| SAN FRANCISCO, July 1
SAN FRANCISCO, July 1 The Winklevoss twins, who
famously alleged that Facebook Inc founder Mark
Zuckerberg stole their website idea, have revealed plans for an
IPO that will give investors exposure to the value of digital
Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which is designed to operate like
an exchange-traded fund, will initially sell $20 million worth
of shares, with each share worth a fraction of a Bitcoin, a
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed on
The shares are aimed at investors "seeking a cost-effective
and convenient means to gain exposure to Bitcoins with minimal
credit risk," the prospectus reads.
Bitcoins are a form of electronic money that is not managed
by a single company or government. They are "mined" by software
running a set of algorithms and their release is tightly
controlled, mimicking a central banking system's control over
the minting of money.
The value of a Bitcoin has been extremely volatile since the
start of the year, rising from $13 in January to a peak of $266
in April and back down to around $100 last week.
Bitcoins have been touted by some as the future of money and
gained in prominence amid the euro zone sovereign debt crisis as
more people questioned the safety of holding their cash in the
But others dismiss the currency as a Ponzi Scheme and
authorities worry about its lack of regulation. In May, U.S.
authorities seized two accounts linked to a major operator in
the Bitcoin digital currency market.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, whose feud with Zuckerberg was
portrayed in the fictionalized 2010 film "The Social Network,"
have amassed nearly $11 million worth of Bitcoins, according to
a report in the New York Times in April.
The identical twins settled the suit with Facebook in 2008
for cash and stock then valued at $65 million.