Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss fought a famous legal battle against Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s beginnings. Now, they anticipate the demise of the social network.
The Harvard-educated twin – portrayed by Armie Hammer as losers in the 2010 film “The Social Network” – has become billionaires thanks to their bold investments in bitcoin and other controversial cryptocurrencies.
Encouraged by the rising price of digital money as they embrace major companies from Tesla to Goldman Sachs, the pair are now raising the stakes, claiming that “central” social networks like Facebook aren’t long for this world.
“The idea of a centralized social network is not going to be around five or 10 years in the future,” Tyler Winklevoss told Forbes in a profile Monday when asked about Facebook. “There is a membrane or a gap between the ancient world and this original encoded universe. We are the conduit that helps people bypass what is offline.”
The 39-year-old twins, known as “Winklevii”, have filled their portfolio with startups trying to decentralize services dominated by tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Google along with a digital art platform that has been at the center of the recent NFT frenzy, according to Forbes.
The twins reportedly entered the universe nearly a decade ago after winning a $ 65 million settlement in their legal battle with Zuckerberg, who they accused of stealing their idea for a social network.
They started buying bitcoins in 2012 after gaining information from some of the “early adopters” on the island of Ibiza for Mediterranean parties, Forbes says. Now, Bitcoin and the so-called blockchain technology behind it are bolstering a business empire that gave them a combined net worth of more than $ 6 billion last month, according to reports from the outlet.
One of its biggest successes is Nifty Gateway, which has helped fuel the explosion in the market for non-exchangeable tokens, or NFTs, which are digital assets whose ownership is stored in the blockchain ledger.
The platform has seen an increase in interest in “drops” NFTs from artists like Beeple, who just sold a token at Christie’s for $ 69 million, according to Forbes.
“We’re saving $ 4 million in five minutes now” for issues that would have generated $ 50,000 a year ago, Cameron Winklevos told Forbes.
Nifty Gateway was purchased in 2019 by Gemini, and is the Winklevii cryptocurrency platform that shares its name with NASA’s Second Space Mission. The twins are so committed to the topic of space exploration that they call Gemini employees “astronauts,” they told Forbes.