Elon Musk & Vitalik Buterin Explain Bitcoin to JK Rowling on Twitter

Brian Armstrong and Changpeng Zhao also chimed in when Rowling asked Twitter to explain Bitcoin to her on Friday.


After writing one of the most successful book series of all time about a boy on a quest to quash the forces of evil, Harry Potter author JK Rowling is embarking on a quest of her own: to understand Bitcoin.

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“I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me,” she wrote on Twitter at 6:44 PM GMT on Friday. Since then, the Tweet has been commented on more than 2400 times and liked nearly 10,000 times.


Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin and Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong are among many high-profile tech and crypto folks who attempted to talk to the author about Bitcoin.

”I don’t think I trust this.”

“[Bitcoin is “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 Buterin said following a short string of explanatory tweets.


However, it seems as though the more that Rowling learned about Bitcoin, the less magical appeal it seemed to have: “I don’t think I trust this,” she wrote several hours later response to the @Bitcoin Twitter account that said “Wizards still need to trust Gringotts Bank. Bitcoin fixes this.”


“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.)”



Elon Musk jumped into the discussion after this tweet, saying that Rowling was “Pretty much,” correct, “although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet Ghost money look solid by comparison.”

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“[…] I’m afraid I’ll never be able to log in to Twitter again without someone getting angry I don’t own Bitcoin.”

From there, it seems the fun and games were soon over, at least for Rowling: she continued to tweet about Bitcoin, saying that she still didn’t understand Bitcoin, and that she doesn’t own cryptocurrency–and doesn’t have the desire to buy any. “I don’t want to programme money. I can barely work my TV,” she wrote.


Then, later: “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,” Rowling wrote at 12.47 AM GMT on May 16th. “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.”


In response to this and some of Rowling’s other tweets, some cryptocurrency community members started to accuse Rowling of being a “nocoiner”–a person who is bitter about not having bought Bitcoin when it was very cheap.



Aubrey Strobel, head of communications at Bitcoin rewards company TryLolli, tried to smooth things over: “I apologize on behalf of this community,” Strobel wrote. “They don’t get out much.”


Rowling did write messages of thanks to those who were attempting to kindly and patiently explain Bitcoin to her. However, it seems that–at least for now–Rowling won’t be foraying into the magical world of BTC.


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