Most people know the Winklevoss Twins (Cameron and Tyler) as students who attended Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg. The two created a social media platform called ConnectU that, according to a lawsuit, Zuckerberg allegedly stole to create Facebook (FB).
More recently, the Winklevoss Twins have been involved in cryptocurrency. Their expertise in the industry means that people pay close attention to Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin predictions.
How Did The Winklevoss Twins Get Rich?
How the Winklevoss Twins got rich depends on how you define “rich.” They were born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, a town with some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Their father was an author and professor of actuarial science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Given those circumstances, the Winklevoss Twins were financially well off by all reasonable metrics. Most people would have considered them rich. They added significantly to the family fortune, though, as adults.
The Winklevoss Twins have made most of their money in three sectors:
- Social media
- Capital management
Not surprisingly, their stakes in social media and cryptocurrency get the most media attention.
How Much Did Mark Zuckerberg Pay Winklevoss Twins?
The amount that Mark Zuckerberg paid the Winklevoss Twins isn’t straightforward because it involves potential theft and company shares that change value over time.
The Winklevoss Twins met Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 at Harvard. The twins were working with a small group of programmers to create a website called HarvardConnection, which they planned to expand into a multi-college site called ConnectU.
The team agreed to hire Zuckerberg as the lead programmer in return for shares in the company’s future development. Zuckerberg would replace a programmer leaving the team to take a job at Google (GOOG) after graduation. According to the HarvardConnection team, Zuckerberg used the idea to build a competing website that would become Facebook (FB).
In 2004, the Winklevoss Twins sued Zuckerberg for breaking an oral contract and using HarvardConnection’s source code to create Facebook. Zuckerberg counter-sued Winklevoss Chang Group, an entity that included the twins and other HarvardConnection owners.
The Winklevoss Change Group and Zuckerberg did not reach an agreement until 2008. According to the agreement, Facebook would pay the Winklevoss Group $20 million in cash and $45 million in Facebook stock.
Shortly after, ConnectU argued that Facebook and Zuckerberg had misrepresented the value of Facebook shares. According to their claim, the shares they received from the settlement were worth about $11 million instead of $45 million, bringing their total compensation down from $65 million to $31 million.
Within a few months, Facebook shares on the secondary market were trading at $76 each, which means the shares owned by the Winklevoss company were worth about $120 million. The Winklevoss Twins and their lawyer argued that they would have $466 million in Facebook shares had Zuckerberg honored the original agreement without misrepresenting the stock’s value. The case was headed to the Supreme Court when the Winklevosses withdrew their suit.
As of early 2021, Facebook’s value was about $280 billion, with shares trading at about $300 per share.
Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin Purchase In 2011
The Winklevoss Twins reportedly started buying Bitcoin in 2011. They spent approximately $11 million buying about 1% of Bitcoin in existence. The cryptocurrency had only been around for two years. Before 2011, investors could purchase Bitcoin for practically nothing. It didn’t have enough value to attract much attention.
When the Winklevoss Twins started buying Bitcoin in 2011, investors could purchase one whole coin for about $1. The price remained fairly flat until the last quarter of 2013, when the value jumped from $150 per coin in October to $1,242 before the end of November.
Fearing that Bitcoin had become a bubble, many investors started dumping their investments, which created rapid volatility. Since 2017, prices have soared to $60,000 per coin and dropped to less than $1,500. Regardless, anyone who purchased Bitcoin in 2013 or before made thousands or millions of dollars.
The Winklevoss Twins saw a way to make money regardless of how Bitcoin’s value changed. While watching their investment grow, they started the Gemini digital currency exchange in 2014. Now, they could generate income every time investors purchased or sold Bitcoin.
Gemini also branched out into other cryptocurrencies, including:
- Bitcoin Cash
- PAX Gold
In 2016, Gemini became the world’s largest licensed exchange for Ether.
Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), making it one of the most trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges.
Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin Prediction
The Winklevoss Twins have made several Bitcoin predictions over the decade. In 2013, Cameron Winklevoss predicted that the cryptocurrency—then worth about $900—would become 45 times more valuable to reach at least $40,000.
He hedged his statements by saying that it would probably happen, but he didn’t know for sure whether it would. Bitcoin surpassed $40,000 in February 2021.
More recently, in 2020, Tyler Winklevoss said that he considers $500,000 a “really conservative” target for Bitcoin’s value. He believes it could grow beyond that amount if it manages to disrupt gold and becomes a payment network accepted by more retailers and vendors.
How Much Are Winklevoss Twins Worth?
Since Cameron and Tyler own assets with fluctuating values, it’s difficult to say how much they are worth. Recent estimates say that each one has surpassed a net worth of a billion dollars. Whether they remain billionaires, however, likely depends on the success of Bitcoin and other ventures.
Even a conservative estimate must admit that each of the twins is a multimillionaire with nearly a billion dollars.
How High Can Bitcoin Go? Conclusion
The Winklevoss Twins have been involved in some of today’s most radical technologies. Without them, people may not have Facebook and similar social media platforms that make communication easy across borders. Establishing Gemini also made Bitcoin look like a more legitimate investment option to many people.
The Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin prediction indicates that the cryptocurrency has a long way to go before it reaches its peak value. The prediction, however, also relies on several smaller predictions coming true. For example, it’s unlikely that Bitcoin’s price will reach half a million dollars unless more retailers and vendors accept it as payment.
Unfortunately, the currency has a reputation for illegal use. Bringing it into the mainstream economy could change that perspective and make it a more attractive option for investors and consumers.
Bitcoin is still a volatile currency, but it has shown an unbelievable upward trajectory that has turned early investors into millionaires and billionaires. If the Winklevoss Twins are correct, even people purchasing Bitcoin today could generate extraordinary profits over the next several years.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.