Jenue Lifts Cryptocurrency to Visibility with The New York Times Magazine
Cryptocurrency doesn’t have to be a mystery: they’re often crowd sourced currencies, so all the information is out there even if it seems like the conversation is happening without you. It’s not just Bitcoin anymore, there are thousands of different currencies, each with their own rollercoaster of valuation, and each of them with their own culture. It’s certainly a bubble, as described visually on the cover of New York Times Magazine with an image by Jenue - the question is whether or not this new market is going to burst. All markets eventually have their maximum limit, but Jenue wanted to infuse his imagery with the playful excitement that’s come along with the cryptocurrencies, as well as their true fragility.
The idea was pretty simple: turn the currencies into balloons. It’s the perfect metaphor. They’re shiny, buoyant, can rise as fast as the air will part above them, and pop when faced with unexpected outside pressures. So Jenue created a veritable flock of Bitcoin balloons crowded onto the cover. Each of these CGI balloons is tethered to a very conspicuous string, keeping it in place. In Jenue’s image it implies the limits, but ironically, perhaps, cryptocurrency doesn’t have the tether that comes with financial regulations. It’s that aspect that has made these currencies the preferred method of illicit payments online, but may be the largest contributor to their downfall. As an entity, cryptocurrencies have built into them alluring tensions – like air captured under thin plastic.
As mentioned, there are so many more currencies than just Bitcoin, so Jenue also brought the logos of Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Zcash to life in golden, poppable balloons in a center spread to help us visualized the breadth of the issue, and recognize how these variables are broader than we know now. The balloons are aloft, thanks to Jenue, now we wait to see if they’ll be attending a celebration or an entirely different kind of ceremony.