Winklevoss twins file for Bitcoin IPO making making it legit

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 02, 2013


Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who gained fame with a public feud with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have filed for an initial public offering designed to allow investors to track the performance of digital currency Bitcoin.

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will sell around $20 million worth of shares, each of which will represent a fraction of a Bitcoin. According to the filing, the Winklevoss trust believes “that, for many investors, the shares will represent a cost-effective and convenient means to access exposure to Bitcoins.” The offering value is $20 million and each share would represent 0.2 Bitcoins.

Bitcoin has gained buzz in recent months in the middle of dramatic swings in currency’s value due to the economic turmoil in the Euro zone. It is the name for both the peer-to-peer payments system that allows people to pay each other from virtual accounts accessed online and on mobile devices as well as the digital currency itself. Launched in 2009 by a developer whose true identity remains unknown, the digital money is not backed by any central governing body, such as the Federal Reserve, and allows users to remain mostly anonymous, save for their “bitcoin address,” in transactions, reported The Wall Street Journal.

There are several risks attached to the filing including the volatile nature of the currency’s price and its lack of acceptance in the retail and commercial world. Also, there is another cause to worry as the transactions are “irrevocable” so that “stolen or incorrectly transferred Bitcoins may be irretrievable.” The Wall Street Journal in June contacted various Bitcoin companies and asked them to clarify their businesses. This may force certain states such as California, New York and Virginia to clamp down on their activities or force them to register under their own rules that apply to money transmitters.