It was on a very hot day in July 2012 that the Winklevoss twins discovered bitcoin, while partying in Ibiza. At 32 years old, the enviably athletic pair have both Harvard and Oxford on their CVs, and seem predestined for success. They famously won a $65m settlement from Facebook after claiming Mark Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for a Harvard social network, and rowed in the 2008 Olympics.
Yet their chance encounter with bitcoin in the Mediterranean was rather more serendipitous. “We were on vacation, and happened to bump into a guy who is mutual friend and he started to tell us about bitcoin,” Tyler Winklevoss explains. “We were fascinated from day one,” he says, hinting that having just abandoned five years of chasing Facebook through the courts, the time was right to start something new. “At the time we were just re-immersing ourselves inside the tech world, getting into the trenches again.”