The Winklevoss twins - also known as the Olympic rowers and tech entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg once famously (and allegedly) cut out of Facebook - may be onto the next big network.
Of course, it's one you've heard of before: a digital currency network called Bitcoin.
At the peak of its glory, a single Bitcoin was worth nearly $1,000. That was at the start of 2014.
A year later, the digital dollar is now trading at around $290 a piece. According to Business Insider, that figure has actually ballooned since the start of this year, when it took a sharp dive to $173 - even losing 30 percent of its value in a single week. At least one Bitcoin business, that we know of, had to close its virtual doors once it realized it could no longer turn a profit.
Sound the alarm
The numerous virtual bank robberies haven't helped spur consumer confidence, either. Mt. Gox, then responsible for 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions, closed its doors in February of last year with $450 million worth of Bitcoin still at large following the biggest cyber heist in digital currency history (which, we'll admit, isn't all that long of a time).
But the twins - as in, the twins who (allegedly) once saw the potential in Facebook even before Facebook's official founder realized it - insist the currency is on the rise (in a "bigger picture" sort of way).
"Like a child taking its first steps," they said in an interview with Business Insider. They also said they own 1 percent of all Bitcoin in digital existence and plan to open their own "super-secure Bitcoin exchange," appropriately called “Gemini” (we see what you did there, boys) in the coming seasons.
If the Winklevoss's see potential, there may just be a future after all. They insist Bitcoin is at the perfect stage for "buy" right now, anticipating that it could drop further in price in the short term, but believe it will rise steeply over the long term.
But if Bitcoin is to gain speed, perhaps other digital currencies won’t be far behind. Ripple, for instance, is trading at a hair more than a penny; all the Ripple currency units in the world are worth just more than two-thirds of a million dollars today. Another contender, called Litecoin, is worth $2.02 a piece today, accounting for $1.6 million altogether. The total market cap of the world’s top 100 cryptocurrencies today: $4.6 billion, according to data by CoinMarketCap.
Run, baby, run
The Winklevoss's are right about one thing: Connectivity is a breeding ground for new, more direct and more efficient ways of doing things. If Bitcoin is to take off, it will need the support of the many ,while simultaneously standing up to the speculation of the few. Perhaps it is like a child taking its first steps then. A few tumbles in the beginning are permissible - but only time will tell if this infant currency grows up to be a serious contender.