We’re sure you’ve all made the question at some point. If only you hold a minimum Bitcoin amount back then, what would it be worth today? And what would be the chances of you finding out?
What if we told you there were a bunch of people who believed in the project before anyone else did? We don’t just talk of Satoshi Nakamoto: some people had invested millions when it was worth under $10, knowing nothing of its potential.
In fact, you may know more about Bitcoin today than what they did in 2012. With only a bit of luck, you could have joined the millionaire club!
Some people didn’t have enough with that and chose to bid big numbers on the dubious cryptocurrency. Those are today’s first Bitcoin billionaires: Winklevoss twins along with Michael Novogratz, Dan Morehead, and Blythe Masters.
How Did Winklevoss Twins Become The First Bitcoin Billionaires?
Mind that these big names were far from average. Each of them already held important company positions and, for some reason, chose to bet on the crypto world.
If you were making millions of dollars, why would you spend such a big chunk on some uncertain investment? People can’t understand that.
The thing is, these five names were already contributing to the digital currency ecosystem before Bitcoin was a thing. Once it took off and reached thousands of market value, they started trusting it even more. Because of the wealth created, some of them believed in it so much that they reinvested back to cryptocurrency.
- Barry started the exchange-traded find Bitcoin Investment Trust.
- Blythe founded Digital Asset Holdings to implement blockchain in Wall Street’s operations.
- Dan is managing Bitstamp, a crypto trading exchange.
- Michael put over 30% of his fortune in crypto and never sold the majority despite the market swings.
- The Winklevoss twins launched Gemini, a controlled exchange to attract institutional investors to this market.
Now, do you think these billionaires stopped at Bitcoin? Many of them keep investing, even looking for alternative coins that may cause the same returns, if not better. Right now, they know there’s at least one more coin about to generate stellar ROI. But where?
In crypto, value is all about expansion and usability. Now that our billionaires have the funds and knowledge, they plan to actively improve on these aspects, thus driving market prices even higher.
Winklevoss brothers, in particular, expect digital gold to grow over $25000 within the next few years, if not months. Although their predictions are usually optimistic, there’s some accuracy and logic in their statements, mainly because of their background.
Who Are The Winklevoss Twins?
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are the true testaments of investing in intelligence. Their success story is no other than the well-known principle: staying in the market matters more than not taking risks at all.
They could, of course, have lost their money if Bitcoin never took off for some reason. In any case, the Winklevoss Twins would still reach similar levels of success because of how they think. Let’s take a look at what they did before the crypto boom.
Success requires preparation, and the brothers had a lot of it. Before they even started their careers, they had already been working on entrepreneurial projects in college. One of them was of little importance: a giant called Facebook.
Back in the Harvard years, the Winklevosses had already been planning for the first social website. Guess who they asked to code the site? Mark Zuckerberg.
There’s a complex plot behind it, and the confusion still goes on until today (you can find the story here in detail). Long story short, it appears Zuckerberg stole the social network idea from the Winklevosses. Once they shared with him the project to program, he delayed it on purpose to create his own enhanced version: “the Facebook.”
The brothers continued the development of the site along with Divya Narendra, later known as ConnectU in 2004. Of course, Zuckerberg had his project live at least one month before its launch.
The Winklevosses accused him a week later, which led to the 2008 lawsuit. Despite having some proof, the brothers lacked the proof of a contract that would let them win Facebook. Anyhow, they closed the case and received $65 million from Mark.
You can imagine where those millions went: digital gold. That’s today’s hot trend.
In 2015, the Winklevoss twins launched the Gemini exchanges. It provides a secure, regulated environment, where anybody can buy primary coins and convert them to dollars.
Although they plan to expand the options available, right now, the exchange offers only Bitcoin(BTC), Ethereum(ETH), Bitcoin Cash(BCH), Litecoin(LTC), Zcash(ZEC).
Among the security improvements, we find:
- Offline storage. Only a small proportion of Bitcoin stores online, which guarantees protection against hackers.
