Bitcoin has gained quite the followership and support since its inception in 2009, and even more following its riveting spike in 2017. Prominent amongst the digital asset’s zealots are the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The serial entrepreneurial duo have been optimistic about the ‘revolutionary’ potentials of bitcoin, even before its massive explosion. And it seems like they’re not about to stop now.
The Bitcoin Journey
Their foray into cryptocurrency is not complete without Facebook. The twins got their funding from a legal tussle with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, where they had accused him of stealing the social network idea from them.
The Winklevoss twins accepted a $65 million compensation to close the case, with $20 million in cash and a mouth-watering $45 million in Facebook shares. They purchased $11 million worth of Bitcoin with their Facebook payout, and that amount was 1% of all the Bitcoin in circulation at the time; a feat that the Winklevii remain proud of till date. By late 2017, Bitcoin surged to an astounding $10,000, making the twins’ investment initial investment yield about $2 billion and earning them their popular ‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ title.
From there on, they maximized the rest of the settlement and further strengthened their footing in the crypto-market to build cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, in 2015. Gemini launched its dollar-pegged stablecoin (GUSD) in 2018, with full approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) so it’s fair to say that the market has been good to the Winklevii.
The twins tenaciously, and may we say breezily, weathered the infamous crypto winter, claiming that the down market gave them time to “build internally, and refine”.
Bullish Bitcoin Billionaires
The Winklevoss twins have stayed positive about bitcoin, through dry market spells and stiff regulatory actions on the cryptocurrency. For so long, the twins have viewed the uptick of laws and regulations concerning Bitcoin as a sign of progress, and an indication that the authorities are taking notice of it.
“These technologies cannot flourish and grow without thoughtful regulation that connects them to finance”, said Tyler Winklevoss in a recent interview.
“As long as jurisdictions strike the right balance, we think that it’s going to be a huge boon and win for cryptocurrencies”, he added. It’s not been all sunshine and rainbows for the Gemini Founders. They had a checkered run with regulatory authorities, where the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stamped yet another rejection on their application to list the first cryptocurrency exchange traded fund (ETF).
Potential competition from their ex-foe Facebook, whose cryptocurrency could be released early 2020, is not dampening the twins’ good spirits about Bitcoin.
Libra’s whitepaper was published yesterday, after months of speculation. The cryptocurrency is expected to be used across Facebook’s string of social networks, including WhatsApp and Instagram, for even more ease of transactions and exchange than is attainable with cryptocurrency at the moment. ‘I believe sending money should be as easy as sending a photo’, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg likes to say about the project.
The twins called Zuckerberg’s crypto efforts “cool,” but stayed undaunted about the speculation of the coin being a potential ‘bitcoin killer’.
BTC is Gold 2.0
Bitcoin’s power tussle with the heavyweight asset, gold, has been paraded since the cryptocurrency stepped into the limelight. Following Grayscale Investments famous ‘Drop Gold’ campaign, comparisons of both assets have been relentlessly touted by supporters of each, and the Winklevii twins’ stake is obvious. For crypto investors, gold trading is becoming increasingly old-fashioned. To Tyler, bitcoin is “better at being gold than gold”, and the twins collectively predicted that the cryptocurrency will surpass the $7 trillion market cap of gold in the long run.
They encouraged investors to buy BTC from their Gemini app, adding that it is ‘super painless’ to do so. It is definitely reassuring that the twins are not blind optimists, and they still recognize the risks that come with investing in volatile cryptocurrency, stating that investors should “give it a shot but don’t put too much in”.
The Winklevii may just be passionate believers in the brand and product that they represent, but with BTC hitting the $9,000 mark this week, for the first time in more than a year, their arguments are well worth giving a shot.