Whilst some of those who bought Bitcoin are licking their wounds, the Winklevoss twins are still sitting pretty.
They were early investors and, at the height of Bitcoin’s surge, their collection was worth north of $1 billion.
That’s not bad going, and quite a return on the $20m in cash and $45m in Facebook shares that they took from fellow Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg in the well-known Facebook settlement.
Whilst Zuck has gone family man / public appearance robot, the Winklevoss twins have snapped up exclusive properties in trendy areas, walked the red carpet with models, and generally lived the good life.
In a recent Telegraph interview with the twins, Cameron and Tyler, they opened up about buying Bitcoin in the early days, although they wouldn’t say whether they bet their entire Facebook fortune on the cryptocurrency.
They’ve leveraged their Bitcoin success to launch Gemini, their own coin exchange, in 2015, and Cameron believes it will eventually be as big as Amazon.
It’s also set them on course for a showdown with their old nemesis:
“In the first 10 years, a lot of people were like ‘Amazon isn’t competing with Barnes and Noble’. But we know how that played out. Cryptocurrency is so young, we are only a couple of years into this journey”.
However, they are due another clash with their nemesis, Zuckerberg, who has his own team dedicated to blockchain and is building its own coin for payments. The twins have are stony-faced when I ask whether they feel vindicated about the Facebook boss’s fall from grace. “Yeah, we have been pretty busy in crypto so not really reading those papers that much,” Tyler says, adding that it is “cool” that he is entering the same market.
Cameron says that it is “really positive” that Zuckerberg might launch a digital coin pegged to the US dollar. The pair aren’t suffering from sour grapes and they promote Gemini on Facebook and Instagram, which they use for sharing their personal photos too.
But they cannot resist a subtle dig. “Crypto is transferring value and putting markets on certain resources which is, like, greater, like, brings more people in, like, than, like, sharing photos right,” Cameron says.
If you remove all the ‘likes’, that’s really a not so subtle dig. Also, if only Facebook was just about sharing photos, and not idiotic and uneducated viewpoints.
Like most cryptocurrency folk, the Winklevoss twins (‘Winklevii’ is the commonly accepted plural) think they really have cracked the next big thing:
The twins believe there is something bigger than Facebook coming. Perhaps the next Hollywood script will reveal how losing out to Zuckerberg created a chain of events that helped dismantle the central banking system.
“Whatever we saw in the last 25 years, this movie could be bigger,” Cameron says.
They are clearly not lacking in confidence.
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