As the internet watched the value of Bitcoin, the anonymous techno-libertarian dweeb-currency, drop by more than half yesterday, a collective wondering went up: Who could be dumb enough to put a significant amount of money in a currency this new, useless and volatile?
Today, the Winklevoss twins stood up and said, proudly: We are.
Once again demonstrating the same cunning business acuity and sound financial judgment that led them to sue Facebook not once, not twice, but one zillion times, Olympic rowers and Harvard graduates Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have announced that they own something like 100,000 Bitcoin—one percent of the currency's stores. Not only that: they think they live in the movie The Net:
In order to keep their holdings secure from hackers, they have taken those codes off networked computers and saved them on small flash drives. They said they have put the drives in safe deposit boxes at banks in three different cities.
It's unlikely that the Winklevoss twins are the largest holders of Bitcoin; other early investors probably have as much if not more. But the 'voss are likely the largest holders of handsomeness, fame and desire for publicity within the Bitcoin community, and so you get Times articles where people can say things like this—
"We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error," Tyler Winklevoss said.
"Three eras of currency," Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreesen Horowitz and well-known technology investor, recently wrote on a personal Web site [ed. note: literally, his Tumblr]. "Commodity based, e.g., gold; politically based, e.g., dollar; and math based, e.g., bitcoin."
—and go entirely unchallenged. (Though, to be fair to the reporter, I don't even know how to start challenging Dixon's Tumblr post? Like, what does he even mean?) One person quoted in the entire article says something that even approaches sense:
"It's not something I'd want to be involved in or have any investors' money involved with," said Steve Hanke, a professor specializing in alternative currencies at Johns Hopkins University. "To say highly speculative would be the understatement of the century."
Anyway, best of luck to these two idiot dicks and all their computer money and their hard drives around the world.