The Winklevoss twins aim to be “frenemies” with Facebook after the company announced its own digital currency project, dubbed Libra.
Winklevoss- Facebook relationship
The Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, share a strained relationship with former friend Mark Zuckerberg. They had accused the Facebook CEO and co-founder of stealing their idea for a social network and won a court case that brought $65 million in a settlement. The brothers went on to tap the potential of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry and founded a new company that runs the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange out of the regulated New York state market. They have also launched Gemini Dollar (GUSD), an Ethereum-based stablecoin pegged to the US dollar 1:1.
Zuckerberg is now entering a similar territory with Libra coin, a stablecoin offering by Facebook that seeks to pave the way for the company’s payments business. As the former Harvard classmates work in the same industry, they may now be pushed to bridge their differences due to business interests.
What do the twins think?
Speaking on CBS Sunday Morning this Sunday, Cameron Winklevoss said that they need to be “frenemies” with Facebook. Note that the brothers are supporters and investors in Bitcoins, and they have also backed the idea of bringing more regulation in the crypto industry. Gemini exchange operates in the state of New York, and both the company and their stablecoin GUSD are work in a strictly regulated environment.
The talks about Facebook’s own cryptocurrency has pushed the prices of Bitcoin beyond $9,000. On Tuesday morning, the coin was trading at $9,175 per the CoinDesk Bitcoin price index. The disruptive force Facebook brings to the crypto industry doesn’t bother the twins. Cameron said that the pie (industry) will grow. Financial Times also reported in May that the twins had had talks with Zuckerberg over digital currency.
According to Tyler, the brothers had their eureka moment with Bitcoin when they started to see it as money that works as an email. Speaking to CBS, he noted that they expected Bitcoin to either be “the next big thing, or total BS!” They believed that Bitcoin was going to disrupt gold, an asset with a market cap of $7 trillion at the time. If Bitcoin was to overtake gold, it was a cheap asset to buy for Olympic rower duo.
The Winklevosses are said to have originally bought Bitcoin when it was barely $8 or $9 per piece. At its peak of $20,000, the brothers’ crypto holdings gave them a net worth of anywhere between $900 million to $1.1 billion, but that quickly eroded with the crash in Bitcoin prices.