The best news for crypto enthusiasts about the movie “Crypto”

is that “Crypto” has very little to do with crypto. It is mainly concerned with Russian mafiosi, money laundering and a main character who plods through the heavy plot with the affect of a depressed zombie.

Cryptocurrencies do make three appearances in the movie:

1. It is revealed that a major bank, because (one character explains) such banks are terrified of being made irrelevant by cryptocurrencies, is secretly buying crypto in order to drive the price up, on the theory that high prices will make cryptocurrencies unaffordable and dissuade people from buying them. I am not sure this makes sense, since I was under the impression that rising prices make cryptocurrencies not less but more attractive to the general public (hence the bitcoin buying frenzy at $20,000). But this is not a major plot point.

2. The Russian mob, which is laundering money through that same bank, is doing some of its laundering by the use of crypto. The details of this are vague, but it is apparently being done in league with one of the bank’s employees, so #2 may be linked to #1 above. Or maybe not.

3. One major character — who owns a failing discount liquor store — is making a lot of money by investing in initial coin offerings. He is also mining crypto with a computer set-up in his store’s back room. It’s that easy!

All of this is explored, or stumbled upon, by the film’s main character, Martin Duran, played by Beau Knapp. Martin is allegedly a top-ranked business school graduate who has a fairly mundane job as a compliance officer for the major bank. After he angers the bank’s brass by nixing a proposed big client, he is punished by being transferred to the bank’s branch in his own home town, a small farming community. Although many scenes are set in that bank branch (which does not look like a bank), no customers ever appear. Regardless, Martin’s new job as the branch’s compliance officer involves a specific brief to keep an eye out for money laundering. I was not aware that individual bank branches had compliance officers, but never mind.

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