On Friday (May 15), when a slightly drunk J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series of fantasy novels, asked (on Twitter) for an explanation of Bitcoin, she probably did not expect the huge number of replies she got bombarded with.
It all started when Rowling asked Coindesk reporter Leigh Cuen to explain Bitcoin to her:
I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
The Explanations of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is digital money that both Muggles and Wizards can use. It's not minted by Gringotts or HM Treasury, but secured by digital guardians across the world.— Jason Lau (@jasonklau) May 15, 2020
Instead of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, the units are bitcoin and satoshi. One bitcoin represents 100m satoshi.
Old Fashioned is one of my favorite all time drinks...wish I had a proper masher at home.— David Nage🎯 (@DavidJNage) May 15, 2020
Btw #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.
The Offers of Free Bitcoin
Hey @jk_rowling , @block_one_ would be happy to have a Zoom call with you to tell you more about #Bitcoin and would be ready to donate 5 #BTC to a charity of your choice. Blockchain’s impact on everything from finance to collaborative content creation will be profound!— Brendan Blumer (@BrendanBlumer) May 16, 2020
I can send you 1 #Bitcoin . Seeing is believing. 😄— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) May 16, 2020
Rowling Still Confused and Convinced She Will Never Understand Bitcoin
People are now explaining Bitcoin to me, and honestly, it’s blah blah blah collectibles (My Little Pony?) blah blah blah computers (got one of those) blah blah blah crypto (sounds creepy) blah blah blah understand the risk (I don’t, though.)— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
I know you mean to help, but full disclosure: I’m only allowing myself alcohol at weekends during this lockdown and I’m on my fourth very strong Old Fashioned and honestly, you might as well send me a scroll written in Sanskrit. pic.twitter.com/baMCaB1mEW— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
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. I cannot and will not ever understand Bitcoin, but I love you for thinking that I can or will.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
Tesla CEO Elon Musk agrees that an explanation of the technology behind Bitcoin can sound like Greek to most people, but points out that it still looks more "solid" than fiat currency, especially in the current "money printing gone crazy" climate:
Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet 👻 money look solid by comparison— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2020
By the way, Musk also casually mentioned the fact that he still owns only a tiny amount of Bitcoin:
I still only own 0.25 Bitcoins btw— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2020
Rowling's Admission That Her Initial Inquiry Was a Joke
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
What Does This Whole Episode Tell Us About Mainstream Adoption of Crypto?
In the aftermath of Crypto Twitter's overwhelming response to Rowling's apparent interest in learning about Bitcoin and Rowling's subsequent admission that her initial inquiry did indeed start as a joke after she had had four "Old Fashioned" cocktails in her UK home, there was some small amount of anger/disappointment in the crypto community over being trolled by Rowling (a few people event went as far as calling her "J.K. Trolling").
However, there were also those who found Rowling spending a good portion of her weekend engaging with the crypto community and reading their explanations of Bitcoin as a bullish sign that eventual mainstream adoption of Bitcoin is inevitable:
The fact J.K. Rowling is tweeting about #bitcoin show the inevitability of it.— CZ Binance 🔶🔶🔶 (@cz_binance) May 16, 2020
I guess she is still a "muggle", FOR NOW, lol.
Sooner or later, we will see #bitcoin in a new Harry Potter book. #Inevitable https://t.co/SsWNieMwpj