The Hustle

How the billionaire Winklevoss twins are betting on a decentralized future

The Winklevoss Twins have made huge crypto and decentralized bets: Bitcoin, Gemini, Nifty Gateway, BitClout, and more.


April 7, 2021

Many of us know Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as the statuesque Harvard rowing twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg for ownership of Facebook.

That image — along with Justin Timberlake’s curly hair as Sean Parker (“a billion dollars is cool”) — was seared into the public consciousness by the 2010 movie The Social Network.

Since then, the Winklevii have cut their own path… one that potentially threatens Facebook itself.

The Winklevii scored a $65m legal settlement…

… against Zuckerberg in 2008. And, as reported by Forbes, they have since built a multibillion-dollar fortune with bets on Bitcoin and startups focused on a crypto/decentralized future:

Winklevii companies make money from marketplace and trading fees

And not the monetization of personal information… like, say, Facebook. The twins’ portfolio doesn’t just have a different business model than Zuckerberg’s baby; it has a totally different operating philosophy.

“The idea of a centralized social network is just not going to exist 5 or 10 years in the future,” Tyler Winklevoss tells Forbes.

While this prediction sounds extreme, there is momentum towards stripping power away from the Big Tech platforms… especially after Donald Trump was wiped off the internet virtually overnight after the Capitol riots.

The Winklevoss bets are on a decentralized future, including a social network — BitClout — that resides on a blockchain and isn’t controlled by a single entity.

However it plays out, we’re ready for The Social Network II.

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