The Winklevoss twins are bitcoin billionaires who are betting big on the crypto industry, which they claim will transform the world of finance. That is, once the public understands what bitcoin is.
“It’s hard to digest it all at once,” Tyler Winklevoss told CBS News (video below). “It’s like buying a bar of gold but there’s no physical component to it.”
Winklevoss says billions of people use the Internet every day even though they don’t know how it works. Yet it has become indispensable to most people. And that’s how the Winklevoss twins believe the public will eventually be with bitcoin.
Winklevoss Twins Started Buying Bitcoin in 2011
Tyler and Cameron are the co-founders of Gemini, a New York-based crypto exchange and custodian.
In February 2018, Forbes magazine released its first-ever list of cryptocurrency billionaires. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss landed at No. 4 in the rankings, with a combined net worth approaching $1.1 billion.
The Winklevoss twin’s foray into crypto started in 2011, when they decided to buy up 1% of all bitcoin in the world.
Even though few people had ever heard of bitcoin at the time, Tyler and Cameron were convinced it was the wave of the future.
Tyler recalled: “Our thesis at the time was, ‘bitcoin’s going to disrupt gold.’ And gold has a market cap of $7 trillion today. So if bitcoin’s gonna be worth $7 trillion or more, this seems like a cheap asset.”
Winklevii Used Part of $65M Facebook Settlement to Buy Bitcoin
The Winklevoss twins’ stunning crypto journey is chronicled in the book Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.
Mezrich shot to fame in 2010 for writing the book on which the Facebook-centered movie, “The Social Network,” was based.
Now –a decade later — he followed up with “Bitcoin Billionaires” after learning of Tyler and Cameron’s involvement in crypto.
“It made me start to think that they weren’t at the helm of two revolutions by accident,” Mezrich told CBS News.
As everyone knows, the Winklevoss twins sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he had stolen their idea for Facebook when they were students at Harvard.
In 2009, Zuckerberg settled the lawsuit by paying the brothers $65 million in cash and 1.25 million Facebook shares. The twins used part of that money to buy bitcoin.
Tyler and Cameron: We Welcome Regulatory Scrutiny
While the crypto industry has been roiled by a steady stream of hacks and scams, the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a massive crackdown.
Many in the crypto-sphere are upset by the SEC’s enforcement actions, but the Winklevoss twins welcome regulatory scrutiny. They say it’s good for the industry to stamp out con artists and corruption.
In April 2018, the New York State Attorney General’s Office launched an inquiry into 13 top U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges, including Gemini, Coinbase, and Binance.
The Winklevoss twins applauded the move, saying greater transparency and targeted regulation is good — not bad — for the market.
“These technologies can’t flourish and grow without thoughtful regulation that connects them to finance,” said Tyler, the CEO of Gemini. “As long as jurisdictions strike the right balance, we think it’s going to be a huge boon and win for cryptocurrencies.”