The identical twin brothers, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss popularly known as the Winklevoss twins. $65 million awarded $65 in 2004. When they used the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. For stealing their ConnectU idea to create Facebook. The suit alleged that Zuckerberg copied their idea and had illegally used the source code intended for the website. While they were at university.
The Winklevoss brothers were born in Southampton, New York. They raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. Howard Winklevoss, father to the twins was an adjunct professor of actuarial science. At the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of Pension Mathematics with Numerical Illustrations and the founder of Winklevoss Consultants and Winklevoss Technologies.
The twins competed in the Oxford Cambridge boat race and also in the Olympics. Before moving forward to study economics at Harvard. They attended an elite private school in Connecticut that counts George HW Bush among its alumni.
ConnectU and Facebook
ConnectU, a website which was initially called Harvard Connection, was a social networking website. Winklevoss twins alongside Divya Narendra, Winston Williams, and Wayne Chang created that. And the founder of i2hub back in December of the year 2002.
At Harvard University, the twins asked some computer science students to create a website for them. They called the website Harvard Connection. Among computer science, students were Mark Zuckerberg who was three years their junior and already involved in a networking project of his own.
ConnectU users were being placed in networks based on the domain names, that is linked with their email addresses. On the network, they could add friends, send messages and update their personal profiles.
When Zuckerberg launched “Facebook” in the year 2004.
The Winklevoss twins claimed that their website was being reflected in it, and sued Zuckerberg. Many say litigation is a big part of the problem for the Winklevoss brothers. They spent four years suing Mark Zuckerberg. And during that time, the other Winklevoss websites and their online businesses launched and expanded. One hundred million people also signed up to Facebook during that time.
Neither the Winklevoss twins nor Mark Zuckerberg had a genuinely original idea at the time of launching ConnectU as Open Diary first recognizable social network online since 1998. After the lawsuit, Zuckerberg, the student. That they never paid to fix their website gave them $65m including $45m in stock to leave him alone. They responded to this by using him again but that was unsuccessful. They then went on to sue their own lawyers.
Ben Mezrich wrote The Accidental Billionaires in (2009). Later on, it was directed by David Fincher as The Social Network and the twins were played by a digitally replicated Armie Hammer. In Ben Mezrich’s new book, he tells the story of what the “Winklevi” did next.
The Winklevoss twins and Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto as a decentralized digital currency, that can not be counterfeited and also requires no central bank. After the creation of Bitcoin, Nakamoto has since disappeared and has never been conclusively identified.
For the Winklevoss twins what might have been part of what attracted them to Bitcoin was that there would be no Zuckerberg and so they bought everything they could. They also invested in a Bitcoin trading business called BitInstant. BitInstant is a Bitcoin payment processor, an investment round of seed funding where the twins raised $1.5 million dollars.
The Winklevoss twins moved to become so invested in Bitcoin that they attended meetings on private jets and started speaking at Bitcoin conferences while having dinner with Richard Branson. Bitcoins value continued to grow. Not just because of their efforts. But also because it offered a way to pay for things anonymously. Which was convenient for a lot of people.
Before the emergence of cryptocurrencies, when people wanted to carry out illegal transactions on the internet such as buying drugs or weapons or illegal pornography. They would at some point have to use a payment method that is able to successfully identify them. Bitcoin, however, is able to conceal an estimated $76bn of illegal activities each year. It has also reportedly been proven to facilitate illegal activities such as money laundering, people trafficking, cybercrimes and many more.
Facebook’s Mobile payments ambition
The Winklevoss twins has been continually rumored that Facebook is building a cryptocurrency. Which will allow it’s up to two billion users worldwide to be able to send money to each other.
They have a feature is most likely to be used through WhatsApp and was confirmed at Facebook’s annual developer conference by Mark Zuckerberg where he stated the company’s ambition in mobile payments.
Though he didn’t reveal much, Zuckerberg at the conference. Said that payments are one of the areas where they have an opportunity to make it a lot easier. He also said that he believes it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo to someone.
As reported by the Financial Times, this secretive crypto effort is moving at a serious pace. Though people familiar with the project have said that Zuckerberg has already met with two major cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini Trust, owned by the Winklevoss twins to discuss his interest in the industry.
Gemini Trust was successfully launched by the Winklevoss twins in 2015 after a few investment failures and regulatory rejections when they were exploring the field of venture capital with a particular interest in cryptocurrencies. Also reported by The Financial Times, Zuckerberg has talked to Jump and DRM. Which are Chicago’s biggest high-frequency trading firms, about creating a market for their digital coins?