In addition to causing great embarrassment in the Democratic Party that supported him and in the media that received large donations, the bankruptcy of FTX, the mega-platform of young billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, has unleashed a domino effect that involves all its partner decentralized companies. . , including the Gemini Earn of twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Genesis Global Capital and Gemini have suspended withdrawals, redemptions, and new lending due to the “unprecedented market turbulence” that resulted from the FTX crash.
Shortly before the bankruptcy of the Bahamas-based company SBF, seven new faces linked to the world of cryptocurrencies appeared in the Forbes ranking of the 400 richest Americans in the world. Some names are lesser known (at least to the general public) like Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen, the founders of Ripple. Others are well known for their precedents and among these the Winklevoss twins stand out. Today the two are president and CEO of Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange that has handled the beauty of $200 million per day in transactions. But many remember them for their truly sui generis past: let’s find out why.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss: who are the Genesis twins
Born in 1981 in Southampton, New York, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are the sons of Carol and Howard, the latter a professor of actuarial science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, the two immediately display extraordinary talent: Tyler plays the piano, Cameron studies Greek and Latin, together they learn HTML and develop websites for businesses at just 13 years old. Tyler is right-handed and analytical, Cameron is left-handed and creative: they are a perfect match.
The two studied first at Harvard and then at Oxford, graduating with a Master’s in Economics. It was at Harvard, in December 2002, that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their friend Divya Narendra birthed the idea for ConnectU: a university social network for connecting students online. HarvardConnection was born with the help of programmers Sanjay Mavinkurve and Victor Gao, but code is still missing to make the site operational.
In November 2003, the Winklevoss hire their team Mark Zuckerberg, an introverted but brilliant programmer “reported” by the upper levels of the university for hacking and violating the privacy of their FaceMash. Too bad Zuckerberg is still stuck with Cameron and Tyler while in the meantime he talks about a very similar project to his friend Eduardo Saverin, asking him to finance a platform called The Facebook.
In January 2004, Zuckerberg registered the domain and thus began the history of the world’s most used social network. The Winklevossess did not take it well: four years later, in February 2008, the Winklevoss Chang Group and i2hub filed a civil lawsuit against Zuckerberg for intellectual property theft and illegal use of the source code he had been commissioned to develop.
The founder of Facebook responds with a counterclaim and the parties reach an agreement only one year later: faced with a compensation claim of 600 million dollars, the twins “settled” with a pax of 65 million, although the Financial Times reveals that The brothers’ request (20 million in cash and 45 million in Facebook shares, resold on the secondary market) would reach the total sum of 120 million
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, a billionaire fortune
What are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss doing with the money they got from their lawsuit against Zuckerberg? In addition to dribbling the lawsuit that i2hub founder and former business partner Wayne Chang filed against them asking for 50% of the stolen sum from the creator of Facebook, the twins expand the family office Winklevoss Capital Management (Winklevoss Capital is dedicated specifically to investments of risk) and in 2015 launched Gemini Trust Company, a cryptocurrency exchange (the name is actually taken from NASA’s second space program) that allows customers to buy, sell, trade, and store digital assets.
Headquartered in New York, in the Faltiron neighborhood of Manhattan, Gemini operates not only in the United States and Canada, but also in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. There is no shortage of setbacks, such as when the CEO of the BitInstant exchange in which they invested $1.5 million is arrested for an operation carried out without a license and the platform is closed because it is discovered that some Bitcoin purchases are used for the Whitening. money for a drug gang who sell drugs on the Silk Road dark web.
But against all odds and despite the ostracism of the Silicon Valley giants, the resources taken by Facebook invested
in Bitcoin (12 million per 100,000 BTC at a price of $120 each: 1% of all Bitcoins in existence), New York state approval as the first trusted licensed Ethereum and Zcash exchange in the United States, trading of blocks, the acquisition of Nifty Gateway (among the most important NFT markets) and continuous investments in about thirty new companies -up of digital assets, make the fortune of Winklevoss. At the beginning of 2021, his cryptocurrency assets would amount to 1.4 billion dollars, which grew in 2022 (according to Forbes estimates)) to 4.3 billion.
The twins also have their own Gemini Dollar, an Ethereum-based token pegged to the value of the US dollar. Everything they do, like funding the Gemini Frontier Fund for their metaverse and developing Filecoin’s blockchain data storage network with open source Protocol Labs, they always envision as a bridge between today’s centralized finance and the cozy , decentralized and user-based. world of the future
Winklevoss between the Olympic Games and The Social Network
Are financial visionary wizards a bit of a nerd? Not so much: the Winklevoss twins have also been skilled rowers since their teens. Students of the Irish teacher James Mangan and the coach Harry Parker, they defend the Oxford jersey in all the rowing races of the season, including the Boat Race, the classic Oxford-Cambridge.
Its crew is called God Squad and it has two Italian myths: the sprinter Mario Cipollini and obviously the brothers Agostino and Giuseppe Abbagnale. Cameron and Tyler even participated in the 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games (where they won a gold medal in the eight and a silver in the coxless four) and the 2008 Beijing Olympics: with coxsman Ted Nash, they reached the final. in the pair without finishing in sixth place.
Never satisfied and always ready for new challenges, the Winklevoss have also landed (unknowingly) in the cinema: in the film The Social Network, the biopic that director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin dedicated to the founders of Facebook, the couple she was voiced by Armie Hammer. An actor who was ironically dumped by Hollywood after being accused of harassment, rape and cannibalism and now lives in the Cayman Islands juggling a job as a realtor at a time-share company and a job as a concierge at a resort in the Caribbean.