Who are the Winklevoss twins?
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, were born in Southampton in the year 1981 but grew up in Greenwich Connecticut. They attended Greenwich day school, progressed to Brunswick high school and later joined Harvard University.
At Harvard University, the twins majored in economics and graduated in 2004. The Winklevoss twins went ahead to
It is during their university years that the twins took an upward trajectory in rowing and other internet entrepreneurial activities.
They were members of the university’s rowing team, representing the school in various competitions and in 2008, the Winklevoss twins were called to represent the United States of America in the Beijing Olympics. They ended up completing at position six at the Olympics, and that was their last active participation in rowing representing their country.
The twins were the founders of HarvardConnection, a social networking website that gave campus students the chance to rate their fellows in terms of appearance. The site later changed to ConnectU, which functioned as Facebook does.
The Winklevoss twins rose into fame during their final year on campus when they sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea and using it to create Facebook. Though there was no formal contract proving that the twins and Zuckerberg had agreed to work together, the twins and Facebook settled the case with the twins receiving $65 million and a share of the Facebook stocks.
The Winklevoss twins and Bitcoins
After participating in the 2008 Olympics, the twins set out to find something they could invest in, and that’s when they got into bitcoin trading. The twins invested heavily in the cryptocurrency at a time when everyone thought that bitcoin would be a fail.
Luckily for the twins, their investment would later turn out to make them billionaires with the value of bitcoin rising by several thousand folds.
When the Winklevoss twins were getting into the Bitcoin trade, a single coin went for about $10 and time has seen the value rise to almost $20000 in 2017 though it has since dropped to around $5000 as of writing time.
Despite the difficulties being experienced in the bitcoin market lately, the twins believe that there is a bright future for bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency market in general. But for it to be achieved, the twins advocate for there to be regulative policies in bitcoin trading just like it is in the banking sector.
The Winklevoss twins even conducted a campaign dubbed ‘’revolution needs rules’’ to educate people on the importance of having regulations in the cryptocurrency market. Regulations would encourage more people to invest in bitcoins since it is one way of guaranteeing investors about the viability of their investment.
During the campaign, Cameron Winklevoss pointed out that the growth of cryptocurrencies is impeded by factors such as negative press reports about the market which include stating that bitcoins promotes criminal activities like terrorism and money laundering, claims which have been proven inaccurate.
The twins also have a thesis which indicates that one day, bitcoins will supersede gold, claiming that the only thing giving bitcoins a lower hand is that gold has been around for more than 3000 years.
The role of the Winklevoss in the Cryptocurrency space
The Winklevoss twins were one of the first bitcoin billionaires, leaving out Satoshi Nakamoto who owns up to 4.7% of all bitcoins that will ever exist. Back when the twins were investing in bitcoins, there were few wallets and exchanges to hold coins, and those that were present were highly prone to hacking attempts.
The twins had to invent a unique way through which they could keep their massive wealth safe.
During an interview with the New York Times, the twins disclosed that they had to distribute print out snippets of their private keys to different safe deposits found in the USA. This method makes it impossible for a thief to get access to the entire private key. It is important to note that a wallets key is enough to claim any amount of coins stored in a wallet hence the need for securing it.
The security architecture they’ve used in storing their private keys is the same one used in their Gemini exchange platform.
The twins have also been at the forefront of Bitcoin ETFs. They have been pushing forward with several ETF proposals for Bitcoin, something which have been a very hot topic within the cryptocurrency sphere.
The Gemini exchanges
Apart from heavily investing in bitcoins, the Winklevoss twins also own the Gemini exchange, an exchange which they founded in October 2015. Gemini is one of the highly respected and regulated exchanges in the cryptocurrency market.
The exchange has its headquarters in New York and is also the state’s limited liability trust. Gemini handles both individual and institutional clients seeking to get maximum security and efficiency for their coins.
Its key features include;
- Functionality- it has a good and easy to use design with a relatively simple user interface. The site provides investors with relevant information such as prices and balance updates which helps investors to stay on top of their trading.
- Security- this exchange strictly complies with asset regulations and laws protecting consumers; hence it has high levels of professionalism and security.
- Customer support- the Gemini website has a detailed FAQ which answers most consumer questions, and it also has a separate blog that is dedicated to guiding investors on how they can trade with bitcoins. Additionally, any investor that seeks individual attention can contact the Gemini team via email.
The Winklevoss twins have also been very active in the cryptocurrency space by pushing forward with Bitcoin ETFs.
An ETF (Exchange traded fund) is an investment vehicle that allows its participants to diversify their investment without actually holding any particular asset within the fund.
The SEC has rejected at least two ETFs put forward by the Winklevoss twins and to give you a perspective on how influential they are within the space, these rejections had an impact on the price of Bitcoin.
Also, many within the space remain optimistic on Bitcoin ETFs and the Winklevoss twins remain a key player in this sector.
The SEC however, clarified that its refusal of Bitcoin ETFs presented by the twins doesn’t mean Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology is out of fear for fraudulent activities and manipulations and made it clear that there is still a chance to pass Bitcoin ETFs in the near future.
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