It’s hard to be successful in Silicon Valley when every startup is afraid to take your money.
“Your money could be greener,” a young startup CEO named Jake told twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. “But they’re marked.”
As he explained, the 2011 conference in Silicon Valley could have been in a Facebook cafeteria, and these twin brothers happened to be two men. Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg I hate you the most in the world.
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With tens of millions of dollars they were eager to invest in the next big thing, Zuckerberg’s shadow fell across Silicon Valley.
For the billionaire twins, the meeting was a familiar disappointment. They approached a handful of promising startups with the same result every time.
At times, a deal seemed close, only to be canceled at the last minute by another CEO who feared Zuckerberg’s ire.
“It would be nice if they even served hamburgers,” Jake told the Winklevoss.
The Winklevoss twins got $20 million in cash and tens of millions of dollars worth of Facebook stock in their settlement with Zuckerberg.
But the win effectively banished them from Silicon Valley, so they looked to opportunities in unlikely places.
After accidentally hearing about Bitcoin in Ibiza, Spain, in the summer of 2012, they began researching the technology and talking to its first adopters.
Then they poured money into it—sometimes as much as $500,000 a week. At the time, they were the biggest buyers in the world.
Or Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, founder of a company that once handled 30% of all Bitcoin transactions, says that “the twins were whales.”
The Winklevoss twins poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Bitcoin when it traded at $10 to $20 per coin. It worked for them.
They became millionaires thanks to a revolutionary technology that just hit the news in 2012.
A New Wave of Investing in Whales
Unless you’re in Ibiza’s high rollers and other gatherings of the luxury elite, you might think it’s impossible to hear about a nascent and explosive opportunity like Bitcoin.
But since Winkelvoss’ chance encounter in 2012, the investment rulebook has been rewritten. You don’t have to have a net worth of $1 million or be a corporate insider to get into his first floor of a potentially explosive initial public company.
In fact, Benzinga is tracking one opportunity for ordinary Americans to invest with Silicon Valley’s most famous venture capitalists.
Read more about Benzinga’s startup investments.
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