A pair of twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg have become billionaires after investing their money in Bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency reached a record-breaking price of more than $12,000 (£8952) after almost tripling in value since the start of October.
In 2013, the Winklevoss twins said they owned $11 million worth of Bitcoin, which has shot up in price by more than 1000 percent this year, making the brothers’ portfolio worth more than $1billion.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were contemporaries of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard who tried to hire him to code their own social networking site, HarvardConnection.
The duo, who are often referred to as the Winklevie, then accused him of stealing the idea after he set up Facebook instead.
The ensuing legal battle formed a large part of the basis for Aaron Sorkin ‘s Oscar-winning script for The Social Network, where the twins were both played by Armie Hammer.
Bitcoin’s surging price has raised concerns that investors are over-estimating its value, potentially meaning a crash is on the way which could leave people out of pocket.
Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said traditional bankers and investors ‘won’t go near it’.
‘Prices are in a bubble for sure – people are buying for speculative (reasons) only and that is when you have to worry it’s a proper unsustainable bubble,’ he said.
‘Trouble is guessing whether we are in the boom phase or have moved into the euphoria phase.’
Bitcoin has faced notable criticism in recent months, with JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon taking aim at the cryptocurrency, calling it ‘a fraud’ and saying he would fire employees found to be trading the digital currency for being ‘stupid’.
‘From an investment point of view we are still in the very early stages and the investment community just doesn’t know enough, doesn’t have the depth of data to fairly value Bitcoin,’ he added.
‘Volatility has been so extreme that the big institutional investors don’t want to take the risk. The massive spread between exchanges is also a problem.’
But the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has conceded that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could be a useful tool in the future financial system.
She said virtual currencies could be ‘easier and safer’ to hold than paper bills in remote regions, or countries with unstable national currencies or ‘weak institutions’.
Lagarde also urged central bankers to be ‘open to fresh ideas and new demands, as economies evolve’.