Winklevoss twins

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Winklevoss twins
TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015 - Day 3 (17391085782).jpg
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss speaking at The Manhattan Center in 2015
Personal information
NationalityUnited States
Born (1981-08-21) August 21, 1981 (age 37)
Southampton, NY
College teamHarvard University
University of Oxford
TeamUnited States Olympic Team
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals6th place, Beijing Olympics

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (/ˈwɪŋkəlvɒs/; born August 21, 1981; known as the Winklevoss twins and humorously referred to as the Winklevi[1][2] or Winklevii[3]) are American rowers and Internet entrepreneurs. They competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They are known for co-founding HarvardConnection (later renamed ConnectU) along with Harvard University classmate Divya Narendra. In 2004, the Winklevoss brothers sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their ConnectU idea to create the popular social networking site, and ultimately received $65 million.

They are now venture capitalists,[4] and have led a seed funding round for bitcoin payment processor BitInstant.[5] In April 2013, the brothers claimed they owned nearly 1% of all bitcoin in existence at the time.[6] They had Bitcoin holdings worth over $1 billion.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

The Winklevoss twins were born in Southampton, New York, and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut.[8] Their father is Howard Edward Winklevoss, Jr.;[9][10] Howard was an adjunct professor of actuarial science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[11] He is the author of Pension Mathematics with Numerical Illustrations, and founder of Winklevoss Consultants and Winklevoss Technologies.

The twins went to the Greenwich Country Day School before attending the Brunswick School for high school.[12] They showed a fondness for the classics in high school, studying Latin and Ancient Greek. During their junior year, they co-founded the crew program.[13][14] They enrolled at Harvard University in 2000 for their undergraduate studies where they majored in economics, earning B.A. degrees and graduating in 2004. At Harvard, they were members of the men's varsity crew, the Porcellian Club[15][16] and the Hasty Pudding Club.

In 2009, they began graduate business study at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and completed MBA degrees in 2010.[17] While at Oxford, the brothers were members of Christ Church,[18] and rowed in the Blue Boat in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race earning them an Oxford Blue.[19][20]


ConnectU (originally HarvardConnection) was a social networking website launched on May 21, 2004,[21] that was founded by Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra in December 2002.[22] Like on many social networking sites that preceded it, its users could add people as friends, send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.[23] Users were placed in networks based upon the domain name associated with the email address they used for registration.[24]


The twins' company, Math-Based Asset Services LLC, filed to register a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund called Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust in 2013.[25][26][27] The fund was denied in March 2017.[28]

In 2013, the twins led a $1.5 million in seed funding of BitInstant, a bitcoin payment processor. However, in January 2014, Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant, was arrested and charged with money laundering related to the Silk Road online black market investigation.[29] The brothers said they were passive investors in the company.[27]

In 2014, the twins launched Winkdex, a financial index that tracks the price of bitcoin.[27] The index uses data from seven exchanges, weighed based on the daily trading volume of each exchange.[27]

In March 2014, it was announced that the twins had purchased seats on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic shuttle using the profits they had made from bitcoin.[30]

In popular culture[edit]

Both twins are played by actor Armie Hammer in The Social Network (2010), a film directed by David Fincher about the founding of Facebook. Actor Josh Pence was the body double for Tyler with Hammer's face superimposed. In an episode of The Simpsons, "The D'oh-cial Network", Patty and Selma take part in the Olympic rowing, and race against the Winklevoss twins, who are voiced by Armie Hammer.[31]

They appear in the Family Guy episode "The Giggity Wife" when Joe, Peter, and Quagmire use a confiscated Harvard student card to eat in the esteemed Harvard dining hall. The brothers made a cameo appearance in one episode of Silicon Valley and appeared in cameo in Ocean's 8.


  1. ^ Karl M. Aspelund (December 8, 2013). "Winklevi Finally Vindicated?". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  2. ^ James Temple (April 23, 2011). "The Winklevi typify culture of whiners". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  3. ^ Killingsworth, Silvia (May 15, 2012). "The Winklevii". The New Yorker.
  4. ^ Mashable Video (April 28, 2012). "Winklevoss Twins Start Up a Venture Capital Firm [VIDEO]". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  5. ^ Taylor, Colleen (May 17, 2013). "With $1.5M Led By Winklevoss Capital, BitInstant Aims To Be The Go-To Site To Buy And Sell Bitcoins". TechCrunch.
  6. ^ "The $11 million in bitcoins the Winklevoss brothers bought is now worth $32 million". Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Leswing, Kif. "The Winklevoss twins cut up the key to their $1.3 billion bitcoin fortune and keep each piece in different bank vaults". Business Insider. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  8. ^ "NBC Olympics Cameron Winklevoss Athlete Bio". Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  9. ^ Chamoff, Lisa (March 27, 2010). "Friendships Forged in Devastating Nor-Easter". Greenwich Time.
  10. ^ "Mildred Lotz Leonard Notice". Newsday. February 2–3, 2007.
  11. ^ "Winklevoss Technologies About Us". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  12. ^ Gustafson, Colin (August 16, 2010). "Twins back in spotlight with upcoming Facebook film". Greenwich Time.
  13. ^ Riley, Cailin (July 10, 2008). "Twin rowers headed to Olympics". The Southampton Press.
  14. ^ Matson, Barbara (July 27, 2008). "Rowing Machines: Winklevoss twins hope to form successful pair in Beijing". The Boston Globe.
  15. ^ Ben Mezrich. The Accidental Billionaires. p. 28.
  16. ^ "Aaron Sorkin toured Harvard's secret clubs for Facebook film". New York Post. July 25, 2010.
  17. ^ Betts, Hannah (March 20, 2010). "Muscle-bound, Oxford-educated and multi-millionaires-meet the Winklevoss twins". London: The Times, The Sunday Times.
  18. ^ Milmo, Cahal (March 3, 2010). "Is there anything the Winklevoss twins can't do?". London: The Independent.
  19. ^ Rossingh, Danielle (April 1, 2010). "Harvard Twins Who Sue Facebook Now Take on Cambridge in 156th Boat Race". Bloomberg.
  20. ^ Whittle, Natalie (March 5, 2010). "Social networking pioneers...and killer oarsmen". Financial Times.
  21. ^ Bombardieri, Marcella (September 17, 2004). "Online Adversaries: Rivalry between college-networking websites spawns lawsuit". The Boston Globe.
  22. ^ Pontin, Jason (August 12, 2007). "Who owns the concept if no one signs the papers?". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Cassidy, John (May 15, 2006). "Me Media: How hanging out on the Internet became big business". The New Yorker.
  24. ^ McGinn, Timothy (May 28, 2004). "Online facebooks duel over tangled web of authorship". The Harvard Crimson.
  25. ^ Condon, Christopher (February 2, 2014). "Winklevosses' Lawyer in talks with SEC over Bitcoin ETF". Bloomberg.
  26. ^ Womack, Brian (July 2, 2013). "Winklevoss twins create fund to invest in Bitcoin market". Bloomberg.
  27. ^ a b c d Popper, Nathaniel (February 19, 2014). "Winklevoss brothers offer an index to track price of Bitcoin". The New York Times.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Greenberg, Andy (January 27, 2014). "Winklevoss-funded Bitcoin startup's CEO arrested in Silk Road investigation". Forbes.
  30. ^ Long, Katie (March 5, 2014). "The Winklevoss Twins Are Paying to go to Space With Bitcoin". Slate. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  31. ^ Snierson, Dan (July 22, 2011). "Armie Hammer to play the Winklevoss twins again... on 'The Simpsons'! -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 22, 2011.