Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance


“Fuck” is the first word uttered in Crypto. It might also be yours after watching John Stalberg Jr’s claustrophobic movie about an anti-money laundering agent caught in a web of deceit, intrigue, and bad beer. Copious cryptocurrency references have no tangible impact on the plot, but serve as a running gag for bitcoiners intent on scrutinizing the movie for the slightest sign of inaccuracy.

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Beau Knapp Makes Compliance Look Sexy

Just as the shark’s arrival is heralded by that seat-clenching “dun-duuun, dun duuuun” music in Jaws, you’ll have no trouble deducing the bad guys in Crypto. The blast of Russian opera music every time their white van appears saves you from having to think for yourself, which is exactly how we expect our Hollywood movies to be packaged. In Crypto, the music builds the tension rather than the tension building the tension, and the movie’s sins don’t end there. Yet for all its flaws, including a nonsensical plot, Crypto is a fast-paced thriller that simmers nicely before spilling over in a ferocious finale.

Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance
Crypto was shot in better times for the cryptocurrency market

AML agent Marti, played by Beau Knapp, is the very personification of the New York Bitlicense. Lines such as “I demand a culture of complete compliance in my department” are prone to make the skin crawl for every bitcoiner watching. Marti gets booted from his big city job for being too good at compliance, whereupon instead of being appointed to the Ripple board, he finds himself exiled upstate to the small town where he was raised.

There, he discovers something has taken root, and it’s not dad’s (Kurt Russell) potatoes. With glamorous art gallery hostesses, sexy assistants, and Russian mobsters skulking about, upstate New York is more NY than NY itself. Upon arriving to find his father’s farm failing, Marti is all set on restructuring loans and bringing in silent partners to save the day. Kurt just wants him to grab a shovel. Metaphors for the gulf between old money and new are all over Crypto.

Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance

A Cornucopia of Cryptocurrency References

Five minutes into Crypto and you’ll be praying that goodie two-shoes Marti winds up on the wrong end of a Kalashnikov, such is his toe-curling obsession with doing everything by the book. Marti is so square that when bitcoin bro Earl (Jeremie Harris) who runs the liquor store tells him the beer’s on the house, he drops a 20 on the counter anyway. Naturally, Marti drinks Bud Light. He’s the sort of guy who’d show up at your party and then call the cops cos some people were smoking pot by the pool. Marti mercifully gets some of those square edges rubbed off him as the movie progresses, and it’s hard to find fault with Beau Knapp’s portrayal of the AML agent. In fact it’s hard to find fault with any of the acting in this movie, which is more than can be said for some of the plot points.

Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance

Everything has labels in Crypto. It’s like the whole film is an exposition, because the trouble with treating audiences to a movie about cryptocurrency and money laundering is that you have to explain things as you go. Thus we encounter Earl logging in to a cryptocurrency exchange named “Cryptocurrency Market,” in between dropping crypto bro lines such as “Hang on – time is of the essence. I’m getting in on this ICO!” The scene in which Earl explains to a woman how Bitcoin works is a particular highlight.

Early in the movie, Earl shills the hottest new ICO to Marti like it was a brand of potent crystal meth but Marti demurs, presumably because he hasn’t performed compliance checks on the company, and what if they haven’t filed a CTR exemption for those funds? You can tell Crypto was shot in the last throes of the 2018 bull market, incidentally, because XRP is still trading at 60 cents.

Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance
Crypto features a BTC logo that looks surprisingly similar to that of

Don’t Think – Just Roll With It

It’s not a classic by any means, but there’s plenty to enjoy in Crypto. My nocoiner mate described it as a “really good film” that was “solid” which, if nothing else, suggests that appreciation of the movie doesn’t call for a grounding in cryptocurrency. As Crypto progresses, we learn that Omni bank, which Marti is dutifully investigating, secretly invested $10 million in cryptocurrency in the previous quarter. The significance of this is unclear, but judging by the ominous music, it’s clearly A Bad Thing.

Review: Crypto Is a Surprisingly Fun Movie About Compliance
Omni’s dubious looking investment portfolio

“I’m not entirely satisfied with the way the DD was handled,” spits Marti, always a stickler for doing things by the book, even as the Russians begin circling and the body count rising. He’s a fast learner though, to give him credit: at the outset, Marti confesses to have only understood 5% of Earl’s ICO spiel; by the midpoint, he’s effortlessly dropping insights such as “My guess is they’re buying Bitcoin over the counter to avoid market slippage.”

Director John Stalberg Jr. captures the essence of a small town where everyone’s got a secret to hide, and as the movie nears its climax, there’s no denying that whatever the hell is happening, this is hella fun. It would be asking too much for a movie about compliance to end with anything other than an American three-letter agency riding in to save the day; the Russian mobsters never stood a chance against the barbed quills of Hollywood. Whether you read Crypto as an allegory for Bittrex’s struggle to obtain a Bitlicense, or a brainwashing exercise on why money laundering is bad is your call. Despite having very little to do with cryptocurrency, Crypto is compelling fare for bitcoiners. If only real life compliance was this fun.

Have you watched Crypto? If so, what are your thoughts on the movie? Let us know in the comments section below.

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PR: CoinAll lists MINDOL and Offers a 25,000 MIN Giveaway


This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

On April 2019, CoinAll, one of the fastest-growth cryptocurrency exchanges, announced the listing of Mindol (MIN). At the same time, a 7-day celebration was launched as well. CoinAll will give away 25,000 MIN tokens during the celebration time.

Mindol circulates MINDOL token and establishes market place of “eMINDOL” that provides functions of posting, voting, donation, settlement and copyright management. Besides, Mindol also develops a project of contents creation including animation, game and film productions.

Katherine Deng, the general manager of CoinAll, said Mindol project has real use scenes and completed logic of ecosystem building, which perfect meet the CoinAll’s requirement for projects. We will also continue to explore projects with high quality for global users.

The 7-day MIN celebration lasts from April 9th, 2019 to April 15th. The whole promotion is divided into 3 parts. First of all, deposit MIN to share 15000 MIN, secondly, buy MIN to share of 6000 MIN, last but not least, follow and retweet first come first served Win 4000MIN.

For MIN holders, they can use the contents that MINDOL has produced, of or directly participate in contents creation for anime, manga and film, and invest in their favorite project, and support their favorite idol and participate in various events. In addition, they can make a settlement by the token in the real shops MINDOL cooperates with.

The operating policy of Mindol consists four parts. 1, creating an opportunity to use MIN by developing contents and services. 2, enhancing the benefit package in accordance with the holding period according to the increase of holder and its liquidity. 3, implementing dividend payment and buyback from the market. 4, for operating revenue, we invest it in new contents creation and the related business.The MINDOL economy will develop by implementing the cycle of these four parts above.

CoinAll is committed to excavating global projects with high quality and potential, with a particular focus on Lambda, Fetch.AI, Bitex and other eco-friendly infrastructure builders. As a deep strategic partner of OKEx, the world’s top exchange, CoinAll shares OKEx’s world-leading security system, 24-hour global customer service, and transaction liquidity, and is devoted to bringing better projects and trading experience to their 20 million users’ community.

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This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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