Winklevoss twins work to make Bitcoin more legit with SEC filing

In an effort to boost the presence and tradability of the digital currency, the twins who accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing the idea for Facebook file for a "Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust."

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
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The Winklevoss twins in a TV commercial for pistachios. YouTube

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have emerged as two of the more steadfast advocates for the digital currency Bitcoin.

What is the Winklevoss' interest with the cryptic digital currency that is under scrutiny by governments around the world? Apparently, money.

The twins are best known for suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with claims that he stole the idea of the social network from them. But, they've now moved on to new endeavors. The Winklevoss twins filed a trust registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

The "Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust" aims to give commodity buyers more exposure to Bitcoins. According to Business Insider, the trust will apparently operate like an exchange-traded fund, which is an investment fund that can be traded like a stock.

"The investment objective of the Trust is for the Shares to reflect the performance of the Blended Bitcoin Price of Bitcoins, less the expenses of the Trust's operations," the filing reads. "The Shares are designed for investors seeking a cost-effective and convenient means to gain exposure to Bitcoins with minimal credit risk."

While there are other digital currencies, Bitcoin is probably the most well-known. It's been around since 2009, but didn't really get going until 2011 when it was worth $2 per coin. By 2013, the currency had climbed to $20 per coin, and then jumped to $266 in April. Now it's hovering just below $100.

The Winklevoss twins have been working on their Bitcoin venture for a few months now. They showed up at the Bitcoin 2013 conference in May to talk about the future of the alternative currency and how to escape government crackdown.

The two have a vested interest in keeping the currency legit -- they reportedly own 1 percent of all Bitcoins mined to date. They also led a seed funding round that raised $1.5 million in May for BitInstant, a New York startup that makes it easier to buy and sell Bitcoins.

Digital currencies aren't regulated, which is what worries the feds. The virtual money can be manipulated or used to launder other types of money. Also, an all-digital currency allows people in places like Cyprus or Argentina to evade currency controls with ease. It also, in at least some ways, is far more anonymous than moving cash through the legacy banking system.

[Via Business Insider.]