My first job in Hollywood was as a production assistant on a Korean boy band music video. We were downtown. There was human shit everywhere. It was amazing.
However, what was interesting was I was being paid in cash – definitely not legal at that scale of production – and best of all they carried all their money around in a small paper bag. I happened upon the bag one evening at the “production office”. It was just sitting in the middle of the floor, watched by no one. I peeked within. Filling the bag were thousands – tens of thousands? – of dollars in thick, rubber banded rolls of cash.
The story in my head is that this money was either brought over to the US surreptitiously or there was some guy with a bank account in Los Angeles that could walk out with that much cash on the regular. Either way, this production – or a portion of it – was under the table and off the books. We had permits, but I never filled out paperwork for employment and I was paid in green.
So I wondered, if in the future, there would be arrangements like this using something like Monero. A foreign production, financed by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, or at least not want to reveal his total wealth to the public, could cross a few dozen sovereign borders and could finance a film in the digital equivalent of cash, which brings with it a lot of influence. Cash solves problems like George Washington in winter when you have a production. People routinely extort productions and productions routinely grease the wheels with buckets of cash. You could avoid piles of paperwork and avoid probably some taxation and other regulatory hurdles and fees.
I recently read this article detailing Europol’s inability to track Monero. There are other stories that seem to confirm what Monero has long claimed; that their cryptocurrency is untraceable in every way. Neither the sender nor receiver are known. Transaction amounts are obscured, as are total quantities held by wallets. It’s as close to cash as you can get at the moment on the cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin promised us this very kind of money, but its public ledger makes it a lot less like cash than Monero. If their technology remains as anonymous as it is now, there’s got to be a potential for that kind of production. Under the table and off the books.
If enough of these kinds of productions occur and multiply, I wonder what kind of market will develop. How will disputes be settled? What institutions will grow out of it when transparency is not the aim of the game?
Overall, I think it’s more likely that Ethereun, and other smart contract capable cryptocurrencies, like Steem will soon be, will provide the bulk of the infrastructure for productions due to questions like these, but like cash, Monero could easily provide a useful escape hatch for when productions need to take care of business in a world where cash is still king.
What do you think?