Cryptocurrency is coming to the big screen. Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet – who won the Oscar for her portrayal of a Nazi soldier in hiding in 2008’s “The Reader – has announced her plans to star in and produce a film about One Coin, the crypto Ponzi scheme founded in 2014.
Kate Winslet Is Bringing Crypto to American Theaters
Entitled “Fake!” the movie is based on an upcoming book set to be released by Jen McAdam and Douglas Thompson. The book tells the story of McAdam’s involvement with the Ponzi scheme. She will also serve as an executive producer for the movie.
The writer and director of the film is Scott Z. Burns, who worked with Winslet in 2011 on the set of “Contagion,” a film that probably holds up all too well today considering the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged financial markets.
Based in Bulgaria, One Coin sought to promote a new (and phony) type of cryptocurrency that the developers claimed would ultimately knock bitcoin aside as the world’s number one digital asset. More than $4 billion was collected from unsuspecting investors, though some industry experts believe that the total amount of money stolen was potentially closer to $20 million.
McAdam was one of the many investors that got suckered into the scam. Overall, she and her friends – who also participated – lost as much as $300,000. One Coin was promoted by two separate companies. The first was known as One Coin Ltd, and it was registered in Dubai, UAE. The second was One Life Network Ltd, and it was registered on the other side of the world in Belize. Both were founded by Ruja Ignatova and Sebastian Greenwood.
Ignatova disappeared in the year 2017 and was replaced at the companies in question by her brother Konstantin Ignatov. At the time, a federal warrant had been issued for her arrest. She is still at large, while Ignatov was ultimately captured in 2019 and pled guilty to charges of both fraud and money laundering. The rest of One Coin’s executives have also been arrested at the time of writing.
We’ve Seen Crypto Stories in the Past
This is not the first time a major film regarding a cryptocurrency-related plot has been brought to mainstream audiences. Another example came about in early 2019 when the film “Crypto” – starring tough guy Kurt Russell of “Escape from New York” fame – debuted. The movie featured a story about a former Wall Street banker getting involved in a criminal cryptocurrency ring and his struggles to find closure.
The film was a box office bomb, making just over $20,000 at the American box office. It also received negative reviews from the likes of the Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper, who claimed that viewers would probably benefit from watching the movie at home rather than in an actual theater.