Friday was a big day for Bitcoin Twitter. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling asked Twitter to explain the cryptocurrency to her. All the big whales on Bitcoin Twitter jumped into the thread to offer various explanations and summaries to the legendary fantasy writer.
Elon Musk even chimed in:
Since Rowling ultimately concluded in the threads that followed that she just couldn’t understand Bitcoin no matter how people try to explain it, here are some Bitcoin explanations in Harry Potter terms.
Dear J.K. Rowling,
Bitcoin Is Like The Philosopher’s Stone
Bitcoin is like the Philosopher’s Stone. It has the power to turn any metal into gold and to produce a potion of immortality. Bitcoin takes the metal and silicon of computers and turns them into gold. Its intelligent design managed to bring something into the world that’s completely digital and has the properties of physical gold.
Gold is scarce, durable, and pure. These properties make gold perfect as a store of value, unit of account, and medium of exchange. That’s why it’s been used as the world’s money for nearly all of history. Paper money was originally just certificates representing gold held in banks. Bitcoin also has these properties.
Banking Is Like The Chamber of Secrets
Traditional banking is like the Chamber of Secrets. It was built by people of privilege for people of privilege. Further, it excludes the marginalized of the world. The heirs to those who built the banks are fortunate to have access to checking and saving, and payment settlement services. Many of the world are unbanked.
But the price of this privilege is trusting an opaque chamber of secrets to manage the entire world’s wealth. And in that dark chamber, there is, as a matter of record, not theory, so many generations of malfeasance and corruption and crime. It is inevitable when so much wealth is entrusted to closed institutions. Bitcoin solves that.
Cryptocurrency Is Like The Prisoner of Azkaban
Sirius Black was held in prison for a murder he did not commit. He was framed, in fact. And cryptocurrency has been framed in the same way by an establishment-owned media protecting its interests from this disruptive new technology. They say Bitcoin is for online criminals, and drug dealers, and money launderers, and pornographers.
But the media leveled the same accusations against the Internet itself when it was new. And now they’re using the Internet to spread the same propaganda against Bitcoin. The central banking system of the Western world has enabled far more money to be laundered, and far more blood to be spilled than anything you could pin on Bitcoin.
Ms. Rowling, you wrote Rita Skeeter, it’s something similar.
Bitcoin Is Like The Egg in The Goblet of Fire
Bitcoin is like the egg that emits incomprehensible noise when Harry Potter opens it. But when he opens it underwater, he can hear the hidden message. That’s where the name cryptocurrency comes from. It uses a specialized branch of mathematics called cryptography to secure its users’ money.
Cryptography is the art of sending hidden messages in publicly broadcast information. When anyone without the private key that decodes the message listens, they hear noise. But when someone filters the noise through the private key, they get the message. Bitcoin’s message is value sent from one peer on the network to another.
And just like Harry Potter’s famous scar, Bitcoin itself is the scar of the financial crisis that overtook the world a decade ago. It’s no coincidence Bitcoin emerged in 2009 after the worst of the crisis as a means to fight back against the machinations of central banking. And it’s a very strange coincidence that you would ask about Bitcoin at this time. It’s the same age this year as Harry Potter was in the first book.