Facebook Failures or Bitcoin Geniuses?

in #life3 years ago

You may know them from their Bitcoin ETF, but did you know these are the same Winklevoss twins who claim Zuckerberg stole Facebook from them? 

I am not sure why I wasn't able to put this together at first, but after doing some reading, it has become all the more clear.

These are the same Winklevosses that are mentioned in the film "The Social Network". The same Winklevosses that claim they came up with the idea for Facebook long before Zuckerberg did. 

So, they go from losing out on Facebook to constructing their own Bitcoin ETF... 

How did those seemingly unrelated roads meet?

A little backstory...

The year was 2003. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss had been busy coming up with their plan to better unify the Harvard campus. A social networking site that could help students connect more easily. 

That is how HarvardConnection was born. It was originally planned to be unveiled at Harvard, but the plan was to unleash it at other schools across the nation as well. 

About a year into the idea their project was gaining steam. They had hired a couple of developers and coders to help get the project from idea stage and into the implementation stage.

Enter Mark Zuckerberg

At the recommendation of one of their programmers, the Winklevoss twins contacted Zuckerberg via email and asked him if he would like to join their HarvardConnection team.

Within days Zuckerberg was up to speed and ready to take over full programming duties for the team. 

An oral agreement was reached for Zuckerberg's services and he was caught up to speed on all the (confidential) ins and outs of the project. 

What transpired over the next several months was an increasingly difficult to reach Mark Zuckerberg. He was either unavailable or busy just about any time the team tried to contact him about the status of their project.

Then out of no where, the group read about a new social media site being launched by Mark Zuckerberg called thefacebook.com in the Harvard Student News Paper. It was a competing social media website to the one he was supposed to be building for the HarvardConnection team.

While it is not entirely clear whether there were any official non-compete clauses signed or anything of the nature, it seemed pretty clear that while the HarvardConnection team was being lead to believe Zuckerberg was working with them on their social media project, he was going about creating his own without disclosing that to them.

From there, the rest is history. Facebook took off and Zuckerberg became one of the richest people on the planet.

*Keep in mind that the above is my summation of the events as I understood them. Feel free to read more of the specifics here:


The Winklevosses didn't stop there

They quickly sued Zuckerberg for what they deemed to be violations of their verbal contract. For which Facebook and Zuckerberg counter-sued a side project that seemed to be in violation of other terms as well. 

The end result was a settlement for roughly $65 million dollars for the Winklevosses. 

The next several years were a muddied mess of lawsuits and counter-suits and a long drawn out process of the Winklevosses trying to take a portion of what they believed they deserved from Facebook's success. 

Their second Act

Fast forward to 2013 and the Winklevoss twins decided to make a sizable investment in Bitcoin.

In April of 2013 Bitcoin had just made an all time high of $260 dollars only to plummet down to $120 the same day. The Winklevoss twins announced the following day that they had purchased roughly $11 million dollars worth of Bitcoins.  

The investment caused some snickers among the finance community as Bitcoin traded all the way down below $50 over the coming weeks. Putting them likely down over 50% on their investment in a matter of days.

However, the Winklevosses did not sell and a few short months later the price was trading for over $300 per coin. Making for at least a double on the coins they purchased.

It would later be reported that they were even able to purchase some of their coins for under $10.

Not a bad return for just a couple months of investing!

At that time they were said to be holding more than 1% of all the coins in circulation and their $11 million dollar investment was worth north of $40 million. 

Their involvement with Bitcoin wouldn't stop there 

As you have likely heard, they went on to create a Bitcoin ETF that has was submitted for approval to the SEC just a few months ago. The SEC originally rejected their submission, but have since reviewed that initial rejection. 

It seems unlikely to me that the SEC will change their decision at this time, but I image at some point down the road there will be a Bitcoin ETF and the Winklevoss twins seem to have at least as much of a chance of anyone else of making that a reality. 

Their second act is looking like it might possibly show much more favorably for the Winklevoss twins. 

Some other interesting tidbits about the twins:

The Winklevoss twins both rowed in the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

They stand over 6'5 inches tall and were born into a wealthy family.

They were both played by Armie Hammer in the 2010 film "The Social Network".

They were depicted on "The Simpsons" during the episode called "The D'oh-cial Network", which aired in 2012.

Final thoughts

I had no idea these guys have such a storied history. From losing out on Facebook, to betting big on Bitcoin and winning, to likely creating one of the very first Bitcoin ETF's. These guys have certainly had their names in the spotlight plenty of times during their first 35 years of life.

I would not be surprised if this isn't the last we hear from them, and judging from their tenacity, I certainly welcome them as Bitcoin ambassadors going forward!

Stay learning my friends!





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Follow me: @jrcornel


They have a distinctive last name. I associated them with the guys in "The Social Network" and Facebook lawsuits the first time I heard it.

