high-profile figure, making him the target for mainstream media reports and late-night comedians:

Weekend Update Segment on Nov. 11, 2023 episode of Saturday Night Live. Source: YouTube

The ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ endorses Bitcoin

Actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who appeared as “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in an advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer starting in 2006, revived the character to promote Bitcoin (BTC) for Bitwise Asset Management ahead of a potential exchange-traded fund approval. Goldsmith drew a broad audience from the commercials, which included humorous “facts” about his character.

Last Week Tonight

In April, John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, did his second deep dive into cryptocurrency after more than five years. The comedian broke down the crypto market downturn of 2022 and related events, including the downfalls of FTX, Terra, and Celsius.

Futurama takes aim at Bitcoin miners

The animated sci-fi series Futurama, which went through another reboot in 2023, featured parodied a distant future in which Bitcoin mining experiences a boom in popularity after the price of the cryptocurrency rebounds after a thousand years. Jokes in the episode included moving to the Old West town “Doge City” and miners “using such colossal amounts of power that it’s ionizing the atmosphere.”