The Winklevoss Twins Who Once Sued Mark Zuckerberg Turn a Modest Investment In Bitcoin Into a $1.3 Billion Fortune

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The twin brothers started buying Bitcoin in 2012 after settling with Mark Zuckerberg.

As of now, The New York Times reports that their Bitcoin holdings are worth $1.3 Billion.

To protect their fortune, the Winklevoss brothers keep their private key in multiple vaults around the country.

They also protect their own private bitcoin exchange they created Gemini in a similar fashion that is licensed to hold cryptocurrency on behalf of banks and traders. 


Back in 2012 when the twin brothers decided to start buying bitcoin, people simply laughed, but they kept buying, a lot of it.

The Winklevoss twins actually bought 120,000 coins when the price of one bitcoin was just $10. They used the money they got from the settlement in their Mark Zuckerberg case after they sued him from stealing Facebook from them.

Fast forward to today, and you won’t find even one person who will laugh at Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss because their bitcoin holdings are now worth a whopping $1.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion! The two confirmed in an interview for The New York TImes that they kept their coins all these years while the price kept moving up, and as we all know, in the last few days 1 bitcoin is worth over $17,000.

Their entire bitcoin holdings are now worth around $1.3 billion. And they are laughing all the way to the bank.

“We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,”

Says Tyler Winklevoss to the Times. Another interesting thing about this case is that because it is a digital coin, you need to protect it in other ways as if you were to have physical money, hackers can try and steal your fortune by hacking the systems just like it happened a few weeks ago where a cryptocurrency-mining service admitted that hackers stole around $80 million in bitcoin from them.

So the Winklevoss twins use what you might call a ” cold wallet ” system to keep their bitcoins safe. Bitcoins are stored in electronic wallets, each of these wallets have its own private key, if someone would get a hold of that key, they can pretty much take all your bitcoin away. One of the safest ways to protect your key is by printing it and keeping it off the internet.

What the Winklevoss twins did is taking it one step further, they printed their key and cut it to many different pieces, then stored each piece in different banks across the country. Here’s how the twins do it:

” The Winklevosses came up with an elaborate system to store and secure their own private keys. They cut up printouts of their private keys into pieces and then distributed them in envelopes to safe deposit boxes around the country, so if one envelope were stolen the thief would not have the entire key.”

The twins also say that their bitcoin exchange called Gemini that they created, works in similar fashion and it’s licensed in New York to hold the cryptocurrency in behalf of banks and traders. If the Winklevosses would somehow lose their own money, that would be a strategy, but if their own private exchange got hacked, that would be catastrophic.

Check out the full story on The New York Times, Featured image by: Vincent Tullo for The New York Times


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