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Sideways: Masters of the bitcoin universe

The search is on for masters of the bitcoin universe to rival the bond traders who appalled and fascinated the public in the 1980s.


The Winklevoss twins are the highest profile bitcoin investors, largely because of their role as figures of fun in the movie ‘The Social Network’ about the foundation of Facebook, where they were mockingly known as the Winklevii. They have become the faces of bitcoin investment because they have a widely known redemption story based on early adoption of the cryptocurrency. The twins – Cameron and Tyler – sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he stole the idea for the social network from a similar system developed when they were at Harvard.

The twins were paid around $65 million, but Zuckerberg remained in full control of Facebook and now has a net worth of over $70 billion.

This left the twins looking like losers in the court of public opinion.

As the twins searched for a comeback, they were early investors in bitcoin and became evangelists for its wider adoption. They seemed to have suffered another setback in March 2017 when their plan for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund was rejected by the SEC. But the recent explosive rise in the value of bitcoin has taken the twins to a theoretical worth of over $1 billion, given that they started buying when it was worth around $120 and claimed to own 1% or more of the total stock of a cryptocurrency that was trading near $20,000 by mid December.

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