Tags: winklevoss | twins | bitcoin | ipo

Winklevoss Twins Plan Bitcoin IPO, With 'Risks,' Says SEC Filing

Image: Winklevoss Twins Plan Bitcoin IPO, With 'Risks,' Says SEC Filing Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 07:01 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The Winklevoss twins, the Harvard-educated brothers who claimed they helped invent Facebook, revealed in papers filed with the SEC Monday night that they are planning a Bitcoin IPO.

Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which is designed to operate like an exchange-traded fund, will initially sell $20 million worth of shares as part of the IPO, with each share worth a fraction of a Bitcoin, the filing showed.

Bitcoins, a form of digital cyber-currency traded electronically, were created in 2009 and touted as the future of money, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss hold an $11 million stake.

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But some say betting on the Bitcoin is risky business. Indeed,  the Winklevoss Twins Bitcoin IPO filing with the SEC came with an 18-page list of risk factors, CNNMoney reported.

One of the main concerns is security. Because Bitcoins are not managed by a single company or government, they are more susceptible to hackers.

Another risk factor is the unstable value. Bitcoin's worth rose from $13 in January to a peak of $266 in April and back down to around $100 last week.

"Even the largest Bitcoin Exchanges have been subject to operational interruption, resulting in volatile prices and a reduction in confidence," the filing says.

The SEC also worries whether Bitcoin will catch on in the mainstream market or if it will remain largely a spectator sport.

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"People say it’s a Ponzi scheme, it's a bubble," Cameron Winklevoss told the New York Times' Dealbook in April. "People really don't want to take it seriously. At some point that narrative will shift to 'virtual currencies are here to stay.'"

The identical twins settled the suit with Facebook in 2008 for cash and stock then valued at $65 million.

Related stories:


Bitcoin Investors Winklevoss Twins Reveal $11M Stake in Digital Currency

Facebook Fracas: Winklevoss Twins Want More

WSJ: Bitcoin Exchanges May Face Closure

 

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