The Winklevoss twins are officially the founding members of what we'd like to call the bitcoin billionaires boys club.
When Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss settled their lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the twins probably thought they had missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become billionaires.
Nearly ten years later, the twins have reached a net worth of $1 billion thanks to a timely $11 million investment in bitcoin during April 2013, just as the world’s largest digital currency was entering mainstream consciousness.
That original $11 million was only part of a $65 million settlement they received from Facebook in 2008. Their lawsuit against the company provided much of the narrative grist for the Hollywood movie “The Social Network”.
Since the Winklevii opened their positions, the price of a single coin has risen from about $130 four-and-a-half years ago to an all-time high north of $11,000 last month.
According to City AM, the brothers’ have refused to disclose their exact return. Though it’s estimated that the size of their stake is around 100,000 bitcoins, a figure that will further cement their re-brand as bitcoin entrepreneurs. The Winklevii nearly three years ago became the first people to petition the SEC for a rule change that would effectively as
Other notable investors in the cryptocurrency include infamous entrepreneur Charlie Shrem who served a two-year stretch in federal lockup because his old company was accused of helping facilitate notorious black-market drug bazaar the Silk Road.
Furthermore, the secretive inventor of the Bitcoin currency – known only by his digital pen name Satoshi Nakamoto -has never been publicly identified.
As City AM explains, bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that is created and stored on a digital ledger known as the blockchain. The digital currency’s recent success has been widely attributed to an influx of new buyers from China, South Korea and other countries across the region.
Last year, Tyler Winklevoss told the Telegraph the currency could be worth trillions and was “like a better version of gold”.
Many investors, including hedge fund pioneer Mike Novogratz, believe the price of a single bitcoin could reach $100,000 – or even $1 million – by late next year.
However, signs of turbulence are beginning to emerge: Just after 430pm ET on Sunday, we showed that bitcoin and the entire crypto space tumbled - with Bitcoin plunging from session highs just under $12,000 to a low of $10,600 - on news that Just after 430pm ET we showed that bitcoin, and the entire crypto space, tumbled, with Bitcoin plunging from session highs just under $12,000 to a low of $10,600 on what appeared at first sight to be no news….
…But later investors realized the move was driven by reports that UK government "ministers are launching a crackdown on the virtual currency Bitcoin amid growing concern it is being used to launder money and dodge tax."
Taking a page out of the Chinese playbook, the UK Treasury has announced plans to regulate the digital currency that will force traders to disclose their identities and report suspicious activity to government authorities.