Winklevoss bros join the Bitcoin bubble

By Oliver Smith 21 June 2016
Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch.

The famous twins are back, this time with a new money-making idea.

It’s been a long few years since Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss took on the might of Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole their idea for Facebook, but now they’re back.

You might remember the exchange from 2010’s The Social Network when Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg exclaims:

“I don’t hate anybody. The ‘Winklevii’ aren’t suing me for intellectual property theft. They’re suing me because, for the first time in their lives, things didn’t go exactly the way they were supposed to for them.”

The twins eventually cashed in for a cool $65m and today they’re back with a new business idea.

The Winklevoss twins portrayed in 2010's The Social Network.

Backing Bitcoin

Using their Facebook windfall the pair became early investors in Bitcoin, the digital currency which is currently trading at around $700 a coin.

They’re famously optimistic about Bitcoin, despite its fluctuating price over the last year, and at one point claimed to own as much as 1% of all the Bitcoin in circulation.

Read more: The Blockchain explained (with cake)

Last year the Winklevii said:

“We’ve put our money where our mouth is. We don’t just have our skin in the game, we have our whole body in the game,”

And today the twins are taking that support even further by launching a new Bitcoin exchange, a way to buy and sell the currency, in the UK.

Meet Gemini

Called Gemini the exchange will start by letting investors trade Bitcoin for Ethereum, another digital currency which has slowly been gaining traction, and soon expand to allow trading dollars and pounds for Bitcoin in coming months.

The idea is that if Bitcoin does replace traditional money, something that a few people have already tried to embrace, Gemini will become a key piece of the puzzle.

Read more: This man ditched his bank for bitcoin, and so could you

“It’s like a better version of gold,” Tyler Winklevoss told The Telegraph.

“Bitcoin is basically money working the way your email works: imagine if your email had to shut down at 5pm and during the weekend. We’d like money to work 24/7. It really feels like these technologies have world changing potential and can improve people’s lives.”

But will Bitcoin really replace money? It might seem unlikely, but with practically every bank on the high street exploring the technology, the future looks bright for Bitcoin.

Read more: How are banks using blockchain?