Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption
Those who have read Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires, which was made into the movie The Social Network, will know the Winkelvoss twins. They were the big, square-jawed, square-shouldered identical twins/Harvard rowers who hired Mark Zuckerberg to work on their Facebook-like project in college. Zuckerberg wound up launching his own product, which grew into the Facebook that counts one quarter of the world as its members. A lawsuit followed, and after the settlement the Winkelvoss twins were substantial millionaires. Mezrich opens his new book, Bitcoin Billionaires, with a meeting in San Francisco between the twins, Zuckerberg, and an army of lawyers.
But this book is not a sequel to the first book so much as a chronicling of the Winkelvosses’ second act. As the Winkelvosses tried to launch a career as venture capitalists, they soon realized that their fight with the Zuck had tainted their money: no one in Silicon Valley would take it. Then, in Ibiza of all places, they learn about a crazy new idea called cryptocurrency. Flash forward to November 27, 2017: the Winkelvoss twins became the first Bitcoin billionaires.
If you’re wondering how that happened, this book tells the fascinating tale.