They are not dumb guys that's for sure, aside from creating something like that and doing on verbal contract.

I can relate though.

I built all kinds of services for my college campus like yahoo and other portals before any of those existed and most students and faculty were using my designs.

It's easy to look back with hindsight and say "I can do this".

Zuckerberg aimed a lot bigger in scope than they were right away. If this is indeed how it took place then yes Zuckerberg was a dicey underhanded guy.

It seems like dicey underhanded guys do quite well in tech fields.

Bill Gates was dicey and underhanded as well. Even Steve Jobs could be pretty underhanded as well.

It seems like if you want to truly be one of the most powerful businessmen you have to lack a little bit of a conscience when it comes to willingness to screw other people over.

This is why I'd never achieve their heights. I identify with Steve Wozniak far more than any of those other guys. I do identify with the Winklevoss twins more than Zuckerberg, but I never tried to capitalize on ideas I had... so I was a lot more like Woz. Though nothing much has come from it. I am content though. :)

@dwinblood Thank You for Your opinions of the storied past of the tech industry.

I heard that Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, was more of a Good person who has become a true philanthropist. Paul Allen left Microsoft in 1982 for medical reasons and then in 2000, formally left his Board of Directors position at Microsoft.

I'm curious, what is Your opinion of Paul Allen ??

UpVoted Your comment & Following... please consider following me. Thanks again !!

             ~~~ STEEM On !!! ~~~

Elites do no philanthropy, as the plebeians call it. They do social engineering projects:
Hi dwinblood, remember me?

@zeroPointTruth Thanks for Your reply and I tend to agree with Your comment for the vast majority, but feel there may be some exceptions.

Will read Your post on Mark "Cuckerberg" and will very likely agree with most things in Your post. Zuckerberg is a very under-handed person and puppet for the elite.

Thanks again for Your reply @zeroPointTruth

      ~~~ STEEM On !!! ~~~

Word. The evidence in my article is like a $2 billion dollar snow-flake on the ice(((berg))).

Just finished Your article on Mark "Cuckerberg"... interesting.

Thank You

Yep, I remember you. How are things going?

Paul Allen did seem like a decent guy. I kind of see Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to be similar in their ruthlessness within business, and willing to screw people over. That makes them pretty effective, but not my type of person. Paul Allen and Steve Wozniak definitely seemed like different sorts of people.

@dwinblood I agree... Thanks for Your reply.

Do You have any thoughts on Dan Larimer's project... EOS ?

I also in general like Dan as a person. He followed me here on steemit when he was still part of the company and I got to interact with him some. He also writes some very interesting posts. I am excited about EOS but I do also miss that other side of him as well.

Haven't read his posts much, but I've searched & watched a number of videos he is in and Yes, he really seems like a good person... and extremely intelligent.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply back.

       ~~~ STEEM On !!! ~~~

extremely geneous

Thank You... Hope You have a Good Weekend !!

I am paying attention to EOS and am hopeful. It has a lot of potential.

Thanks again... and I'm doing the same. >> : ~ ))

Ever saw the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley?

Yep. I have. I probably pirated it. :)

Yeah man, it's the same guys from the FB beginnings. They been pushing for bitcoin's wider acceptance for a while. They just dwarfed the FB payday with bitcoin over 2k.....wow!

Yep, if they are still holding it all ;) I am not sure if they are or not, but I imagine they are holding at least some.

can't really say they're FB failures either cause they've managed to get $65 M from Z so obviously their thermostat is set on millions I can smell that yours is set on high, too - if you know what I mean :D

Very informative post. Need to stay tuned to see what turned out of their ideas. Maybe they will get approval at some point. This could really help the crypto market become more main stream.

I agree. I think it will happen at some point, it's just a matter of when.

The race for developing social media sites is a crazy story. So many others could have easily taken Zuckerberg's place with just slightly different "incidental" events. Great article! Upvoted!

Agreed. I had no idea how much he seemed to snake it. Of course I am sure his side of the story would be slightly different...

would be interesting to see what Bitcoin would do if the ETF decision was approved.

Yes it would. I think it would go up significantly, although it would be interesting to see how they regulate it... since that seems to be the main problem as of right now.

Great post, Regards.

Informative and educational, great piece, I like these two, they always up to something, I am pretty sure they would land on something big soon, who knows a Bitcoin ETF or probably something bigger, you just can't give up, you have to keep trying....

I never realized the connection to FB, man these guys sure keep busy :D
Thanks for a great post @jrcornel.

Yes they do. They have money, power, fame, and they are tall and handsome to boot! Sucks to be them! ;)

I like many this kind of story today present a post from an Indian who became a millionaire, excellent post dear friend @jrcornel thank you very much for sharing this story.
Have a great day

Thank you, you as well!

