In a good day for nerds and lovers of cryptocurrency, two of internet's most loved and hated people - Tesla CEO Elon Musk and author of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling came together on Twitter for a discussion on bitcoin.
On Sunday, Rowling took to Twitter to ask a question that many of us have wondered about over the years since the introduction of cryptocurrency. What is bitcoin?
"I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me," Rowling appealed to netizens and experts on Twitter.
I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
Many tried responding to the British author's query. Some came up with serious, technical explanations, others provided links to published books and articles on the topic while some just responded with memes. Some even came up with Harry Potter references and dug up "Gringotts", the magical bank the author created in her books.
It’s magical internet money— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) May 15, 2020
Rowling herself responded to some, claiming she did not trust some of the explanations that she was getting.
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
The thread blew up, however, when SpaceX CEO and arguably one of the most debated persons on Twitter - Elon Musk - took it upon himself to share his two cents.
Agreeing with Rowling that seemed to imply that even he didn't really understand Bitcoin, Musk wrote, "Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet money look solid by comparison," he said. In a further tweet, the billionaire said he owned 0.25 Bitcoins.
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
For the unaware, Bitcoin is a kind of digiral or crypto-currency that was introduced as an alternative to cash payments. It runs on the blockchain, a digital system of payments that provide a more secure and permanent form of conducting virtual transactions. The value of a bitcoin is its corresponding value to actual physical currencies. For instance, one Bitcoin can currently be bought and sold for $9,522.
Whether Musk's explanations helped Rowling understand Bitcoin better or not remains unknown. But netizens sure seemed to have a field day commenting on the thread.
Dear diary,— ₿itcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) May 15, 2020
Today was a wild ride for #BitcoinTwitter
JKR would not have engaged with Bitcoin this much when the s2f ratio was lower.— Pierre Rochard (@pierre_rochard) May 16, 2020
Few understand this.
Watching elon getting redpilled is beautiful pic.twitter.com/dMOdrQfOaS— Jacopo (@gekyyy) May 15, 2020
Just a mere mention of Bitcoin from an unexpected new source causes a torrent of social media engagement. People cannot not talk about Bitcoin.— Michael Goldstein (@bitstein) May 16, 2020
After many rounds of banter, however, it seems Rowling had the last laugh. "Hours and hours of ‘you don’t have to trust a bank’ and ‘it can’t be manipulated by governments’ and not a single one of you thought to mention that BITCOIN GIVES YOU ETERNAL LIFE," she wrote.
Hours and hours of ‘you don’t have to trust a bank’ and ‘it can’t be manipulated by governments’ and not a single one of you thought to mention that BITCOIN GIVES YOU ETERNAL LIFE. pic.twitter.com/6qyJMGkrZI— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 16, 2020