The Winklevoss twins, known for battling Mark Zuckerberg in court over who owned the idea behind Facebook, are leading the charge in bringing digital currency bitcoin to the mainstream.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to establish the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which will work like an exchange-traded fund. If approved by regulators, the fund would allow the brothers, key players in the popular 2010 movie The Social Network, to be able to sell their bitcoin holdings for an initial value of $20 million.
The Winklevoss twins, who themselves have amassed a large collection of bitcoin, would sell shares in their trust, each share representing one-fifth of a bitcoin, according to the SEC filing. The goal is to make bitcoin more accessible to a broader audience. "For many investors, the shares will represent a cost-effective and convenient means to access exposure to bitcoins," the prospectus filing says.
Bitcoin is an unregulated, digital currency, which was established in 2008. It has been getting more attention in the last year, due to its volatile price and a few high-profile early adopters. Companies including OkCupid, Reddit and WordPress are already accepting it as a form of payment. Bitcoins can be purchased online through bitcoin exchanges and private sellers.
Because the price of bitcoin currency can fluctuate dramatically from day to day, the prospectus filed with the SEC details the high degree of risk associated with investing in the online currency.