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In the cryptocurrency world, there's been a lot of talk about people who became Bitcoin millionaires and Bitcoin billionaires. Some say that Satoshi Nakamoto himself may be hiding billions in Bitcoin, while others claim that the biggest Bitcoin holder could be a shadowy billionaire not seen.
On paper, the Winklevoss twins were the two men who were first able to claim the title of being Bitcoin billionaires. Who are they though, and how did they get in on the Bitcoin trend before everyone?
The Winklevoss twins are identical twins who attended both Harvard and Oxford.
Their names are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and they went to Harvard in 2000. After getting degrees in business, they went to Oxford. During their stay at Harvard, the two met a name you might already recognize: Mark Zuckerberg.
The twins were known for being in Hasty Pudding, the Porcellain club, and for having a very deep fondness for rowing. Overall, they were the picture of what Harvard alumni are supposed to look like.
It's said that Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook.
Zuckerberg knew the twins, and also heard that the Winklevoss twins and their friend Divya Narendra created a social network called HarvardConnection. They started to code HarvardConnection, when Zuckerberg offered to help them out.
He showed them FaceSmash, a network which allowed you to rank students by how attractive they were. It was not much of a site, really, when you think of what it would become.
Not much is known what happened from there, but the twins claim that Zuckerberg stole their ideas for HarvardConnect to make what we now know to be Facebook and abandoned them mid-project. Ironic now how there are a number of cryptocurrency Facebook pages to follow for advice and other news, right?
The twins became famous for suing Zuckerberg.
The Facebook lawsuit alleged that Zuckerberg took their ideas and ran. Truthfully, there is evidence to suggest that they were telling the truth here—however, it's not 100 percent certain. Zuck launched his own countersuit against them in turn.
Both parties settled for a sum of $65 million in Facebook stock, which the twins were not too pleased about. When they tried to contest it, a judge told them to "stick to rowing."
People kind of hate them, a lot.
Though the Winklevoss twins were pretty badly shafted by Zuckerberg, they still ended up becoming worth $65 million. That doesn't mean, though, that they had a lot of friends outside of small Harvard cliques.
The twins were often talked poorly about, with many people claiming them to be "overly privileged," and stereotypically spoiled. How much of it is fact and fiction remains to be seen.
The two actually competed in the Olympics.
Remember how we said that they really, really liked rowing? The duo were such great rowers, they competed together in the coxless rowing championship in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. They didn't medal, but they did do very well.
There were brief rumors about them performing on the 2012 US Olympics rowing team, but the two thought against it.
They found out about Bitcoin while in Ibiza, and invested several million dollars in it.
High risk investments were definitely their style, especially when it came to tech! So, when they found out about Bitcoin, the Winklevoss twins made a point of dropping millions of dollars into the fledgling cryptocurrency.
By investing in Bitcoin while prices were low, their money boomed when Bitcoin became mainstream. The moment Bitcoin clocked in at $14,000 per coin, they were billionaires. They quickly diversified their holdings into other cryptocurrencies.
They then created Gemini.
The Winklevoss twins weren't just Bitcoin investors, they were blockchain technology creators. The two helped develop the cryptocurrency exchange known as Gemini. (Get it? Gemini means "twins!")
Gemini still remains in business and the twins still remain majority owners in the platform. Considering that people regularly claim they're entitled, they sure do make a lot of accomplishments.
The dynamic duo also tried to make the world's first Bitcoin ETF.
If you invest in the stock market, then you already know what an ETF is, or you should at least have an idea what it is supposed to do. It's an Exchange Traded Fund that is filled with a nice array of assets, and sold off in shares similar to the way stocks are.
Earlier on, the Winklevoss twins tried to create the first Bitcoin ETF. The SEC looked at the plans, but denied them. Thankfully, there are now other Bitcoin funds you can choose to invest in—if you want to!
It's really eerie how similar the two are.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are very, very similar—even for identical twins. They work together, eat together, travel together, and yes, even go out on double dates together.
The only real difference between the two, besides car ownership, is that one twin is left-handed and the other is right-handed. (For the record, Tyler doesn't have a car and Cameron uses a beat-up looking SUV.)
Oh, they also had a cameo in a certain movie.
If you were one of the millions who went to a movie theater to watch The Social Network, then congratulations. You might have seen the Winklevoss twins featured in the movie. After all, they were friends with Zuckerberg at one point.