Winklevoss Twins on Their Bitcoin Holdings: ‘Satoshi Probably Has More’

In an interview (published on Sunday) on Fortune's online show "Balancing the Ledger", Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (collectively known as the "Winklevoss twins"), the founders of digital asset exchange Gemini, talked about Gemini's first ever marketing campaign (in New York City), the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA), their failed attempt at getting a Bitcoin ETF approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Gemini Dollar stablecoin (GUSD), and the size of their Bitcoin (BTC) holdings.

In this article, we take a look at some of the main highlights from this interview with Cameron (President of Gemini) and Tyler (CEO of Gemini). 

Gemini's Marketing Campaign ("Revolution Needs Rules")

Tyler Winklevoss:

"So, we are in New York... that's where we are headquartered... The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have regulation that is thoughtful, that doesn't stifle innovation, so that's kind of the message... And a lot of people believe in the dream of crypto, but they just don't know how to engage in it without getting burnt, and we're here to say that Gemini is the place that you can do that. 

The Audience for This Campaign

Cameron Winklevoss:

"Pretty much everybody."

Tyler Winklevoss:

"We are trying to say that we have the same standards of licensing, compliance, safeguards, and consumer protections at Gemini as you would be afforded in other financial markets."

"We think that regulation has been a big boon to New York. It's brought in a lot of companies. Gemini is a New York company not for any other reason but because there is a licensing framework [New York State Depart of Financial Services' famous BitLicense]  and we could become a trust company. We would have gone to Alaska if that was possible, but it wasn't. So, we chose New York. So, we think regulation has been a big win for New York state."

Is There A Need for More Crypto Regulation? 

Cameron Winklevoss:

"The idea if thoughtful regulation. So, we've been working on the Virtual Commodity Association, which is an SRO to self-police virtual commodity marketplaces and bring best practices from the equities world and the derivatives world into the crypto world. We are not re-inventing the wheel."

Will We See the SEC Approve a Bitcoin ETF This Year?

Cameron Winklevoss:

"Hard to predict when, but we're still very committed to that process. We started about six years, and we're going to see it through, and if it takes us another six years, so be it. But we understand the Commission's concerns.... And they're basically calling for more market surveillance and protections in the marketplace to prevent manipulative behavior and stuff like that. So, Gemini has built a market surveillance team. We have a program in place. We monitor our marketplace... We get the Commission being conservative on that."

What Is the Appeal of Stablecoins?

Tyler Winklevoss:

"The idea with the Gemini dollar is that we brought dollars onto the blockchain... When you buy things with Bitcoin, you could be overpaying/underpaying depending on how much the price rises or falls."

Are the Winklevoss Twins the Biggest Bitcoin Owners in the World?

Cameron Winklevoss:

"Satoshi probably has more!" [According to a CNBC report published on 5 December 2017, in April 2013, "the Winklevoss twins had $11 million in bitcoin at $120 a coin", i.e. around 91,666 bitcoins, which at today's price would be equivalent to approximately $339 million.]

 

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