It’s been 25 years since the first Harry Potter book was published and 13 years since the release of Bitcoin. This article is all about my attempt to help the no-coiners, alt coiners, and the rest of the muggle world (including JK Rowling) understand Bitcoin through the lens of the Wizarding World.
1. Harry Potter and the Saving’s Stone
Towards the end of the first book, Harry acquired the philosopher’s stone after looking in the Mirror of Erised. In Western alchemy, the philosopher’s stone drew the interests of alchemists for its supposed ability to transform base metals into precious gold. Bitcoin is sought by citizens worldwide for its ability to transfer debasing fiat currency into precious, wealth-preserving savings. What does a CPI inflation rate of 8.5% mean for a US citizen? More than half of your wealth will melt away in less than nine years. Instead of letting your money “Evanesco!” (vanishing spell) while in a bank, you can save your money in Bitcoin to preserve (and grow) your wealth.
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret Sats
The Chamber of Secrets in Hogwarts held many secrets, including a Basilisk that was allegedly supposed to purge the school of all Muggle-borns (people who don’t know how to do magic). In Bitcoin terms, they would be called no-coiners (people who don’t own any cryptocurrency). Not only did the Chamber hold secrets, but it was also created in secret by Salazar Slytherin, one of Hogwarts’ founders. There are ways to acquire secret Bitcoin, or what has become known as “secret sats.” Secret sats (satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin) are “non KYC” (know your customer) and are not tied to your identity. It is important to start a secret sats, non-KYC stack once you are comfortable and experienced enough with Bitcoin. A nonKYC stack will help improve your privacy and self-sovereignty. The simplest (but not so easy) way to acquire secret sats is through mining Bitcoin yourself. Additionally, you can purchase secret sats on peer-to-peer platforms such as Hodl Hold, Bisq, or Local Bitcoins.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Censorship
Harry’s Godfather, Sirius Black, got carted off to Azkaban prison without trial for a crime he didn’t commit. The authorities didn’t give him a chance to explain what happened. In the world of Bitcoin, this overreach of power cannot occur. Bitcoin is censorship-resistant. No one can censor your Bitcoin transactions because no single entity is in charge of Bitcoin. You don’t need the permission of a central authority, government body, or banker to process your transactions. You can even process your transactions if you run your Bitcoin node.
Additionally, no one can freeze, suspend or steal your Bitcoin (as long as you follow proper self custody procedures). Bitcoin is also resistant to the corruption that has flooded fiat financial systems throughout its 10,000-year existence. Bitcoin presents a fair economic system for all participants with corruption out of the equation.
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Human Rights
The Goblet of Fire was the impartial judge for the Triwizard Tournament, and it chose which students would represent their respective schools. Bitcoin is similar in that it does not judge who uses it. It is an open, permissionless, borderless protocol that requires nothing other than an internet connection to use. Societies are quickly becoming fully digital. [We have to think about the implications of losing the financial privacy that fiat money (cash) gives us. States, corporations, and governments gain power as we trade our privacy and freedom for comfort and convenience. When we make digital transactions, like with a credit card, we reveal much private information about ourselves, like our name, email, and home address. Nefarious characters can use this information to control censorship, surveillance, and eventually, social engineering. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that enables us to transact without our legacy financial system go-betweens like banks, software companies, and payment processors. Bitcoin is a way out of the systems seeking power over the world.]* We have a right to privacy. Bitcoin is freedom money.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Cypherpunks
Albus Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix during Lord Voldemort’s first rise to power in the 1970s. Harry Potter’s final battle with Lord Voldemort occurred in 1998, almost 30 years later. Bitcoin also has prehistory. The Cypherpunks are individuals advocating the widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change. Cypherpunks have been engaged in an active movement since the late 1980s and have made many attempts at censorship-resistant currencies. The accumulation of trial and error led to Bitcoin’s creation in 2009 by Satoshi, about 30 years later!
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Satoshi
It was easy to judge Professor Snape for being mean and nasty towards Harry throughout the Harry Potter books. And then, when Snape killed Dumbledore, we viewed Snape as pure evil. Despite what it seemed, Snape was working for a good cause. While Snape was doing his duty, he didn’t care what other people thought of him. Due to his loyalty, good intentions won in the end. With mainstream media the way it is, it is easy to glance at Bitcoin and believe it is terrible. “Criminals use Bitcoin! A Ponzi scheme! It will get banned! Bad for the environment!” Many headlines about Bitcoin are chock-full of bad intentions or a lack of education. Are any of those headlines true? – No. Does Bitcoin care about these headlines? No. Like Snape, Bitcoin is commonly misunderstood. You need to dig deeper and conduct your research to learn the truth. Satoshi’s discovery of Bitcoin is a good thing for humanity. It’s just that not everyone realizes this yet.
7. Harry Potter and the Decentralized Hallows
Lord Voldemort was afraid of death. He split his soul into seven parts to avoid death even longer. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione found and destroyed a Horcrux (a piece of Voldemort’s soul), Voldemort felt it, but he continued to live. As such, Voldemort was decently decentralized. He had no central point of failure. With Bitcoin, there is not a single attack vector to kill it. Over 15,000 reachable nodes (computers running the Bitcoin software) worldwide are verifying Bitcoin transactions all day, every day. To shut Bitcoin down, every single node would have to be destroyed simultaneously. Not even Harry Potter could do that! As we all know, Harry defeated Voldemort. Voldemort wasn’t decentralized enough to survive forever. The same can be said about all other “crypto” coins and projects claiming that they are as decentralized or even more decentralized than Bitcoin. This isn’t true. Bitcoin is the most decentralized cryptocurrency by a longshot. Bitcoin will be the only cryptocurrency that will survive longer than all of us!
Epilogue. Nineteen years later
Nineteen years from now, the year will be 2041. By this date, 99.8% of all bitcoin will be mined, and I believe that one bitcoin has the potential to be worth at least $25,000,000. Wizards have always trusted Gringotts’ Bank to issue their currency just like we’ve had to trust the Federal Reserve to issue ours. I don’t believe that this irresponsibly led legacy system will last much longer. Bitcoin is a fair system that requires no trust. The Head Goblin can print more Galleons, and The Head of the FED can print more USD, both devaluing their currencies until they’re worthless and wrecking everyone’s savings in the process. No one can print more Bitcoin. The only way out of this broken fiat system is Magic internet money. Will you take up your wand and become a Bitcoiner?