Winklevoss Twins Used Facebook Payout to Become Bitcoin Billionaires

December 4, 2017, 2:47 PM UTC

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss—the brothers who tried and failed to gain control of Facebook after alleging that it had been appropriated from them—have rebounded big-time.

The Winklevoss twins own one of the largest portfolios of Bitcoin in the world—and recent surges in the digital currency’s value have put the value of that portfolio at over $1 billion. That’s an impressive return on an $11 million investment just four years ago.

The brothers have reportedly not sold a single one of their Bitcoins, sitting on them and watching them accrue value. And it’s been a stunning thing to witness: when the Winklevoss’s invested in Bitcoins, the currency was trading at just $120. As of Monday morning, a single Bitcoin’s value was $11,247, according to Coindesk.

That investment money came from the $65 million the brothers’ won in a lawsuit against Facebook in 2011. The brothers had claimed Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social networkwhile all three were undergraduate students at Harvard, a fight that was featured in the film aptly titled The Social Network.

However, the twins have bigger designs on Bitcoin than just accruing wealth in their holdings. Earlier this year, they attempted to create an ETF for Bitcoin, but fell short after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the application, citing the possibility of fraud. Had they been successful, it would have opened the door to institutional investing in the currency.

While the Winklevoss twins certainly have reason to celebrate the milestone, they’re still ways away from joining the rarified air their old frienemy Mark Zuckerberg enjoys. Forbes puts his value at $71 billion.

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