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The Switch
The $11 million in bitcoins the Winklevoss brothers bought is now worth $32 million
BY TIMOTHY B. LEE
November 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
A lot of people laughed at Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss when they announced in April that they had acquired $11 million worth of bitcoins. The announcement came on April 11, the day after the virtual currency hit a record high of $266 and then plummeted to $120. Over the next few days, it would fall as low as $50, cutting the value of the brothers' bitcoin stake in half.
But since then, their investment has paid off big-time. A source close to the Winkelvoss brothers says they haven't sold any of their Bitcoins since April. Bitcoins are now worth $350, almost three times the $120 the New York Times quoted in its April 11 story. So that $11 million worth of bitcoins is now worth around $32 million.
Almost tripling your money in seven months isn't bad. But the Winklevii may have done even better than that. The Times reported that the brothers "began dabbling in bitcoin last summer when the dollar value of a single coin was still in the single digits." If they bought bitcoins at the July 2012 price of $9, each one is now worth 40 times what they paid for it.
Update: After this story was published, I received confirmation that the Winklevoss brothers did, in fact, hold onto their bitcoinss after April's crash. A source close to the Winklevii says the brothers now hold 1 percent of all Bitcoins in circulation, worth more than $40 million. I've updated the story accordingly.
Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.
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