It’s Water Under the Bridge as Zuckerberg & Winklevii Talk Crypto: Report

Journalist:
Wes Messamore @thehuli
May 24, 2019

By CCN: Mark Zuckerberg has been collaborating with his old rivals, the Winklevoss twins, to launch a digital currency that can be used across Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and beyond, according to a report in the Financial Times. Facebook’s cryptocurrency, reportedly dubbed GlobalCoin, is expected to make its debut next year.

The FT reports that Facebook is talking to crypto exchanges including Gemini, which was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, in addition to Coinbase. The concept is that users of Facebook’s payment crypto would have the option to potentially hold their coins on a trading platform or convert it for another coin or cash.

Winklevoss Twins Bet Big on Bitcoin

Aaron Sorkin’s blockbuster film “The Social Network” made the Winklevii famous.  The movie tells the story of young Mark Zuckerberg jumping ship from the Winklevoss’ ConnectU network to start his own social media platform. The twins sued the Facebook founder in 2004 for stealing their idea. The judge awarded a $65 million settlement.

Loathe to miss the next big disruption in technology, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss plowed $11 million of their Facebook settlement into bitcoin in 2013 when 1 BTC was selling for $120. They claim to own around 1% of all bitcoin in existence.  Their holdings reportedly made them the first known bitcoin billionaires during the bull run of 2017.

It appears Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins have patched things up since 2004. There might be a lot in it for all three tech entrepreneurs. After launching a New York-based bitcoin exchange Gemini Trust in 2015 and battling with the SEC to introduce a bitcoin ETF, the Winklevoss’ have both regulatory and technical experience to offer.

Zuckerberg Copying the Winklevosses Again

At this point one might be forgiven for thinking Mark Zuckerberg’s business strategy is to copy the Winklevosses. He cribs their business ideas to engineer them and market them better.

But it might not pan out the same as Facebook did, despite the network effect of his popular website and access to vast amounts of capital this time around.

Neither Cameron nor Tyler Winklevoss invented crypto; Satoshi Nakamoto did. And Facebook’s GlobalCoin is likely to be in many salient ways the exact opposite of bitcoin’s revolutionary features.

Facebook’s global currency aspirations might be dogged by some brand issues.

Can We Even Trust Facebook to Keep Our Selfies Secure?

Last year the world learned Facebook sold the personal data of 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica. This year we learned Facebook was storing hundreds of millions of user passwords in plaintext files accessible by thousands of Facebook employees, a practice that started in 2012. Who would trust their money with a company that has been so careless with the photos they took of their breakfast?

Facebook Has Censored Content. Payments Next?

Facebook has also censored content on its social media platforms. One reason the company did so is that they can. Facebook centrally controls its users’ accounts and content, as they will undoubtedly control users’ ‘GlobalCoin’ accounts. If Mark Zuckerberg determines your political views make you persona non grata, you might have to accept bitcoin.

That Moment When You Tried to Race Bitcoin

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Last modified (UTC): May 24, 2019 19:56

Wes Messamore @thehuli

Living in Nashville, Tennessee, United States (since 2001). Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in 2009 (majored in Entrepreneurship). Organized Senator Rand Paul's first and second online fundraisers in 2009. Got the highest-paying non-profit internship in Washington DC in 2010. Roving editor for the Independent Voter Network. Applying economic principles, I accurately predicted the effect of cannabis legalization on drug-related violent crime in 2010. Email me | Follow Me on Twitter (followed by: fmr Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), fmr NM Gov. Gary Johnson, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY))