Winklevoss twins become world’s first bitcoin billionaires

05 Dec 2017


Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical twins who became famous for taking on Mark Zuckerburg over the ownership of Facebook, have become bitcoin billionaires after the currency surged in value over the past year, according to The Telegraph.

The Harvard-educated brothers sued the Facebook founder in 2004, claiming he stole their idea for the social networking site.

Although their action for control of the company was unsuccessful, they were awarded a settlement of $65 million (£48 million) in 2008, out of which they used $11 million to invest in bitcoin at $120 a coin in 2013, The Telegraph reported.

Even though the surge in the value of the currency has made many of its backers millions, the Winklevoss twins are said to be the first public figures to have seen their investment hit $1 billion.

They launched a digital currency exchange called Gemini, last year which allows investors to buy and sell bitcoin.

''We see bitcoin as potentially the greatest social network of all,'' Tyler Winklevoss told the Financial Times in 2016.

But the digital currency rose and fell sharply in the past week.

It surged past $11,000 on 29 November, and fell to nearly $9,000 in volatile trading, before recovering at the weekend.

Bitcoin hit a record high of $11,831 on Sunday night according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index, before dropping sharply and then stabilising on Monday morning.

According to the twins, this week's tumult is just growing pains for a digital currency that they believe the would be like gold for the Technorati.

''People say it's a Ponzi scheme, it's a bubble,'' The New York Times quoted Cameron Winklevoss. ''People really don't want to take it seriously. At some point that narrative will shift to 'virtual currencies are here to stay.' We're in the early days.''

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