John Oliver's HBO Show Digs Crypto & Blockchain, Laughs in Bitconnect, EOS in Bitcoin-Themed Episode


«Discussions of new technology often age badly,» John Oliver said as he started Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight, «so that said, tonight we will talk about cryptocurrencies,» a topic that unites «everything you don't understand about money» with «whatever you do not know about computers.»

For a mass media program, the segment gave a respectable high-level description of how blockchain technology works, in addition to its ability to «potentially improve safety, efficiency, and confidence.»

However, Oliver noted that the cryptocurrency ecosystem also has a seedy side, according to pump-and-dump schemes, first coin offering (ICO) scams — and yes, Bitconnect.

Oliver brought up these examples, not to denigrate the ecosystem or judge it by its worst actors but rather remind his audience — whose demographics primarily align with those of cryptocurrency investors — that nobody knows with certainty how this experiment will turn out.

«Who knows? Maybe EOS is going to be the next Google. I don't think it is, and I certainly don't think it can be worth more than a billion dollars at this time, but I might be wrong. I am absolutely not, but I could be,» Oliver explained in what was probably his least charitable opinion of the section.

All things considered, mass media depictions of cryptocurrency have come a long way since a hitman (played by Jamie Fox) said he wished to be paid in «untraceable little coins» in the 2014 humor  Horrible Bosses 2.

And, since many social networking users have noticed in their assessments of the Last Week Tonight episode, Oliver has a point. Unfortunately many investors have spent large amounts of money in cryptocurrency and blockchain-related projects without taking the time to research what exactly they are buying.

Oliver just wants them to be careful.

«The point is, if you choose to invest in the cryptocurrency area, just know that you are not investing. You are gaming, which is fine, but you need to know that that is what you're doing,» he concluded, shortly before celebrity Keegan-Michael Key used a spot-on parody of Bitconnect promoter Carlos Santos to encourage investors to act responsibly. «The important thing here to remember is that this is a brand new, very complicated space, and literally nobody knows how it's going to develop. So you need to be cautious.»