Awesome, great work.!!
Thanks for sharing, so interesting..
I love you post.!!
Dear friend @jrcornel

Great article thank you for sharing

This are some great guys i wish to tap into their success story, what a winner!

Haha I do as well. They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves don't they!

I agree a 100 ways....

Excellent article and well researched, thank you for doing this. Had never heard of them but now rooting for their continued success.

Thank you. Yea they are pretty impressive. Even without nailing facebook.

Good news from you @jrcornel
I just found out who they are, thank you for sharing this exciting news. ^_°

What did you think of them?

I think they have been betrayed by their own coworkers, he is a Mark Zuckerberg.
But with their fortitude during that time, they get great results in the end.

I am still not convinced that an ETF would be a good thing for Bitcoin, would this just allow paper trading of Bitcoin and result n the markets controlling the price?

Great post @jrcornel - good history lesson - thanks!

Glad you liked it!

Fascinating article! Much appreciated!

I did not know their connection with Facebook.

I didn't either. It appears we both learned something today :)

Wow... One more reason to dislike Zuckerberg! Happy things turned out well for the twins though (as if they needed it lol)

Yea seriously. The more I dig into the twins though it seems they aren't so squeaky clean themselves. It sounds like the truth of the facebook saga lies somewhere between both side's arguments.

I just don't like Zuckerberg... compared to him Satan is a pretty good guy!

The Winklevoss twins are Winners, period!

How much would the coin they are holding be worth now? In the hundreds of millions? I wonder if they keep buying up when it's cheap and are just hoarding an insane amount..

They have also been big supporters of Ethereum.

i heard it was not sure !!!! excellent !! Very interesting information!!

these dudes have certainly recovered from being "Zuckerberged", and are absolutely crushing it. i dig it! @jrcornel

I got Zuckerberg'ed before. Never again.

There is no doubt in my mind that Zuckerberg took their idea. While Mark Zuckerberg may be a genius when it comes to coding and programming, I doubt he would have been smart enough to come up with the idea for Facebook.

I think the events depicted in the movie "The Social Network" are most likely quite accurate.

The Winklevoss twins are true businessmen who have visionary qualities. Zuckerberg is a guy who took an idea from someone else and capitalized on it. I'm not saying what he did was wrong, just stating the facts as I believe them.

Before reading this post I had never heard of them, but know I see they have had lots of succes in their life even when they are only 35 years old.

Thanks for posting :)

Thanks for that backbrief. Great post!

I would say both, they got them selfs screwed by the sZuckerman, but rightfully so nailed it with Btc!

Thanks for sharing this interesting information on these type A personalities!

Great an very interesting information!

Their ETF attempt reminded me of their Facebook failures. I hope they succeed in the Bitcoin space!

Great post! is always good to know some facts around the histories like this

It was super interesting to read! I think it's better for them that they lost Facebook...instead they found and build something bigger and more valuable!

I remember them but didn't know what happened to them. People with drive will always show up again.

Very interesting post, thank you for sharing. Never knew any of this about the Winklevie

nice...resteem and upvote for your...

Super interesting read, thanks.

What an amazing success story, this is a highly comprehensive and straight to the point post, thanks for sharing..I sure learned a whole lot!

interesting story, hopefully they'll see some success in the crypto space

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Thanks for sharing this great story @jrcornel. Waiting for more.

Thanks for sharing this great story @jrcornel. Waiting for more.

These guys are also behind Gemini an exchange for Ether and Bitcoin trading. I tried signing up for their service, but the customer verification process went on for longer than a week. I eventually got tired and asked them to cancel my application. I was trying to find a replacement for Coinbase.

Interesting story .Thanks for posting.

Hey guys...F for family...Steemit family..lets build a family here...a virtual family...distant family...lets follow each other guysss...follow me & I'll follow you in return....guyss come on....yayyayayayaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!

This is really a strange story but these twins seem having the power of changing the world by their caliber.

The twins got screw up , but is just a matter of time for Facebook to collapse.. My opinion.

Thanks for sharing this!

Thanks for this reminder... I link your articles to my site. Secrets to an Amazing Life under facebook logo. Thanks...

The two BTC wales will make a HUGEsplash when they sell all the BTC they have!

Possibly. Although if Bitcoin gains mass adoption and gets used world wide as a currency, they may not sell at all, except to buy things...

CRAP you may be right!

I was surprised by this article. I have learned a lot reading from the start until the last part. You are brilliant. Thank you for sharing this. Voted Up!

Following, VOTED and RESTEEMED.
GREAT read start to finish.
Thanks for sharing.
Helping Others To Help (others) 1 By 1.

Great post. If SEC approve Bitcoin ETF, price of bitcoin will skyrocket imo.

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