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Winklevoss Twins Lay Into “Privileged Minority” Cryptocurrency Critics

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM
Francisco Memoria
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM

While speaking to CNBC  at the Milken Institute’s MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, better known as the Winklevoss twins, took a dig at the older generation of the financial community who mostly criticizes cryptocurrencies, stating that they don’t understand the future of money.

The Winklevoss twins were asked to respond to criticism leveled by Wall Street personalities, including legendary investor Warren Buffett, who stated bitcoin was a “real bubble,” and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who claimed the flagship cryptocurrency was a “fraud.”

The twins had previously addressed Dimon’s comments. As reported by CCN.com, they dared the CEO to short bitcoin, since he believed the market was going to fail in the long run. DImon has since revealed he regrets his bitcoin ‘fraud’ remark, although he remains uninterested in the cryptocurrency.

To the Winklevoss twins, the negativity these Wall Street personalities show is a “failure of the imagination.” Cameron Winklevoss even added that millennials would rather have software over hardware on their portfolios, referring to bitcoin as software and gold as hardware.

When asked to clarify if they meant the critics are “too old” to understand cryptocurrencies, Tyler stated that as people get older their brain loses plasticity, which makes them end up wedded to the framework they have, Then, hinting they suffer from the mere-exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon by which they tend to start preferring things because of familiarity, he said:

“You enter this world and you’re taught money is this thing that’s green, or it’s this precious metal, and you start confusing what’s familiar or what you use as what’s real or the way things have to be. It’s also a framework that’s been embedded in, burned into your brain for let’s say 65-70 years and maybe in some of these cases, examples, you’re talking about 80 years”

Adding to that, he said it is hard to unlearn or think about something new for those individuals, as to them “the status quo is really good.” There are, however, many people in the world with no access to a bank account, and to him bitcoin’s critics are a “privileged minority.”

Current Payments System Is Broken

He further asked if there was a JP Morgan branch opening up in Africa to bank the unbanked, and added that the current payments system is broken. Cryptocurrencies are to the twins a way to fix it, as they allow for fast, peer-to-peer transactions.

To prove his point, the Winklevoss brother said that the “biggest joke is the fastest way to get money from NY to London is to jump on a plane with a bag of cash.” Wiring a payment on a Friday night, he added, means the money won’t get to its destination until Tuesday.

“Imagine if your email was only open from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday. You might actually be happy about it because you get some sanity back but it’s ridiculous that money doesn’t work the way email does. All of a sudden with bitcoin and these cryptocurrencies it can and that’s really the possibilities.”

The Winklevoss twins’ comments come at a time in which Goldman Sachs claims most cryptocurrencies “will never see recent peaks again,” and in which European Central Bank president Mario Draghi admits European banks could soon hold bitcoin.

Featured image from Flickr/TechCrunch.