Winklevoss twins: Bitcoin could be the 'currency of a country'

Having recently filed plans to start the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, the Harvard-educated twins of Facebook lawsuit notoriety plug Bitcoin as a potential currency for economically depressed nations.

YouTube Screenshot by CNET

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss may hold one of the world's largest stashes of Bitcoins, worth an estimated $11 million or roughly 1 percent of the entire market at current trading values. So suffice it to say, the brothers have something to gain in plugging the crypto-currency's viability, especially since filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July to form the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust , a kind of Bitcoin investment fund that can be traded like stock.

"The next step for Bitcoin is potentially becoming the currency of a country," Tyler Winklevoss told attendees at the 9th annual Value Investing Congress in New York on Tuesday, reports Reuters. The twins still see debt-ridden places like Greece as a haven for the digital currency.

Back in March, rumors of a Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus sprouted up frequently amid reports on the deepening Euro crisis and plummeting confidence in the struggling multinational currency. The news helped Bitcoins burst onto the public scene, offering a seemingly more protected avenue for storing wealth at the time.

But despite the massive drop-off in Bitcoin value in April -- whereupon it has yet to come anywhere near its record high of $266 per Bitcoin and currently sits at roughly $126 -- the Winklevoss twins still see the anonymous, unregulated currency as a viable way to fend off traditional debt restructuring.

They told the crowd at the Value Investing Congress that they expect to see a financial implosion in Cyprus over the course of the next two years. By using Bitcoins, the brothers reason, one could stave off the effects of the planned bail-in that forces banks' creditors to bear some of the burden by having part of the debt they are owed written off, explains The Economist.

"With Bitcoin there are no bail-ins like in Cyprus," Tyler Winklevoss said.

While there are has been fervent speculation over the stability of Bitcoins and their viability in everyday transactions in the long-run, the Winklevoss twins' presentation roused the crowd, prompting more questions from the prominent hedge fund managers in attendance than any of the previous presentations.

About the author

Nick Statt is a staff writer for CNET. He previously wrote for ReadWrite and was a news associate at the social magazine app Flipboard. He spends a questionable amount of his free time contemplating his relationship with video games while continuously exploring the convergence of tech, science and pop culture.

 

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