In early December, 2017, the names of the first official bitcoin-billionaires became known, which do not hide the fact of their condition. They were the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklewossy, familiar to everyone who watched the film “Social Network” about the history of Facebook. In the film, the rowing brothers (members of the Olympic Games in rowing) from Harvard are not shown in a very favorable light, but in fact they are quite advanced guys.
The brothers began to buy bitcoins in 2012, when they cost less than $ 10. But they made the main investment in 2013, buying about 120,000 BTC (1% of the total issue). For this investment, they used several million of the $ 65 million received on a claim against Facebook (which copied their idea of a ConnectU social network). Consideration of the claim took place in 2008, but the brothers forced the plaintiff to pay the world not with money, but with shares. So they were able to get money only after Facebook went to an IPO. Even then, the far-sightedness of the athletes from Harvard was evident.
In those days, bitcoin was known primarily as a currency for the anonymous purchase of drugs in darknet. Everyone laughed at the Winklewosses – they became almost a nominal name for absurd investments in the financial American establishment. Like, the guys succumbed to “tulipanomania”, when the rate increased from $ 10 to $ 120.
Now the voices of the critics have quieted down a bit, as the price of “digital gold” has been growing for eight years according to Moore’s law, to which many technologies are subject. Now it ranges from $ 16,000 to $ 19,000, although the last jump from $ 1,000 in early 2017 has become particularly large.
In 2013, thanks to this investment, the brothers became the first bit-beaten millionaires. And now the billionaires. The NY Times has devoted a great article to the Winklewosses, which revealed some interesting details about them. Including how investors protect their investments.
In particular, to store bitcoins, they use a system of cold wallets, that is, offline storage of data. They unsealed the private keys of their wallets, divided them into two parts each and placed sealed envelopes in depository cells throughout the country.
It turns out that after 2013 the brothers still invested a round sum in other crypto-currencies, mainly in Ethereum. The total cost of their portfolio of altoquines is about $ 350 million. And of course, they are the main owners of the Gemini crypto currency they founded.
The Winklewos live in an apartment in Manhattan in fairly spartan conditions without luxury – and did not sell almost anything from their digital assets, which are now estimated at more than $ 2 billion. One of the twins has an off-road car, the second has no car at all.
Technical knowledge about the Bitcoin technology brothers got thanks to the leaders of Bitinstant, to which they also invested. The Bitinstant technicians literally taught them everything. They managed to do this before the company’s directors were put in prison in 2014 for being involved in drug trafficking for bitcoins (the services of the service were used by clients of the dragdiilers).
Now hardly anyone will laugh at the investment in bitcoin made in 2012-2013. “We turned these ridicule into oxygen and tailwind,” the Winklewosy brothers told the NY Times.
The brothers are also a good example and proof that all investments in bitcoin made in 2017 will always look relatively modest against the background of investments made five years ago. And even more so, against the background of the most semi-mythical Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin and the developer of the first version of the software, who lured 980,000 BTC during the testing of the first version of the client. Now his fortune is estimated at $ 17-19 billion, depending on the course of bitcoin, and he was among the 50 richest people in the world.
Winklswes believe that bitcoin is now the best option for investing money – and will remain so for many more years. They say that the cost of bitcoins in circulation, in theory, should approach the value of the existing gold, that is, approximately $ 7-8 trillion. And maybe exceed it, considering that in some respects bitcoin is better than gold as a rare commodity. At the same time, the Winklswes are ready for the collapse of the course, but it is better to live with the disappointment of losing money than biting the elbows from the missed opportunity.