The Winklevoss twins — the brothers Mark Zuckerberg allegedly stole the idea for Facebook from — are making a movie about themselves, Deadline reported this week. If that doesn’t seem masturbatory enough, rejoice: said film is about how they amassed a net wealth of more than $US1 ($1) billion by getting really into Bitcoin.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are listed by Deadline as co-producing the film with Greg Silverman and Jon Berg, based on Ben Mezrich’s 2019 book Bitcoin Billionaires and slated to be made by Silverman’s Stampede Ventures. As Deadline noted, this isn’t as strange as it might seem on first glance — Mezrich wrote The Accidental Billionaires, which was the basis for the critically well-regarded and financially successful 2010 movie The Social Network.
Less established, however, is whether audiences will bite for what Deadline wrote will be a film about the Winklevoss twins’ discovery of “the seductive and dangerous world of Bitcoin in Ibiza” following their legal battles with Facebook. (The cryptocurrency world is decidedly not sexy, though it could reasonably be described as dangerous in the sense that it is rife with scams, fraud, theft, organised crime, and John McAfee.) Silverman told the site the planned film is a “remarkable redemption movie” along the lines of “Rocky II meets Wall Street,” which perhaps overstates the redemptive value inherent in two rich white guys getting much richer. The original Bitcoin Billionaires book was also criticised by some reviewers as overly flattering to its Winklevii subjects, something that probably won’t be helped in a film translation co-produced by them.
“Whether you are a longtime HODLer or have just arrived, we think you will enjoy the colourful, frontier days of the cryptocurrency revolution that Ben Mezrich has deftly captured in Bitcoin Billionaires,” the Winklevoss twins told Deadline in a statement. “We look forward to sharing this story and bringing the early days of this revolution to theatres in partnership with Stampede Ventures.”
Online estimates of the Winklevoss twins’ fortune vary widely, given that Bitcoin’s value has fluctuated wildly in recent years. A 2018 crypto crash wiped them out of billionaire status. As of June 2019, Bloomberg estimated their net worth at around $US1 ($1).45 billion, when Bitcoin was over $US13,000 ($18,669); it’s now worth less than $US9,800 ($14,074). The twins currently don’t have a showing on Bloomberg’s running list of the 500 richest people in the world; they might not even technically be billionaires, considering that most tallies of their wealth have neglected to divide by two. (To the best of our knowledge, the Winklevoss twins are not married to each other.)
In any case, brace yourself for a lengthy scene in which the Winklevoss twins explain Bitcoin is not a scam, but a revolutionary new financial system based on cutting-edge blockchain technology.