Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

Hit HBO series Westworld has developed a blockchain angle for its new season – and features a blockchain-inspired app where aspiring criminals advertise their services, created by a man who thinks blockchain technology will have a “seismic” effect on society.

A fragment of the official poster for the third season of Westworld. Source: HBO

In an interview, Jonathan Nolan, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, spoke about the third season of the show, which features an app called Rico that lets a wide range of criminals showcase their talents, hire specialist crooks and even recruit assassins.

In an interview with Variety, Nolan stated,

“Rico is an obvious parody of our algorithmic gig economy drawn to the extreme. It’s facilitated in part by the idea of the blockchain. I don’t think people understand how seismic that shift is going to be.”

Fellow showrunner Lisa Joy added,

“[Nolan] has been a little obsessed with blockchain.”

In a short interview that ran after the end of the first episode, aired on March 15 in the United States, Nolan speculated that a Rico-like platform could emerge in the real world, and could be an “end-game” scenario for blockchain technology.

The app’s name is inspired by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (known widely as RICO), a piece of American legislation that defined 35 racketeering activities, including gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, drug dealing and bribery.

The series began airing in 2016 and is based on a 1973 movie release of the same name.

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