The film The Social Network dramatised the creation of Facebook, and key to that drama was the battle between the Winklevoss twins and Mark Zuckerberg. The claims ended up being settled with Zuckerberg paying the twins $31 million. Since then, the Winklevoss twins have heavily invested in Bitcoin, jointly becoming one of the largest owners of the cryptocurrency. They also founded the Gemini exchange.
With Facebook’s own cryptocurrency moving closer to reality, a battle between these giants could once again take place. This time however, the Winklevoss twins have the early mover advantage over Zuckerberg, although according to recent reports, Zuckerberg’s new cryptocurrency could earn him billions more.
Facebook hasn’t had a good time of late in the press. Accusations of being susceptible to helping manipulate elections, privacy fears, deplatforming, and a general decline in usage of Facebook has caused issues for the global powerhouse. That being said, Facebook is still a huge brand, with ownership of both WhatsApp and Instagram.
By incorporating a cryptocurrency into these platforms, Zuckerberg could instantly have access to billions of customers. Many of these customers may never have used cryptocurrencies before in their life. One criticism of cryptocurrencies so far is the lack of mainstream adoption they have managed to garner. Zuckerberg’s Facebook Coin could change this.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency is unlikely to follow the traditional philosophies of the Cypherpunks. Privacy is a key feature of crypto anarchy, and Facebook has already shown that privacy isn’t high on its list of priorities. How Facebook’s new cryptocurrency will fit into the industry and its potential success will be something to keep a very close eye on.
The Winklevoss twins are unlikely to be worried about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency. They have been at the forefront of the industry for a long time. When you have one of the largest Bitcoin holdings in the world and are already filthy rich, I imagine there is little that would worry you in the realm of economics. However, there will be some interest to see these three juggernauts go head to head once more.
My money is on the Winklevoss twins personally, but let us know whether you think Zuckerberg has what it takes to supplant Bitcoin.