On May 15, J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter, 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
Naturally, this tweet by Rowling brought several prominent members of the crypto community took time to reply to Rowling to explain Bitcoin to her. In just two hours her tweet spawned over 1,300 replies.
In attempts to speak Rowling’s language, many started comparing bitcoin in Harry Potter terminology.
Blockchain lawyer Jenny Leung tweeted:
Remember how He Who Must Not Be Named placed 7 horcuxes in different objects around the world in an attempt to immortalize himself, so that no one, not even the Ministry of Magic could stop him? https://t.co/tMXOjfs4yv — Jenny Leung (@jnnylng) May 15, 2020
He Who Must Not Be Named (Lord Voldemort) thought it would be unlikely that anyone could find all seven horcruxes, making him impervious to destruction.
This signifies that Bitcoin composed of thousands of nodes around the globe running the bitcoin software and it is hard to shut down because all of these nodes need to be shut down at once to derail the online currency.
Steven Zheng, a researcher at The Block tweeted:
Remember when Dobby was freed by a sock? Bitcoin is that sock. — Steven (@Dogetoshi) May 15, 2020
Dobby was a house elf in Harry Potter who desired nothing more than his freedom, house elves must be slaves to their owners until they are presented with clothes in the world of Harry Potter.
A couple of other tweeters tried to describe bitcoin’s monetary policy by comparing it to the few financial elements scattered in Harry Potter.
Zcash Foundation executive director Josh Cincinnati tweeted:
Imagine if Gringotts ran on the Floo network. https://t.co/0X5ghHsjE8 — Josh Cincinnati (@acityinohio) May 15, 2020
Cincinnati referenced Gringotts, the sole bank in the wizarding world, and the Floo network, fireplaces that witches and wizards can use to transport instantly to other places.
Lolli CTO and co-founder Matt Senter tweeted:
Imagine digital gold Galleons, of which no Philosopher's Stone could make more. In fact, there is a limited supply, and the only way to earn new Galleons is to compete in the facilitation of transactions using Galleons already in circulation. All without goblin central banks. https://t.co/jtFHSvP6Zj — Matt Senter 🍭 (@MattSenter) May 15, 2020
In short, bitcoin’s supply is fixed, and probably can’t be changed by any entity, like central banks are able to do around the world in attempts to spur the economy in times of crisis.
Even Elon Musk weighed in:
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
However, Rowling herself seemed unimpressed by the explanations sent to her while later resorting to:
Finally, an explanation that makes sense. https://t.co/Ne6L8TOM7p — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
It took less than three hours for her to follow up with:
I don’t think I trust this. https://t.co/ziZzKg1aS0 — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) 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