Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss waged a famous legal battle against Mark Zuckerberg over the beginnings of Facebook. Now they are predicting the death of the social network.
The Harvard-educated twins – who were portrayed by Armie Hammer as losers in “The Social Network” in 2010 – have since become billionaires thanks to their bold investments in Bitcoin and other controversial cryptocurrencies.
Strengthened by rising digital money prices as big companies from Tesla to Goldman Sachs embrace it, the pair are now up and claiming that “centralized” social networks like Facebook are not long for this world.
“The idea of a centralized social network just won̵
The 39-year-old twins known as “Winklevii” have filled their portfolio with startups trying to decentralize services dominated by tech titans like Facebook, Microsoft and Google along with a digital art platform as at the heart of the recent NFT craze, according to Forbes.
The twins reportedly entered this universe almost ten years ago after winning a $ 65 million settlement in their legal battle with Zuckerberg, whom they accused of stealing the idea of a social network.
They started buying bitcoin in 2012 after receiving a tip from some “early adopters” on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, says Forbes. Bitcoin and the so-called blockchain technology are now operating behind a business empire that gave them a total net worth of more than $ 6 billion last month, the outlet reports.
One of their biggest successes is Nifty Gateway, which has helped fuel the explosion in the market for non-fungal tokens, or NFT, digital assets whose ownership is stored on a blockchain ledger.
The platform has seen an explosion of interest in its “drops” of NFTs from artists such as Beeple, who just sold a token at Christie’s auction house for $ 69 million, according to Forbes.
“We’re making $ 4 million in five minutes now” for releases that would have fetched $ 50,000 a year ago, Cameron Winklevoss told Forbes.
Nifty Gateway was acquired in 2019 by Gemini, Winklevi’s cryptocurrency exchange, which shares its name with NASA’s other space mission. The twins are so dedicated to the subject of space research that they call Gemini’s employees “astronauts,” they told Forbes.
The couple has reportedly supported companies that want to create apps and services if users are not subject to the whims of giant companies.
One such company is Filecoin, which pays people in cryptocurrencies to rent space on their hard drives as an alternative to centralized cloud storage, reports Forbes. There is also Stacks, an app platform that allegedly runs several projects, including a decentralized messaging service called Pravica.
“Over the next decade, you will see social protocols take off and people build decentralized forms of these services,” Tyler Winklevoss told Forbes.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.