Who needs Facebook? The Winklevii think they’ve found something even bigger.
Tyler Winklevoss, half of the most famous twins in tech, told The Guardian that he believes Bitcoin could have a larger impact on the world than Facebook.
“Bitcoin potentially could be more impactful because being able to donate $0.50 to someone across the world has more impact than potentially sharing a picture,” Winklevoss said in an interview with the publication.
“But they’re very different,” he added. “Facebook is like the Internet — a large company and an application. Bitcoin is a protocol for decentralization, so you could build a decentralized company on top of it, a stock market. It’s an Internet of ownership, so it’s not quite a direct comparison.”
The Winklevoss twins famously sued Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea for a social network while working together in Harvard, a dispute that was depicted in the movie The Social Network. The twins eventually received 1.2 million shares in Facebook as part of a settlement worth about $70 million, going by Monday’s trading price of $58.50.
Last year, the brothers revealed that they had invested heavily in Bitcoin, a virtual currency created in 2009. They reportedly own about 1% of all bitcoins, and what’s more, they’re working to launch a Bitcoin exchange fund on Nasdaq.
The price of Bitcoin has fluctuated heavily in recent months, topping $1,000 late last year, then plummeting on concerns of regulation in China and the demise of Mt. Gox, one of the largest exchanges.
However, more and more big-name investors are backing startups in the space, betting that Bitcoin or another virtual currency will be transformative for payments.
The current market cap of all bitcoins in circulation is about $5.7 billion. Facebook’s market cap as of midday trading Monday is about $150 billion.