It all started when Cuen took to Twitter to say that the "most bullish signal" she had seen all week was that a female "mainstream novelist" had asked her about Bitcoin:
The most bullish signal I've seen all week is a mainstream novelist (who I won't name but she's soooo good & not a scifi type) pinged me (unsolicited!) to ask about bitcoin. I now consider this week a success. 😁 pic.twitter.com/UlHzXAtkUt— Leigh Cuen (@La__Cuen) May 15, 2020
Marvin Ammori, a consultant for HBO show "Silicon Valeey" then replied to Cuen to say that his favorite author was Rowling.
.@jk_rowling is my favorite!!— Marvin Ammori (@ammori) May 15, 2020
Cuen then replied to Ammori joking telling him that she would "die" from happiness if she got pinged by Rowling:
If she ever pings me I will *die* from happiness. 😝😂— Leigh Cuen (@La__Cuen) May 15, 2020
This promoted Rowling to reply to both Cuen and Ammori to say that she wanted to learn about Bitcoin:
I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
Naturally, this tweet by Rowling brought a huge amount of joy to the crypto community (with over 4,400 likes for Rowling's tweet, as of 20:00 UTC on May 15), several prominent members of which took the time to reply to Rowling to explain Bitcoin to her.
One of the most detailed explanations was by Vitalik Buterin, who is the co-creator of Ethereum:
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.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) May 15, 2020
There's a network of computers (which anyone can join) that maintains a decentralized global excel spreadsheet of how many coins each person has.
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.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) May 15, 2020
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.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) May 15, 2020
This was Cuen's own explanation:
Hi! My DMs are open if you want to chat w/out onlookers. The very short version is: Bitcoin is money fueled by a community of contributors. There's no king or central bank in charge. There are countless stories we can use to explore the ethics of a world w/global currency 🙂— Leigh Cuen (@La__Cuen) May 15, 2020