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An innocent joke or an intentional jab at cryptocurrency by one of the largest technology companies in the world? In a new video about Google’s new Call Screen feature, the two characters on screen exhibit a derisive attitude toward cryptocurrency while referring to it as “not real.”
The video, which is part of the promotion efforts of the new Call Screen feature of Google Assistant, spotlights two supposedly Google employees (Teddy and Abby) who humorously present this new feature. At some point, Teddy receive a call from the electric company that informs him that his electricity bill is “super high.” So you could judge for yourself, here’s the short transcript from this point onward:
Teddy: Cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of energy.
Abby: Cryptocurrency? That money is not real.
Teddy: Well, I got news to you: money isn’t real.
Abby: You gonna live that lie?
Objectively, this fast exchange is pretty funny. Moreover, it raises the semi-philosophical, semi-practical debate whether or not money is real. But the issue here is that Google is not really an impartial party to this discussion.
First, the brief quip regarding crypto mining – Google has banned crypto mining apps from its Play Store back in July, so there might be another subtextual layer here to rationalize and justify this move. Second, just recently Google re-allowed crypto advertisements with some very limiting restrictions (for most, it would still be impossible to advertise anything related to cryptocurrency).
But perhaps Google doesn’t aim here at cryptocurrency in general, but just playfully at one person in particular. Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of Alphabet (Google’s parent company after the company’s restructuring), admitted in the past that he is occasionally mining Ethereum with his son, so maybe this whole thing is merely an inside joke directed at him.
In any case, here’s the full Google’s Call Screen video: