In 1940, Walt Disney released “Pinocchio,” the film that many scholars and critics consider to be his best. The tale of a marionette puppet operating without assistance truly comes to life in what is arguably the film’s most memorable scene, which occurs after Pinocchio is introduced to the twisted Stromboli. Jiminy Cricket watches by a nearby lamppost as the curtain goes up on Stromboli’s traveling gypsy wagon to reveal the little wooden boy, marching down steps as he sings, “I’ve Got No Strings.”
But somewhere in the middle of the song, Pinocchio stumbles and falls flat on his face at the bottom of the stairs. The audience laughs hysterically, while Stromboli, angry about the act going awry, curses loudly in Italian. However, immediately following the blunder, the presentation continues (such is life in the merry world of the theater), and Pinocchio is an instant hit among his viewers, who throw gold and flowers onto the stage in appreciation of his entertaining services.
Despite the film’s present reputation as one of the greatest animated feats of all time, it was not financially successful upon initial release. Film historians often attribute this to World War II, which prevented the release of American films in Europe and abroad. It has taken 75 years for the film to earn its current level of popularity. The film shows us not only the magic of the original Disney studios but that sometimes things take time to establish themselves in the eyes of the public.
Looking at Bitcoin, we can see some of the same things. Much like the film’s title character, bitcoin has fallen into a downward spiral, yet right when all seems down and rumbly, it somehow rises back to the top to earn the appreciation it deserves. Over the past several months, digital currency enthusiasts have worried and regularly stressed over the price, which for a while, seemed to hover at a measly $230. While $230 is always better than $0, it certainly isn’t anything worth celebrating.
Over the past week, Bitcoin has managed to pull a 180 and head north in dramatic fashion, reaching $260, then $275, and now $332, which is the current price according to Google (as of press time). That’s an increase of over $100 in just a matter of weeks. Like Pinocchio’s enthusiastic viewers, maybe it’s time to throw some gold and flowers and bear some smiles on our faces.
Furthermore, Bitcoin has often been looked at with disappointment by major businesses and financial institutions. “We can’t trust Bitcoin,” said most. “It’s a magnet for illicit activity,” and everywhere you looked, people seemed to be turning away, either out of displeasure or sheer ignorance. Integration seemed to be a long way into the future, and businesses appeared to be too attached not only to fiat currency but to traditional methods of finance and payment processing. In more ways than one, banks have been to bitcoin what war has been to Disney’s film.
Now, things are beginning to change. American Express is investing in blockchain startups such as Abra, and financial institutions like Mastercard, a longtime adversary of the digital currency, are now funding bitcoin companies like the Digital Currency Group and looking to them for answers. Does the popular credit card suddenly see a light shining down in the bitcoin world? Is Mastercard now looking upon digital finance as the inevitable path of the future?
Several decades have passed, and “Pinocchio” certainly seems to have found and retained its audience. Those of us who delve in cryptocurrency can only hope that things don’t take as long for bitcoin as they did for the cartoon classic, and perhaps if enough of us “wish upon a star,” Bitcoin can finally reign true with its audience.
Will Bitcoin ever achieve the popularity many believe it deserves? Post your comments below!
Image sources: Family-Flix & Coinsetter