Erudite, suave, and sophisticated, Cameron Howard Winklevoss and his twin Tyler Winklevoss’s bitter-sweet journey to becoming the first Bitcoin billionaires is a story worthy of a movie script. With the release of the movie in 2010, “The Social network,” the two shot into the limelight as they won a settlement of nearly $65 million from Facebook.
However, this saga is just a small fragment of the interesting life of these Bitcoin billionaires. Here are seven facts you probably didn’t know about them.
1. Started Website Design Business at 14 years
One of the strongest influences on their journey has been their well-heeled upbringing. They were born in New York, in 1981. Their father was an actuarial science professor at Wharton School. They had enriched schooling at the elitist Greenwich Country Day School, before finishing high school at Brunswick School.
It was at this stage, at age 13 that they began a business designing websites from their bedroom and earning hundred to thousand dollars for every site. However, with the pressures of student life, they gave up on this venture.
2. Olympic Rowing Champions
Their journey as capital fund managers and angel investors was via an Olympic rowing adventure having begun
their competitive sporting efforts in the summer of 1999, as part of the country’s Junior National Rowing Team. Between 2000 and 2004 they were part of the Harvard University teams coached by legend Harry Parker, winning big championships such as the Harvard-Yale Regatta in 2004. In 2008, they were placed 6th in the Olympic Games.
But what perhaps was to shape their psyche and their appetite to walk the tightrope of investments and waiting for the appropriate time was their rigorous training in music. At barely 6 years they began to learn the classical piano and continued their learning journey until they turned eighteen. In their high school, they were high academic achievers and deeply interested in classics including Latin and Greek.
4. Technology-entrepreneur Twins
Their stints at Harvard University and Oxford University were the years when they dabbled in internet entrepreneurship. They co-opted other students such as Divya Narendra, Sanjay MavinKurve, and finally Victor Gao, at different stages of the development of HarvardConnection. The turning point was in 2002 when they were prompted by Gao to work with Mark Zuckerberg. Working with him eventually led to the development of Facebook by Zuckerberg and finally ended with a settlement of approximately $65 million in their favor in February 2008. They received $20 million in cash and $45 million in stock.
5. Lawsuits Plague
However, the twins continued to be plagued by other lawsuits such as when the i2hub Organization sought 50% of ConnectU, the new version of HarvardConnect.
In 2011, they once again sought to sue Facebook stating their stock value was misrepresented, but eventually withdrew after judges refused to further their plea.
6. Bitcoin Millionaire Dream
It is at this stage that their entrepreneurship journey turns interesting. In 2012, they founded their own capital investment company called Winklevoss Capital Management with an interest in asset class, infrastructure, and capital companies for guidance.
Meanwhile, they invested millions of Facebook cash settlement and bought 10,000 Bitcoin at roughly $120 a coin. In 2015, they had truly arrived in the cryptocurrency world and launched an exchange called Gemini for trading in Bitcoin.
7. Winklevoss Setting New trends in Crypto: ETFs
Now, circa 2018, the gentlemen venture capitalists have brought in a new paradigm to the financial world, by pioneering an ETF before the Securities Exchange Commission of the United States to help set up an investment instrument using the medium of Bitcoin.
Now the crypto exchange is second only to Coinbase and ensures they are pro-compliance with US financial regulatory bodies. In their latest phase of growth, the twins have applied to European regulators and the English financial systems to begin an exchange, on the lines of Gemini here.
Life for the Olympian Twins has come a full circle as they tread into the multimillion-dollar industry that cryptocurrency is today! Twin unicorns have truly arrived and are headed for greener pastures than FB with its dwindling forces!