In the opening minutes of Bitconned, the new Netflix documentary, Ray Trapani tells us that, even as a young boy, he had always wanted to be a criminal. And in 2017, what better place than among the economic frenzy of the crypto boom was there for scumbags and scammers to do what scumbags and scammers do best?

With the chase of a quick buck on his mind, Ray gathers a couple of fellow “entrepreneurs” and together they set out to create the world’s first crypto-to-fiat debit card. This would allow card holders to have direct access to their bitcoin wallets. There was a problem though: none of them knew how to make it happen…. yet they continued to plow forward anyway.

"serves as both entertainment and a warning"

Doing what scammers do, they created a fake company called Centra Tech, designed a fake website, made fake debit cards, presented fake company officers, and went forth with the company’s initial coin offering or ICO, which raised millions of dollars. All the while, knowing full well they would not be able to deliver on the company’s promised product.

Streaming on Netflix, Bitconned is a gritty, cautionary tale that thrusts viewers into the tumultuous world of cryptocurrency and its seductive dance with greed, ambition, and trust. It is an electric charge through the buzzing circuitry of get-rich-quick schemes, where the film’s immersive narrative ensures you're both enchanted and infuriated by its real-life descent into the extremes of human greed.

The heady mix of key themes presented in Bitconned resonates profoundly with the digitally-engaged millennial audience and beyond. Through its unapologetic exploration of greed and the fragility of trust, the film captivates not only crypto enthusiasts, but also those who relish suspense-filled stories that are reflective of our modern society's complex relationship with technology and wealth.

Standouts in the film are, unexpectedly, the key figures who played themselves – although actors were used in some of the dramatic re-creations. Their raw portrayal added a layer of authenticity that fiction often struggles to match. In particular, the constant appearance of the real Ray Trapani, a self-proclaimed con artist in the crypto world, delivers a palpable sense of immediacy and trepidation. Trapani embodies the quintessential sleazebag with a charisma that makes your skin crawl… yet you won’t be able to look away.Bitconned

While Bitconned proves to be a deeply unsettling watch, it is precisely its ability to make us feel a visceral blend of anger and suspicion that showcases its power as a film. It begs the question of what we choose to believe and the narratives we construct around technological advancements and the promise of wealth. As a viewer, you will be left rocked, questioning the honor of trust in an era where new currency is as volatile as the loyalties that seem to govern it.

Documentarian Bryan Storkel’s directing is masterful, as he guides us through a labyrinth of suspense and moral ambiguity. Lots of moral ambiguity. Scenes featuring the slick operations behind the sham that was Centra Tech are particularly gripping, with fast-paced cuts and a soundtrack that amplifies the stakes. You're led through the intricate web of deception with the same bewilderment and fascination that must have seized those entangled in the real-life scandal.

Targeted towards the enthusiastic crypto populace as well as thriller fans, Bitconned serves as both entertainment and a warning. It’s sure to send tremors down the spine of viewers who will find themselves contemplating deeper issues after the credits roll. This film doesn't just tell a story; it starts conversations, invokes reflection, and evokes a spectrum of emotions, from outrage to introspection.

Bitconned is a sophisticated blend of documentary truth and cinematic craft. Netflix has delivered a compelling piece, bursting with relevance and rich with cautionary undertones. It's a great watch steeped in the realities of our time, and a splendid illustration of film's power to reflect, dissect, and heighten the pulse of contemporary culture.

4/5 stars

Film Details


MPAA Rating: Unrated.
93 mins
:Bryan Storkel
Jonathan Ignatius Green; Weston Currie
Brian Dijols; David Eby; Robert Farkas
: Documentary | Crime
A Netflix Documentary
Memorable Movie Quote: "We were making a bout a half a million dollars a dy. Money was just flying in."
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 1, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: In this true-crime documentary, three guys exploit the freewheeling cryptocurrency market to scam millions from investors and bankroll lavish lifestyles.