We already knew that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were Bitcoin enthusiasts. The brothers own around 1% of the Bitcoin currency, which is reportedly now worth about $11 million. Recently the brothers have reaffirmed their commitment to the P2P open source currency by investing in a Bitcoin trading platform called BitInstant. The investment was made through the Winklevoss Capital, a VC firm started by the two brothers. BitInstant has raised a total of $1.5 million in seed funding led by Winklevoss Capital with participated from other investors including David Azar.
Based in New York City, BitInstant runs an online platform to buy and sell Bitcoins. The investment in BitInstant took place this past fall, but the Winklevoss twins made the news public as part of a lead-up to the Bitcoin Foundation 2013 Conference happening this weekend in Silicon Valley.
According to TechCrunch, BitInstant has around 16 employees and is led by CEO Charlie Shrem. The company currently processes around 30% of Bitcoin’s transaction volumes. Last month, BitInstant oversaw 30,000 transactions alone. The funding makes it possible for BitInstant to scale their staff and product.
Why Did The Winklevosses Invest In BitInstant?
There are several reasons why the Winklevoss twins decided to invest in BitInstant. One of the major reasons is that BitInstant’s leadership team is active in the Bitcoin community. For example, Shrem is the vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. BitInstant’s CIO Alex Waters worked with one of the core developers on the original Satoshi Bitcoin client.
?Charlie has been in the space for a very long time, and he has an impeccable reputation among Bitcoiners. He knows everyone in the space and everyone in the space knows him,? said Cameron Winklevoss in an interview with TechCrunch. ?One of the most exciting things about people who are into Bitcoin it?s that they?re a really passionate community, and Charlie is a passionate entrepreneur. He would be in that category of someone who lives, breathes, and sleeps Bitcoin.?
Bitcoin-based startups are getting a lot of support as of late. This month alone, we have seen investments in BitPay, OpenCoin, and Coinbase.