Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Zuckerberg challengers now bitcoin billionaires

Zuckerberg challengers now bitcoin billionaires

The twin brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole the idea for Facebook are worth more than $1bn after capitalising on the astonishing rise in Bitcoin.

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.

Bitcoin's meteoric recent rise means Winklevoss twins' $11 million bet on the cryptocurrency in 2011 is now worth over $1 billion.

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Whilst the legitimacy of the digital currency continues to be debated, the Winklevoss twins were firm believers in taking a punt, telling the Telegraph in a past interview that it's "like a better version of gold", with the potential to reach the value of trillions. The New York Times report stated that if the brothers bought bitcoin when it traded at $120, they would have bought close to 91,666 bitcoin.

CBS News reported that the Securities & Exchange Commission earlier this year rejected the Winklevoss brothers' request to launch a bitcoin exchange traded fund on the grounds that the unregulated cryptocurrency market is prone to manipulation.

The brothers, who represented the USA in rowing at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, settled out of court with Zuckerberg for an undisclosed sum, thought to be around US$95 million (NZ $138m).

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With the value of a single Bitcoin now sitting at over $11,000 (£8,000), Nakamoto appears to have netted a fortune of over $11bn (£8bn).

Bitcoin has been extremely volatile, so the 36-year-old twins' billionaire status may be short-lived. But it is far short of the $70 billion net worth of Zuckerberg - who, it clearly appears, was the big victor of the lawsuit. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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