In Brief

Who are the Bitcoin billionaires?

The Winklevoss brothers are among a small group of investors who betted big on Bitcoin

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the brothers who accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for Facebook, have reportedly become the first Bitcoin billionaires.

The identical twins made an $11m (£8m) bet on the cryptocurrency four years ago, using part of the $65m (£48m) settlement they received from Zuckerberg in 2009.

They are now worth more than $1bn (£742m) after capitalising on the “astonishing rise” in Bitcoin, The Sunday Telegraph reports.

“It is believed to be the first billion-dollar return made by a cryptocurrency investor, a landmark moment for the controversial asset,” says the paper.

The brothers, who rowed for the US at the Beijing Olympics, “have re-styled themselves as Bitcoin entrepreneurs, launching their own online exchange and venture capital”, the Telegraph adds.

But journalist and analyst Joseph Young suggests other billionaire Bitcoin holders already exist.

Among them is Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency’s mysterious inventor, who is estimated to own 980,000 bitcoins, amassed from mining the cryptocurrency in its early days, Quartz reports.

With the value of a single Bitcoin currently sitting at over $11,000 (£8,000), Nakamoto appears to have netted a fortune of over $11bn (£8bn).

Prices have risen more than 900% since the beginning of the year, with the total value of Bitcoin in existence surpassing $167bn (£125bn), but analysts remain divided over whether the cryptocurrency is a bubble waiting to burst or a good investment. 

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