Posts tagged with "Mark Zuckerberg"

Double take: Winklevoss brothers buy a startup founded by identical twins

November 20, 2019

They are best-known for losing the Facebook concept—which they had named ConnectU—to the ambitious Mark Zuckerberg when they all attended Harvard University. And for winning $65 million in a suit against Zuckerberg in 2008.

But now the Winklevoss twins—Tyler and Cameron, age 38—have become crypto entrepreneurs. And Bloomberg reported on November 19 that they have made their first-ever acquisition, from a duo of entrepreneurs to whom they bear a strong resemblance.

Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster, 25, are also identical twins, Bloomberg says. While the Winklevoss brothers rowed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the other twins rowed in high school. That said, the Cock Fosters weren’t involved in the birthing of the social network Facebook.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” Tyler Winklevoss told the financial news outlet in a phone interview. “There are so many great parallels, it was just the right fit.”

The two sets of twins came together over their belief in the future of so-called nifties. A niftie may be a cat from the CryptoKitties game, in which players breed the digital felines, or a token representing ownership in art, stamps, and comic books—an asset that is being kept track of via a blockchain digital ledger and is tradeable.

To buy such collectibles, people typically have to open digital currency wallets, buy cryptocurrency on an exchange—a process that can take hours and can be confusing.

The Cock Fosters’ Nifty Gateway, which the Winklevosses’ Gemini Trust bought for an undisclosed sum, lets anyone pay for nifties with a credit card, via a streamlined experience similar to checking out through Amazon.

The company currently lets people buy nifties from Open Sea marketplace and CryptoKitties and Gods Unchained games.

It doesn’t disclose its customer numbers or payment volume. But Duncan Cock Foster forecasts that nifties could one day attract as many as one billion collectors, Bloomberg reports. The Winklevosses expect that the market for nifties will be as big as the collectibles, art, and gaming markets combined.

 “We believe in this future where all your assets will be on a blockchain and you may want to buy, sell and store them, and Nifty fits that vision,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

While initially Gemini, with more than 220 employees, and Nifty, with three workers, will continue to operate as stand-alone companies, that could change, and some of Nifty’s features could make way into Gemini services.

Duncan now owns about 300 nifties; and his brother, 100. While most people currently don’t even know what the word means, the two sets of twins hope that will change.

“All great companies, all great ideas there’s a period where you see a truth and many other people don’t, and you have to have that conviction,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

Research contact: @business

28% of Americans think Facebook should be fined for its role in Russian interference

February 23, 2018

More than one-quarter of Americans believe that social media site Facebook should be fined for its role in Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

The online survey of 1,000 people, conducted by market research firm Honest Data, “casts new light on the American populace’s view of Facebook’s culpability in those alleged crimes,” USA Today reports.

The survey was completed just two days before Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three businesses—including an internet firm tied to the Kremlin—on charges of conspiracy, identity theft, failing to register as foreign agents, and violating laws that limit the use of foreign money in U.S. elections.

But, long before this month’s indictments, Facebook already had been implicated: After initially dismissing a suggestion that Facebook may have played a part in a foreign influence campaign by running ads and “fake news” from the Russians, last November, CEO Mark Zuckerberg conceded that there had been interference and vowed to stop it.

According to Honest Data, a polling firm founded by ex-Facebook employee Tavis McGinn, 28% of Americans with an online presence believe that Facebook should be fined for allowing the spread of Russian misinformation.

The possibility of a fine for Facebook stems from calls by Democratic lawmakers to more strongly regulate the social network and online political

Initially, Facebook had revealed more than 10 million users saw Russian-linked advertising, with 44% of it viewed before the election. 

However, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch testified before the Senate last October that as many as 126 million people—roughly one-third of the U.S. population—had been exposed to posts from Russian accounts, thanks to the impact of seemingly organic user posts along with the ads. The following month, Facebook revealed the number was closer to 146 million.

During an interview with USA Today last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to stop election interference, but admitted that he did not know whether that would happen by November midterm elections. “We have a pretty good track record as a company of — once we set our mind to doing something — we eventually get it done.”

Research contact@brettmolina23.