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“We’re not afraid enough!” Director Robert Gillings talks Crypto in the new TV series, Paper Empire

The finance world is on the brink of major changes. This transformation is being driven by advancements in technology, with artificial intelligence, crypto, and blockchain leading the way. In fact, the global blockchain market is expected to skyrocket with a CAGR of 66.2% from 2022 to 2027.

Paper Empire director and writer Robert Gillings believes that this irreversible change the world is heading toward, may not necessarily be beneficial for humanity

Questions are always there; concerning the safety and regulation of the mining process, as well as the intentions (or even the existence) of the anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

And these are just a few of the questions raised in the Paper Empire Television Series. According to the director, the attempt is to bring to light the possibilities of the new digital world.

Paper Empire, A glance at the series

Paper Empire follows the story of Laurence Fintch (Robert Davi), a man who wants to be the world’s financial savior. He develops an algorithm to create a dominant cryptocurrency, which opens a digital black hole, leading to a global Financial Armageddon. His longtime friend and firm accountant Saul Burnstein (Steve Guttenberg) betrays him and seeks to use his technology for his own agenda.

Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. plays the CIA Special Operation Director, and Academy Award Nominee, Anne Archer plays the FBI Director who investigates Laurence’s technology, uncovering a web of deceit and corruption beyond his actions. Laurence’s inequitable team, banker (Wesley Snipes), and life partner (Denise Richards), assist him, and he continues to be the mastermind behind the global financial conspiracy, even in jail.

Throughout the series, powerful individuals within organized crime networks (Robert Knepper, Richard Grieco, Michael Nourie) seek to use Laurence’s technology for their own nefarious purposes. The digital breadcrumbs lead to Swiss Banker, Oliver London (Kelsey Grammer), and Mikala Van Neigh (Carol Alt). As Laurence navigates a dangerous world of high-stakes finance and cutthroat politics, he must make difficult choices and take bold actions to stay one step ahead of his many antagonists.

Questions and concerns poised by Paper Empire

As the director points out, here are some questions Paper Empire explores:

  • Is Warren Buffet right, is crypto rat poison?
  • Why hasn’t the U.S. Treasury Department shut down Cryptocurrencies?
  • A digital asset is simply an asset protected by encryption, so once all the Fiat currencies, the Central Bank go digital, where does that leave all the current cryptocurrencies?

[And the day might not be too far, as  92% of the world’s currency is already digital.]

Gillings was asked about additional questions explored by Paper Empire, to which he responded:

Mining – Are we releasing what we can’t control?  Where are these mathematical algorithms actually going? We know what we are being told, but what could these mathematics also be doing?

The Blockchain itself – Just about anything of value can be tokenized and placed on the Blockchain. What happens after all the global records and data are transferred to the blockchain’s cryptographic hash?

Algorithm Bias and Insecurity in Blockchain

One of the biggest concerns surrounding algorithms is their potential for reinforcing existing power structures and creating new forms of inequality. For example, algorithms used by hiring platforms and credit scoring systems have been shown to perpetuate financial bias, leading to unfair outcomes for marginalized groups.

Talking about Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence could make it more insecure in the coming years due to its ability to analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns that can be exploited by hackers. It’s already begun: ML algorithms are being used to create targeted attacks on Blockchain networks, such as predicting private keys or manipulating transaction data, or exploiting forks, especially during the verification process, even shutting down power grids. And it would be incorrect to say that this hasn’t already begun – in 2022 alone, hackers stole $4 Billion in cryptocurrency.

The integration of AI and Blockchain technology will require new security protocols to keep pace with evolving threats. But even then, there is still the risk that AI could find vulnerabilities that are not yet known to security experts.

Director Gillings (on crypto and blockchain): “Cyber potential as digital is the new frontier and we’re in uncharted territory, and worse, unregulated territory. “

To sum up

As the world (inevitably) continues to shift towards a digital economy, the questions raised by Robert Gillings’ Paper Empire become increasingly relevant. While the show’s plot revolves around a fictional scenario leading to a global Financial Armageddon, it effectively highlights real-world concerns about the risks and uncertainties associated with the use of blockchain.

As Gillings put it, “If we’re not afraid, we should be, and if we are afraid, we’re not afraid enough.”

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