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The Winkelvii's Bitcoin Exchange Idea Moves One Step Closer To Being Stolen, Copied And Improved

They're 6-5, 220 and there are two of them, so stay the f*ck away from their blockchain.

There are perhaps no men in the world more desperate to lay claim to the "next great idea" than the twins Winkelvoss.

After spending more than a decade being quite publicly butt-hurt by their belief that Mark Zuckerberg stole Facebook from them, the Winkelvii have been trying their hardest to prove that they are also ingenious entrepreneurs capable of capturing and monetizing the zeitgeist. So it should come as no surprise that America's favorite identical duo of WASPy giants have seized upon Bitcoin.

Well, the New York Times has some good news for the boys...

After a long buildup, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have won approval to open their Bitcoin exchange, Gemini, later this week.

Gemini. It's cute because they're twins who went to Harvard, so they know Latin n' stuff.

Getting a thumbs-up from the New York State Department of Financial Services puts the Winkelvii on the frontier of legalized Bitcoin trading, meaning that - just like they were with online social networking - Cam and Ty are ahead of the curve.

But maybe they're, once again, a little too ahead.

The Winklevoss twins have been working on their exchange for more than a year, with help from veterans of other large technology companies. Gemini will hold customer money in federally insured bank accounts. The exchange aims to make it easier for large institutional investors to buy and sell Bitcoin.
Wall Street banks have recently been expressing growing interest in harnessing the technology underlying Bitcoin. But it is still unclear whether they and other large financial players will want to trade Bitcoin itself, as the Winklevoss twins are betting. Much of the interest from Wall Street is in the technology that allows direct digital transactions.

Basically the Winkelvii are going to end up competing with a bunch of fintech startups that have already mastered their small corners of digital commerce and are looking to just fold Bitcoin into their operations when and if the controversial cryptocurrency gains wider acceptance.

But the boys seem to be getting that.

“Bitcoin is an island right now, and Gemini is building a bridge to the financial mainland,” Tyler Winklevoss, the chief executive of Gemini, said in a statement on Monday. “Gemini is simple and easy-to-use for a first-time Bitcoin buyer while at the same time powerful enough and feature-complete for a professional trader.”

All is calm now, but if you're a fintech entrepreneur looking at Gemini and thinking "Well, this could be a lot better, let me try," expect a visit from two enormous bros and their lawyers.

Winklevoss Twins Win Approval to Open Bitcoin Exchange [NYT]



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