Investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss may be among the first bitcoin billionaires, but they don’t act much like it.
When the twins were awarded $65 million in cash and Facebook stock after a lengthy legal dispute with Mark Zuckerberg, they used their windfall to take a risk: They backed bitcoin, and the decision paid off.
In April 2013, the Winklevoss twins together held $11 million in bitcoinpriced at $120 a coin. That holding grew to be worth more than $1 billion in December 2017 as the price of one coin surpassed $11,700.
That month, The New York Times reported the twins’ bitcoin holdings were worth about $1.3 billion and that they held an additional $350 million in other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. (December saw wild swings in the price of bitcoin, at one point topping $19,000 trading on the Coinbase exchange. Friday, Bitcoin was trading near $13,500, according to Coinbase.)
While other early cryptocurrency investors are splurging on things like Lamborghinis, though, the Winklevoss brothers are managing their wealth differently.
The Winklevoss twins, famously known for suing Mark Zuckerberg after claiming he stole their idea for Facebook, are now Bitcoin billionaires, according to a few reports. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss won $65 million from the Facebook lawsuit, and invested $11 million of their payout into Bitcoin in 2013, amassing one of the largest portfolios of Bitcoin in the world — 1 percent of the entire currency’s dollar value equivalent, said the twins at the time. Their slice of the Bitcoin pie is now worth over $1 billion after Bitcoin surged past $10,000 last week to now trade at $11,100, according to CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency has surged over 10,000 percent since the Winklevoss’ investment, when one coin traded at around $120.
“If Bitcoin is a better gold or seen as a type of gold-like asset, then it could be in the trillions on a market cap,” Tyler Winklevoss told CNNMoney in 2015. “We do feel those are very real possibilities.” The twins have never sold a single Bitcoin, reports The Telegraph, noting that only a handful of Bitcoin wallets hold more than $1 billion worth of the cryptocurrency. One of those wallets belongs to the mysterious inventor, known only under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries,” The Times‘ Nathaniel Popper reports. “Cameron drives an old S.U.V.; Tyler doesn’t have a car at all.”