Light-hearted Insights

Accio Bitcoin! J.K. Rowling Gets a Hogwarts-Style Crypto Education

Over the weekend, crypto Twitter poured all of the passion and energy normally reserved for Bitcoin breaking $10,000 into furious explanatory tweets aimed at J.K. Rowling after the Harry Potter author tweeted that she didn’t understand Bitcoin.

CoinMarketCap has compiled a list of the best and most absurd magically-infused Bitcoin explainers that arose (like Fawkes the phoenix) from the babble.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin didn’t mention any magic in his explanation:

“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.”

ConsenSys got a little more creative:

“Bitcoin is digital cash. It’s managed on a blockchain, which is like a global Sorting Hat except everyone can see how it works. Like the Hat, a blockchain never makes mistakes. Some people think it’s magic. It’s just protocols. Blockchains are the real story to pay attention to.”

Tron’s Justin Sun threw money at the problem:

“I can send you 1 #Bitcoin. Seeing is believing.”

BlockStream’s Samson Mow was concise:

“The Federal Reserve is the Philosopher’s Stone. #Bitcoin is the Protego spell cast on money.”

Cointelegraph’s “Dear JK Rowling: Bitcoin Is Magic” broke down the history of the cryptocurrency in a way that any Hogwarts wizard would understand, through comparisons to spells and Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration.

Tesla’s Elon Musk entered the conversation, responding to J.K. Rowling’s “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)” with:

“Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet money look solid by comparison.”

@Bitcoin, a Twitter handle with 1 million followers, said: “Wizards still need to trust Gringotts Bank. Bitcoin fixes this” — which J.K. Rowling did not trust.

The massive Harry Potter fans at CoinMarketCap even gave it a try:

However, even the best Harry Potter puns didn’t get through to her. She ended the Bitcoin-Harry Potter tweetstorm by thanking everyone for trying, but…

“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.”

And even more finally, with this last tweet on the subject that showed she really didn’t grasp any of the explanations:

“I don’t want to programme money. I can barely work my TV.”

CoinMarketCap blog readers, if you think you can explain Bitcoin better, give it your best shot in a comment on this blog below!

Molly Jane is a content manager at CoinMarketCap. Previously the head of news at Cointelegraph, she has also contributed to Decrypt and Modern Consensus. You can find her on Twitter at @MollyJZuckerman.

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