Silicon Valley Episode 45Silicon Valley Episode 45

Initial Coin Offering

Written by Clay Tarver

Directed by Mike Judge

Jared informs Richard that the free compute credits he gave Laurie have exchanged hands and it would cost $1.6 million to get them back. Seeing the market value of the compute credits, Gilfoyle suggests Pied Piper launch a cryptocurrency as a way to finance their company ? even presenting a powerpoint to support his case.

With a $30 million Series B deal from Bream Hall on the table, Richard fears trading stability for cryptocurrency volatility. Gilfoyle positions it as a win-win: they make more money with their ICO, or make less, but still gain control of board seats and freedom from Laurie?s oversight. Richard is tempted by the idea of freeing himself from the woman who once fired him.

?Worth is relative.? ? Gilfoyle

After losing control of the Hooli factory in China, Gavin is desperate to find a cost-effective way to manufacture the Signature Box III. His advisors suggest an untraditional option for tech giants: producing in America. A manufacturer in North Carolina recently reached out to Hooli and seemed desperate for business. Gavin sees the opportunity to exploit their need and agrees to meet with the town?s mayor.

Much to Dinesh?s chagrin, another Pied Piper engineer, Danny, brags about purchasing a Tesla. Wanting to maintain the prestige he believes the Tesla gives him, Dinesh considers a referral awards program to get exclusive new wheels for his car. He uses corny sales tactics on the engineering team in an effort to get referral credit, going so far as to offer to pay one employee?s down payment and first six months.

?Crypto is out there and it?s not going away.? ? Gilfoyle

Richard proposes the idea of an ICO to Monica, who responds succinctly: ?Are you a fucking moron?? Monica urges Richard not to gamble the entire company by giving up the resources of Bream Hall. She suggests someone else may be able to dissuade him from this risky path. Russ Hanneman.

Richard and Gilfoyle walk with Russ through a garbage dump, where he furiously expresses regret for not investing in Bitcoin. He explains how he converted all 36 of his companies to ICOs ? and lost a billion dollars in the process. Only one of his ICOs was successful, garnering $300 million in value. The only problem: he stored it all on a thumbdrive and left the drive in a pair of jeans, which his housekeeper threw away. Hence their current meeting locale at the dump. Russ is on a mad search to find his $300 million worth of crypto. Despite Russ? missteps, Gilfoyle asserts: ?Again Richard, the math is sound.?

In a small factory town, Gavin preaches American jobs and blames politicians for recent offshoring. The mayor flags concern the small town cannot meet Gavin?s demands but says he?ll do his best. After returning to Hooli headquarters, Gavin?s advisors inform him that a fire broke out in the factory and the whole place burned to the ground.

?Fuck Series B. Pipercoin is totally going to work.? ? Monica

Monica meets with Laurie to discuss Pied Piper?s Series B, only to notice Laurie put in the business plan that 70% of the company?s revenue is going to come from ad sales. Monica pushes back that not selling ads is a core value of Pied Piper. Though not in the term sheets, Laurie plans to push Richard on the subject after he signs the paperwork.

Feeling like Laurie still doesn?t treat her as a true business partner, Monica rushes to Richard and urges him not to sign the Series B. She explains there is no way she can defend him against Laurie. As a VC, she didn?t want Pied Piper to launch an ICO, but she asserts Gilfoyle can handle the technical side. She recommends Richard find someone to handle the business side of things. He decides Monica is the right person for the job. After some convincing, she accepts the offer and officailly joins the Pied Piper team.

The team launches Pipercoin at a disappointing $0.07. It has to sell at $68 to be equivalent to the Series B offer. Despite the low offer, Richard and Gilfoyle remain optimistic.