The animated science fiction cartoon series Futurama, which was created long before Bitcoin (BTC) was even a gleam in Satoshi Nakamoto’s eye, poked fun at cryptocurrency miners in the third episode of its most recent iteration.
In the episode “How the West Was 1010001,” which was released on Hulu on Aug. 6, the main characters find themselves in debt to the Robot Mafia and are forced to journey west to “Crypto Country” — a parody on mining the materials needed to create Bitcoin in the literal Wild West. According to Futurama, not only is the price of BTC still volatile in the year 3023, but people travel in search of “cheap, filthy electricity” to continue to mine blocks.
The ridiculous jokes in the episode included gathering the element thallium for use in crypto mining chips, moving to the Old West town “Doge City,” and BTC miners “using such colossal amounts of power that it’s ionizing the atmosphere.” The show primarily poked fun at Bitcoin but featured “danged Ethereum” and robot heads being used to mine crypto.
Futurama first aired in March 1999, roughly 10 years before the first Bitcoin transaction. Though the show had rarely, if ever, mentioned cryptocurrency prior to its most recent episode, digital assets have steadily become a part of mainstream movies and television series, from animated shows like South Park to Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
Interestingly, Futurama did not address why the characters — even in a fictionalized comedic future — would still be mining Bitcoin in 3023. Based on the BTC halving process, estimates suggest the last block will most likely be mined in roughly 2140.