The Winklevoss Twins Own Millions In Bitcoins

Posted Apr 14, 2013

You may know Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss as the Olympic rowers that attended Harvard University with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  The twin athletes sued Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg claiming that he stole their idea while at school, which is the basis for the Academy Award winning movie The Social Network.  The Winklevoss twins are venture capitalists today and they own millions in bitcoins.

Ever since last summer, the Winklevoss twins started buying bitcoins and they recently disclosed owning around $11 million worth as of Thursday morning.  Between that day and now, the bitcoin trading price wildly fluctuated and was even temporarily suspended.

Bitcoin was invented by anonymous programmers in 2009.  It is an online digital currency based on an open-source peer-to-peer encryption protocol.  The currency is not managed by a government or central authority, but it relies heavily on an Internet connection.  Bitcoins can be transferred using a smartphone or computer.

?People say it?s a Ponzi scheme, it?s a bubble,? said Cameron Winklevoss in an interview with The New York Times. ?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.?

In the lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg, the twins were given $20 million in cash and Facebook shares worth over $200 million as a settlement.

This wealth was plugged into Winklevoss Capital.  Winklevoss Capital has invested in Hukkster and SumZero so far.  Hukkster is an online shopping startup and SumZero is an online investment community founded by Divya Narendra.  Narendra worked with the Winklevoss twins on ConnectU at Harvard, a company that the three of them claimed Zuckerberg stole ideas from.

The twins started investing in the digital currency this past summer when the dollar value for one Bitcoin was in the single digits.  It is unknown how much the Winklevoss twins have in comparison to other Bitcoin owners.

?It has been four years and it has yet to be discredited as a viable alternative to fiat currency,? added Tyler Winklevoss in the NYT interview. ?We could be totally wrong, but we are curious to see this play out a lot more.?