- Federal Deposit Insurance: USD accounts have their balances insured for amounts up to $250K
- 100% bank compliance: Gemini operates under NYDFS, holds a BitLicense, and is SOC-2 Type 1-2 compliant. Institutional investors will find the exchange as their best fit.
- Hardware security keys: You can access your account with a 2FA on your phone if you want to. But for better protection, the site now supports hardware wallet security keys to replace the phone.
- DDoS-Attack Protected: The platform uses only the internal section of their website(no external access)
However, the site has some limitations that resulted in trade-offs for higher security:
- Limits: Wire transfers and crypto exchanges have no limit, but bank transfers do(up to $15K per month to deposit, up to $100K per day to withdraw)
- Variety: Crypto-investors won’t find anything interesting to buy unless they bet solely on BTC, ETH, and a few others. There are multiple minor coins people would like to see on the exchange. At the same time, only converting to USD fiat makes it harder for international adoption.
- Registration: To comply with all regulations, Gemini asks you for a lot of information, which can get tedious and complex.
- Server Limitations: In high-volume times, the site can go down because the number of requests overwhelms the exchange. You may find this surprise if you plan to buy or sell along with millions of traders at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s The Winklevosses Twins Net Worth?
The way their fortune has grown in a few years shows how powerful is patience and strategy in the crypto world. At the beginning of 2018, their combined net worth was an estimated $654 million. Most of it comes from the millions invested on BTC when it was worth about $120 a coin. Today, 2020, it has crossed the 1.8 billion dollar mark. Imagine the ROI!
Despite the popular belief, not all of their fortune derived from cryptocurrencies. Not only they had the millions prepared to invest, but also the preparation and a risk-sensitive strategy.
You may ask: if Zuckerberg gave them $65 million, why not invest half, if not all of it? Why $11 million? Because the actual funds available were $20 million in cash. The rest was 1.2 million Facebook shares. Although this media platform hadn’t skyrocketed as much as Bitcoin, the Winklevosses still benefited from Facebook shares as well.
$11 out of $20 makes a rough 50%, which is tolerable in terms of risk.
Are The Winklevoss Twins 100% Identical?
Despite sharing the same appearance, not all twins look the same. No matter how alike both people are, consciousness and personality can make them two different people.
That isn’t the case of the Winklevosses, however. Have you looked at the way they interact with each other? For everyone else, it seems they share the same thoughts and interests as if they could communicate without words.
There’s one difference though: dominant brain hemispheres. You can notice that in their personality and the way they complement their arguments in interviews. This connection makes their most powerful advantage in business and life(see their Olympics competition in Beijing, 2008).
Not only they called the exchange Gemini because of that, but also symbolize the union of crypto with fiat currency.
Do They Still Hold Bitcoin Until Today?
Many would have believed that Bitcoin had reached the pinnacle back in 2018. The Winklevosses? They still keep most of their assets in the crypto markets. They believe that Bitcoin hasn’t started to really grow yet, and that will soon be too late to get in the game. The brothers are preparing for long-term predictions, which point BTC to be worth over $40,000, if not over $100K in a few years.
It’s curious how the other Bitcoin billionaires share this belief and keep their fortune the same way. After all, how are you going to question the source that changed your life? Luckily for everyone, Bitcoin does have real value and its growth doesn’t rely exclusively on popular optimism.
They follow the same strategy they’ve always had: invest in crypto. Most of it will go to BTC, while a minor sum will expand their coin portfolio(Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash) and cashing the minimum.
The Bottom Line
It seems the twins know how to spot good opportunities in such uncertain markets as cryptocurrency. Despite already achieving success, their involvement is far from over. They continue to invest in these markets while helping others to do so in a secure way: Gemini.
You can learn more about these stories here:
- Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption
- Latest News On Gemini
- Tyler and Cameron’s Twitter Account (new posts every day)
If the brothers didn’t exist in real life, Hollywood would have probably invented them.