Harry Potter author JK Rowling has become inundated with bitcoin insight and cryptocurrency explanations when she tweeted asking someone to explain to her what bitcoin was. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was among those trying to explain bitcoin to Rowling. He believes that bitcoin is “solid” compared to governments’ fiat money.
JK Rowling Wants to Understand Bitcoin
British author J.K. Rowling, famed for writing the Harry Potter book series, tweeted on Friday: “I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.” Her query, which had been retweeted about 2,400 times and liked about 9,400 times at the time of this writing, has drawn tons of responses from the crypto industry. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has sold more than 500 million copies and was adapted into a film franchise.
Comments immediately flooded the Twitter thread after Rowling tweeted as crypto enthusiasts seized this unique opportunity to explain bitcoin and cryptocurrency to the famous author and her 14.6 million followers. Some people provided their own explanations while others linked to well-known work, books, or articles online. Several people even custom-made videos to explain bitcoin and its benefits to her.
Among responders to Rowling’s request was Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. He described: “It’s a digital currency. There’s ~18m units of it. It’s not backed by anything, it’s just valuable because it is, like collectibles … There’s a network of computers (which anyone can join) that maintains a decentralized global excel spreadsheet of how many coins each person has.” Noting that “People find it interesting because there is no central authority that controls this network, so there’s no single group of people that can just go and issue more units to their friends or manipulate its rules for political reasons,” Buterin elaborated:
Basically global digital payments, plus the store of value properties of gold, all with 21st century cryptographic tech to keep the whole thing running safely.
The Twitter account for Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, tweeted: “Contrary to popular belief bitcoin is not ‘magic’ money.” There was also a discussion of what bitcoin fixes and Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song briefly asserted:
Money is broken. Bitcoin is the fix.
Song included a link to “The Little Bitcoin Book: Why Bitcoin Matters for Your Freedom, Finances, and Future” on Amazon. Some people saw Rowling’s request as an opportunity to promote their work, such as The Bitcoin Standard’s author, Saifedean Ammous, who told Rowling that he would be “Happy to mail you a copy of my book JK.”
Tron founder Justin Sun quickly offered 1 BTC to Rowling: “I can send you 1 bitcoin. Seeing is believing … Just imagine a magic coin (bitcoin) Dumbledore don’t understand (like Warren Buffett) but Harry Potter is fascinated about it.” Sun and a small group of people in the crypto industry recently had lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway CEO after winning it at a charity for $4.57 million. The Tron founder also gifted Buffett 1 BTC but the billionaire passed it onto a charity. Sun was also recently rumored to have received a $2 million grant from the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is part of the coronavirus stimulus package that President Donald Trump signed into law in March.
Some other examples of the responses Rowling received include “Bitcoin is like fire insurance you’d buy for your home but instead of your home on fire, it’s economic & government systems around the world” and “Imagine that something exists which doesn’t actually exist. That’s Bitcoin.” Some explained bitcoin as “Digital money that cannot be tampered with. Doesn’t require Banks to send it. Bitcoin has a finite supply, therefore is not subject to inflation like $/£” and “Imagine money is like alcohol. Everyday more and more is being printed so it constantly dilutes the alcohol. Bitcoin is like the purest form of alcohol that cannot ever be diluted. You can enjoy the same taste 5, 10, or 100 years down the line.” One Twitter user wrote:
Bitcoin is designed so that it eliminates the need for trust. It’s backed by advanced math, you won’t understand.
JK Rowling Still Confused About Bitcoin, Elon Musk Explained Bitcoin Is ‘Solid’
After many people attempted to explain bitcoin to Rowling, she was still confused. “God bless every single one of you now earnestly explaining bitcoin to me as though I’ll grasp it if you break it down properly. Things like this are white noise to me,” Rowling admitted. “I cannot and will not ever understand Bitcoin, but I love you for thinking that I can or will.”
Among those who tried to explain the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrency to Rowling was Elon Musk. The Tesla and Spacex CEO wrote, “Massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet money look solid by comparison.” He added, “I still only own 0.25 bitcoins btw.” Musk recently criticized the U.S. government’s stimulus relief plans and also came under fire himself when he said the Tesla stock price was “too high,” which immediately sent the price downward.
Paxful CEO Ray Youssef chimed in. He wrote: “It is true Ms. Rowling bitcoin doesn’t add value to your life. It may however add value to those around you who help you with services. So many of them send money back home and bitcoin used for p2p can save them so much time and money.”
Some people believe that Rowling was just upset that she did not get into bitcoin while its price was lower. Ivan on Tech speculated: “Maybe JK Rowling is just jealous that she didn’t buy bitcoin early enough and missed out on massive gains … Now she is trying to spread FUD to bring back the price.”
Rowling later admitted: “This started as a joke, but now I’m afraid I’ll never be able to log in to Twitter again without someone getting angry I don’t own bitcoin. One day you’ll see a wizened old woman in the street, trying to trade a Harry Potter book for a potato. Be kind. She did try to understand.” She noted that she is “just about able to grasp a barter system. Talk of collectibles, tokenomics and blockchains and my brain just takes a walk.” The famous author opined:
I’m sure cryptocurrencies are fascinating. I’ve genuinely tried to grasp the very detailed information I’ve been sent tonight (people close to me understand it & have tried to explain it when I’m stone cold sober), but I’m afraid this is a total blind spot to me.
Does JK Rowling Own Any Bitcoin Right Now?
After several hours of tweetstorm in response to the Harry Potter author’s quest to understand bitcoin, fake JK Rowling Twitter accounts started to actively participate in the discussion.
One tweet from an account impersonating Rowling reads, “Ok Ok Ok. You guys win. I just bought my first bitcoin.” This tweet has since been deleted but not before it was seen by many people, including Rowling herself who acknowledged, “a fake JK Rowling account has made a purchase of bitcoin.”
While most people just ignored the fake account, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong replied to it seriously. “Welcome to crypto,” Armstrong wrote. “Grab a Coinbase account when you’re ready to use that bitcoin (not just hold it), and get into any of the many other cryptos out there.” Rowling confirmed on Saturday morning:
In case I haven’t effectively demonstrated my ignorance between last night & this morning, I don’t own bitcoin.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Luno, pointed out that “this is a good reminder for us all on how much work there is still to do to educate on bitcoin … People can criticize JK Rowling all they like but 1. she is making a genuine effort to understand and 2. is a good proxy for the general population.”
A number of people in the crypto space have created bitcoin explainer videos for Rowling. Girl Gone Crypto, for example, made a Harry Potter-themed video specifically for Rowling called “Muggle’s Guide to Bitcoin.” Ethereum co-founder and creator of Cardano Charles Hoskinson made a Youtube video entitled “What is Bitcoin for JK Rowling” and urged others to make a similar effort to explain the concept of cryptocurrency for those who may be interested in learning more. Bitcoin.com also has a wide range of educational resources for anyone looking to learn about bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
Whether JK Rowling decides to buy bitcoin or not, the crypto community has viewed her quest to understand bitcoin as a great awareness drive for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At the very least, she has tweeted multiple times about bitcoin to her 14.6 million Twitter followers.
What do you think about JK Rowling’s attempt to understand bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
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