The Winklevoss Twins Are Gods Compared to Mark Zuckerberg

Tim Denning

The twins beat Zucks at the social network game. Zucks hasn’t figured it out yet.

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Image Credit:Alli Harvey/Getty Images

As a punk millennial kid, I grew up with Facebook.

In 2005 I went to a nightclub with a Harvard student visiting Australia. I said, “Hey, can you send me the pictures from tonight?” She said, “You can find them on The Facebook.”

I was pissed. I didn’t understand what a book full of faces had to do with me getting the pictures from the night to humblebrag to all the people who didn’t have drinks with the DJ and kiss his ass. My Harvard friend sent me a link to join Facebook. It was my second step (after myspace) into the social networking world.

Then the movie The Social Network came out. It told the story of Facebook and the smart ass kid who created it. This was the first time I was introduced to the Winklevoss twins. They were portrayed in the film as rich elites who would crush a toddlers’ toy collection into tiny little pieces and leave the dust on the kids’ bedroom floor next to the red fire truck.

I saw the Winklevoss twins as the worst human beings in history.

They tried to steal Facebook off Zucks, and take a sketchy idea off him and call it their own. I despised them and their elitism. Years later Ben Mezrich wrote a book about the twins. I completely changed my mind. The inaccurate portrayal of the Winklevoss twins was done for show.

In the hero’s journey format of Hollywood storytelling, Zucks was the hero and the Winklevoss twins were evil. There had to be an evil enemy in the movie and the Winklevoss twins were an easy target any audience could learn to hate.

Nobody really knows what happened in the early days of Facebook and who created it. It doesn’t seem to matter. Everybody who was involved with Facebook made plenty of cashola. Founding a tech company doesn’t make you a god or goddess.

Progressing humanity is the real magic trick.

After suing Mark Zuckerberg and winning, the twins went on to accidentally become part of a different social network. The twins said this in a recent interview:

Money is the greatest social network of all.

The twins were referring to their work in rebuilding financial services for the internet. The current system we use to move money around online and across country borders is a system of IOUs.

You think you’ve transacted with a business but the actual value from your transaction shifts from one account to the other much later.

The balance summary of your favorite money app is an IOU.

Mark Zuckerberg thought he had won the social media battle with his platform, Facebook. He actually lost. Centralized social media platforms like Facebook are going through many challenges.

A lot of internet users are calling the end of Facebook. I agree. Privacy is too important to ignore. Manipulating users’ minds with dopamine tools such as likes is old and outdated. Social media needs a massive upgrade.

Facebook will die. Even our grandparents will stop using it to see what we did at the beach with friends on the weekend.

I have changed my view on the Winklevoss twins. I now believe they are two of the most important humans in history.

Why? They are reinventing money. They are also recreating how digital assets like writing and photographs are bought, sold — and most importantly — OWNED, via their platform nifty gateway.

Ownership on the internet is broken. Trust is too easy to be misused by money-hungry startups addicted to VC money and their own vanity metrics.

The Winklevoss twins are slowly unveiling their future of the internet. It started by making internet money like Bitcoin and Ethereum easier to buy. Then the twins found the greatest problem with internet money: it needs regulation, and large institutions to survive.

The twins have spent the last few years gaining the trust of regulators, banks, hedge funds, and sophisticated investors, using the idea of internet money they found on a post-2008 recession holiday.

This time the twins didn’t care whether they invented the idea they were backing. Coming up with a unique idea like they attempted to do with social media was the least of their worries.

This time the twins took an existing idea and made it better.

The result has been the large scale adoption of internet money with companies like Visa and PayPal all getting on board — as well as Wall Street tycoons like Paul Tudor Jones.

The Winklevoss twins have thrown their time at a different problem. It’s the same problem Jack Dorsey is trying to solve: the unbanked. 31% of the world doesn’t have access to banking services.

The concept of internet money can take currency from being racist, and turn it into the peoples’ exchange of value once again. Why should billions of people be excluded from the banking system? They shouldn’t.

Banking is a basic human right.

Many think the Winklevoss twins are solving this problem for financial gain. I completely disagree. The twins have already become billionaires thanks to their early investment in bitcoin.

Many critics of the twins believe they are promoting internet money to inflate their investment in bitcoin. I disagree, again. All you have to do is watch the twins doing daily interviews (like I have) and you can see the sincerity written all over their faces. And in the way they deliver their mission and put it into eloquently articulated words.

The Winklevoss twins aren’t assholes at all.

That statement is shortsighted. They’re trying to solve a huge problem because they can — it’s as simple as that. Not everybody’s intentions are evil. There are still decent human beings on the planet.

Not every billionaire should be shamed and called a cheater.

The Ultimate Demonstration of Humility

Zucks realized late in the game that money was the real social network he missed out on. He acted on his FOMO by creating Facebook’s Libra project. It was promptly declined by regulators and many of the founding partners removed themselves from the project.

Zucks and the Winklevoss twins made up.

What is impressive about the twins is their humility. Unlike the movie portrayal of their characters, they now regularly acknowledge what Zucks has built. They could be bitter and they could shame Zucks, yet they don’t.

I said in the headline that the Winklevoss twins are gods. I don’t mean this in a bro hug kind of way, or as though we should worship them. The twins are gods because they’ve figured out the point of their work in tech: to solve a problem bigger than themselves.

They don’t need the money; they’re already billionaires. It’s clear they’re building something much more important.

The Winklevoss twins have already helped change history with their work to legitimize digital money. Their next task is to make the internet and the currency we transact in democratic again.

I believe the twins will succeed. Their ability to unite and inspire humanity around a problem is infectious.

They went from the spoilt Facebook twins to an invisible force for good. The Winklevoss twins are the ones to watch. If they can make their mark using humility then why can’t you?

It’s not whether you win, or what you get credit for. It’s the problem you solve and why it truly matters.

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Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship www.timdenning.com

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