Late last week, the Bitcoin and crypto community were blessed with what seemed like a gift: the billionaire author of the “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling, was asking about Bitcoin — and she was genuinely interested.
“I don’t understand Bitcoin. Please explain it to me,” Rowling said to CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen, who joked that she would “die from happiness” if the author ever pinged her.
I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
It was a surprising tweet that caught many in the crypto community by surprise, and many saw it as a potential way to get Rowling to become a public spokesperson for Bitcoin, trying to explain cryptocurrency to her in a way that was digestible.
It didn’t work.
While Rowling did read the dozens and hundreds of coherent responses she received about the subject, she quickly decided Bitcoin wasn’t for her. Since her original tweet three days ago about Bitcoin, she has been trolling the cryptocurrency community to her 14 million followers. And she has yet to stop.
J.K. Rowling Continues to Troll the Bitcoin Space
When Rowling first asked about Bitcoin, she got a whole swath of responses. Because she’s what the crypto community calls a “nocoiner,” they tried to make the subject of abstract internet money worth billions of dollars digestible to her and her followers.
One individual wrote that “Harry Potter would have never been written in a post-Bitcoin world as it is a solution to the problem that the existence of Nicolas Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone poses.” This is in reference, of course, to how Bitcoin has absolutely scarcity while other “rare” items, both in literature and in reality, are not as scarce as many paint them to be.
Rowling responded with sarcasm, a lot of it: “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.”
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
Rowling continued trolling just hours ago when she joked that she is “trolling Bitcoin in the hope of boosting my significant Ethereum holdings.” That, too, was sarcastic.
One good thing is that she’s not exactly ragging on Bitcoin, unlike some of the cryptocurrency’s other critics who make sweeping assertions like all cryptocurrency owners are “scammers and criminals” and that BTC literally has no value. But that’s not really a good consolation prize, is it?
The Silver Lining
Rowling’s tweets likely aren’t painting Bitcoin and the broader crypto community in the best light, but there’s a silver lining to this debacle: Elon Musk.
For some reason or another — maybe he’s a fan of “Harry Potter” — the Tesla chief executive decided to become one of the thousands responding to Rowling’s inquiry about Bitcoin.
After Rowling took her first swipe at the crypto community, describing Bitcoin as a whole bunch of “blah blah blah,” Musk replied:
Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet money look solid by comparison.
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
Musk quickly added that he still only owns 0.25 coins — worth just under $2,500 — but this one comment with crypto-viral.
He may not have a financial stake in Bitcoin, but the fact that Musk sees the cryptocurrency as intrinsically better, more “solid,” than fiat currencies was enough to make headlines.
Musk’s comment on Bitcoin highlights a larger narrative forming in the media: Bitcoin is becoming more valuable, both intrinsically and actually, due to central banks and governments printing trillions of dollars in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdowns. As Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodities analyst Mike McGlone wrote:
Central-bank liquidity may restrict the equity bear, yet it’s a prime catalyst to relaunch bull markets in quasi-currencies.