“A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding” is proof no one likes cryptocurrencies anymore

“Wow, bitcoin has really crashed.”
“Wow, bitcoin has really crashed.”
Image: Netflix
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Even cheesy Christmas rom-coms about fictional countries can keep up with current events, thank you very much. They can even take shots at cryptocurrency.

On Nov. 30, Netflix released A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, a sequel to A Christmas Prince, the unlikely 2017 pop-culture hit about a journalist who travels to the non-existent country of Aldovia (where, inexplicably, everyone speaks English, mostly with British accents) to report on its royal family. In the original—in typical rom-com fashion—the journalist, named Amber Moore, falls in love with Richard Bevan Charlton, the soon-to-be king she’s meant to be coveringThe sequel has an equally improbable and forgettable romance plot, except this time, there’s a hint of economics and political corruption for added spice. One of the villains? Cryptocurrency.

Warning: the following story contains spoilers for both A Christmas Prince and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

In The Royal Wedding, a grave economic crisis is sullying what had been a festive mood in Aldovia, with nearly everyone gearing up for the royal nuptials of Richard (now the king), and Amber (now a blogger). Simply put, the country is running out of money. Richard and his financial team have come up with and implemented a plan called the “Aldovian initiative,” which is basically a stimulus package to government-fund a number of local infrastructure projects. Yet the plan doesn’t seem to be working. Unemployment is on the rise in the public sector, and government employees are striking over unpaid wages. Nevertheless, the royal family continues to prepare for a lavish wedding, making for a public-relations disaster.

Richard’s network offers their help: A close family friend, Lord Leopold, says the king and company should simply wait it out. Amber proposes she look at Aldovia’s finances; after all, she says, she used to balance the books in her dad’s diner. Simon, Richard’s cousin and the villain of the first movie (he tried to steal the throne), suggests investing in a new cryptocurrency. He promises it’s a “sound plan,” touting his degree in economic from Oxford University as reason the king should trust him.

The reference is a low point for crypto’s public image. The fact that a movie like A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding—meant to appeal to The Average American—is using a character like Simon—a sleazy dunce—to signify that crypto is essentially hucksterism, is a terrible look for crypto.

It puts a cap on a terrible 2018 for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most valuable coins by market capitalization, crashed this year, and the majority of recently created currencies have been losing value.  According to Ernst & Young, 86% of the coins created in 2017, were below their initial listing price by September 2018, and 30% had lost nearly of their value.

This isn’t the first time cryptocurrency has made an appearance in popular media. Crypto has recently been a plot point in episodes of The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Mr. Robotand even Grey’s Anatomy, to name a few. But crypto’s representation in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding may be the most ignoble yet.