I must say, I do spend quite a bit of time contemplating The Big Questions. Sometimes, the questions are one-shots:
Why did the a-hole in the SUV, turning on a red light from the second outer lane on Arlington (not from the lane that comes with the right hand turn arrow, which at the moment of offense had a red light) into a crosswalk with a walk sign on Comm Ave – you know, the woman staring fixedly into the smartphone she was holding up – give me the stink-eye when I yelled at her for almost hitting me. I am a practiced jaywalker, so I know enough to look when I’m doing anything pedestrian-y, even if what I’m doing is 100% legal and 100% MY right-of-way. So, that’s the kind of one-shot Big Question I tend to ponder
Then there are the semi-recurring questions, as in:
Who the f bags up a dog poop and leaves it on the front steps of a building that’s not even theirs, especially when there’s a trash can less than 5 seconds walk away. (Variation on a theme: Starbucks cup, beer can, pizza box…) I know I live on a well-traveled main drag, but still, that trash can is seconds away. It’s your trash. How about you dispose of it, not me.
Not to mention the really Big Questions, the Mega Philosophical Questions:
Why? Why me? What for? How?
I also have a somewhat unique Big Question category, and that is Big Questions related to the Winklevoss twins:
Why? Why them? What for? How?
Would the idea of these guys be so amusing if they had a name like Gates or Buffett or Sergei Brin, rather than a name like Winklevoss?
Okay. You can’t help what your name is. And more than once I’ve wished for a surname a bit less boring than Rogers. But Winklevoss? This is just a funny name. A winkle. Sounds like a tiny little something-or-other. Like a tiny little sea snail. Oh, that’s because it is. Or, in an alternative meaning: extract or obtain something with difficulty. "I swore I wasn't going to tell her, but she winkled it all out of me.”
And that voss part? Low German for fox.
So a Winklevoss is a foxy little sea snail? Or someone who extracted a fox with difficulty?
Anyway, Winklevoss is something of a smile-on-the-face name, no?
Then there’s the fact that they always appear in tandem, leading to the question:
Would this connected at the hip thing seem less weird if they were regular old brothers, rather than twins?
There are, of course, other questions about the Winklevoss, and you may be asking the biggest of them all.
Who are they?
As those who saw The Social Network, the movie about Facebook, know, the Winklevoss twins were the prepped out fellows who claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea. They sued Zuckerberg and ended up with $65 million, which is several orders of magnitude removed from Zuckerberg’s wealth, which is $75 billion. In the movie, their big scene is when they go whinging off to the office of the president of Harvard to complain about their not-so-prepped out classmate who ripped them off. (As I recall, the president of Harvard just about laughed in their twin faces. He may even have called them douches. But that may have just been a thought cloud.)
That was then, and $65 million is only relative chump change, so the Winklevoss brothers (a.k.a, the Winklevi) have been able to eke out a modest existence as venture capitalists. And, hoping not to get screwed out of the big payday again, some of their venturing capitalism has focused on the bitcoin world. Because if an online platform where most of the users share pictures of their grandkids or run contests for the next flavor of Dorito turns into $75 billion, how much might a big old tulip-bulb of a disruptor like bitcoin be worth some day.
Seemingly (at least according to Wikpedia), bitcoin has yet to deliver the success of their dreams (and Zuckerberg’s living reality). Their dabbling has been a decidedly mixed bag (emphasis mine):
The twins' company, Math-Based Asset Services LLC, filed to register a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund called Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust in 2013. The fund was denied in March 2017.
In 2013, the twins led a $1.5 million in seed funding of BitInstant, a bitcoin payment processor. However, in January 2014,Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant, was arrested and charged with money laundering related to the Silk Road online black market investigation. The brothers said they were passive investors in the company.
In 2014, the twins launched Winkdex, a financial index that tracks the price of bitcoin. The index uses data from seven exchanges, weighed based on the daily trading volume of each exchange.
In March 2014, it was announced that the twins had purchased seats on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic shuttle using the profits they had made from bitcoin
In October 2015, Gemini, the twins' Bitcoin exchange, received approval to launch from the New York State Department of Financial Services. The exchange is targeted at both first-time users and professional traders.
And now they’re looking to:
…create the Virtual Commodity Association, a self-regulatory organization meant to police digital-currency markets and custodians. The non-profit group would aim to develop industry standards, promote transparency and work with regulators including the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to prevent fraud. (Source: Bloomberg)
God knows that mondo bitcoin could use some regulating. And a Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner, Brian Quintenz, has given the Winklevi a shout out:
“I congratulate Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on their energetic leadership and thoughtful approach in outlining a virtual commodity self-regulatory organization (SRO) concept,” he said.
I’m sure I’m piling on here, especially given that I’m sure there have been plenty of times when my name has been coupled with a sib, and our last name used just once. But “Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss” sounds like they should be a married couple, not two professionals in business together. Wouldn’t Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss be a more serious way to refer to them?
But I’m sure that I’m being a complete and utter nitpicker here. Leading to the Big Question:
Why am I such a nitpicker?
And, of course, a final Big Question:
Will the bitcoin market, as currently constituted, explode or implode before the Winklevoss twins have the opportunity to regulate it?
So many deep thoughts, so little time…