Power Players

Winklevoss twins: 'We need to be frenemies' with Facebook now that it's into Libra crypto

From left, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Getty Images

The relationship between Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Mark Zuckerberg is strained, to say the least, since the brothers accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for a social network and won a $65 million settlement with Facebook.

But forthcoming business dealings may push the former Harvard classmates to bridge their divide.

The Winklevoss twins need to be "frenemies" (or friendly enemies) with Facebook, Cameron said Sunday on CBS' "Sunday Morning."

The Winklevosses are major, vocal investors in bitcoin and co-founders of a cryptocurrency exchange called Gemini. And Facebook announced plans for Libra, its own cryptocurrency, on Tuesday.

Talk of Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency pushed the price of bitcoin above $9,000 on Sunday for the first time in a year, and on Tuesday morning, bitcoin was trading at $9,175, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index.

"There's so much pie to grow, I mean, at this point, we need to be frenemies," Cameron said on Sunday.

TWEET: Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are back in the spotlight again

In May, the Financial Times reported that Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins had talks about digital currency.

They Winklevoss twins learned about bitcoin in 2012 and had an "ah ha" moment when they started to see bitcoin as "money that works like your email," in that it was both fast and easy to use, Tyler said on "Sunday Morning."

Hey, this is either the next big thing, or total BS!
Cameron Winklevoss
Co-founder, Gemini

"I think I turned to Tyler and said, 'Hey, this is either the next big thing, or total BS!'" Cameron said.

The now 37-year-olds, who graduated from Harvard and Oxford universities and are Olympic rowers, have become known for their bold move into bitcoin.

"Our thesis at the time was, bitcoin's going to disrupt gold. And gold has a market cap of $7 trillion today," Tyler said on Sunday. "So if bitcoin's gonna be worth $7 trillion or more, this seems like a cheap asset."

When the Winklevosses originally bought bitcoin, it cost $8 or $9, according to "Sunday Morning."

As the Winklevoss twins learn which they hold — the next big thing or BS — the value of their bitcoin holdings is extremely volatile.

In January 2018, the twins' cryptocurrency holdings gave them each a net worth between $900 million and $1.1 billion, according to Forbes. Now, their holdings are worth "many hundreds of millions of dollars," "Sunday Morning" reported.

"Yeah, you know, some people they might dive off a diving board. I think in this case we took a cannonball off the diving board," Cameron said.

See also:

Jeff Bezos' single teen mom brought him to night school with her when he was a baby

Early on, Elon Musk gave Tesla a '10% chance of success'

Reddit co-founder Ohanian: Glorifying extreme work schedules on social media is 'toxic' problem

Jack Dorsey spends $10K a week on bitcoin, predicts a 'massive' bitcoin boom

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This story has been revised.