Bitcoin Billionaires

Published: 12.05.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 3:51
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (12.03.2017)

The Winklevoss twins are now the first people to become billionaires by investng in Bitcoin.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • a cryptocurrency [n] - digital (computer) money
  • dearly [adv] - very much
  • rowing [n] - the sport of propelling a boat with oars
  • ahead of the curve [exp] - more advanced or modern than others of their kind
  • litigate [v] - sue / take to court
  • engage (someone) [v] - hire (someone)
  • the noughties [n] - the years 2000 to 2010
  • a settlement [n] - an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute or conflict
  • allegedly [adv] - something that is claimed to be true but there is no proof
  • publicly confirmed [exp] - proven to the public
  • a fixed asset [n] - something with permanent value (like gold or land)
  • a bit [n] - a piece of computer data
  • finite [adj] - limited in number
  • digital infrastructure [n] - information and communication technology
  • self-reduce [v] - make itself become smaller or fewer
  • derivatives [n] - a financial investment
  • futures [n] - a financial investment
  • be traced [exp] - be tracked
  • legitimately [adv] - actually
  • not a word [exp] - nothing

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What has happened to Bitcoin this year?
    It is being sold outside of the US for the first time.
    It was bought by the Winklevos twins.
    Its value has increased dramatically.

  2. What is the connection between the Winklevoss twins and Bitcoin?
    The Winklevoss twins now own all of Bitcoin.
    The Winklevoss twins have become billionaires by investing in Bitcoin.
    The Winklevoss twins sued Bitcoin.

  3. What do we learn about the Winklevoss twins from the report?
    They are 26 years old.
    They are identical twins.
    They went to Harvard.
    They went to Yale.
    They went to Oxford.
    They were on the rowing team at Oxford.
    They are over six feet tall.
    They are married.

  4. How much was a Bitcoin worth when the Winklevoss first invested in it?
    around 6 dollars
    around 11 thousand dollars
    around 11 million dollars

  5. How much is a Bitcoin worth now (at the time of this report)?
    10 thousand dollars
    11 thousand dollars
    11 million dollars

  6. How much did the Winklevoss twins invest into Bitcoin in 2012?
    11 thousand dollars
    11 million dollars
    11 billion dollars

  7. What were the Winklevoss twins famous for before investing in Bitcoin?
    They claim to have invented the idea for Facebook.
    They hired Mark Zuckerberg to make a social networking site.
    They sued Mark Zuckerberg.

  8. How much money did Mark Zuckerberg allegedly have to pay the Winklevoss twins in 2008?
    11 million dollars
    65 million dollars
    1 billion dollars

  9. What is the reporter's opinion of Bitcoin?
    It is a great investment.
    It might be over-valued.
    It is cool.

  10. What is the value of Bitcoin linked to?
    derivatives and futures

  11. What is Bitcoin?
    a cryptocurrency
    a type of gold
    a website

  12. What features of Bitcoin are likely to increase its value?
    It is linked to gold.
    There are a limited number of Bitcoins.
    Bitcoin is self-reducing.

  13. Why do criminals like to use Bitcoin?
    It is very valuable.
    It is easy to buy and sell.
    It cannot be traced.

  14. According to the report, what is making Bitcoin more useful and useable?
    Some retailers have started accepting Bitcoin as payment.
    Its value has become more stable.
    It is being used in many different countries.

  15. What do the Winklevoss twins plan to do with their new money?
    They are trying to buy Facebook.
    They will start a charitable foundation.
    No one knows.

triangle Script

The crypto currency Bitcoin is won many of us dearly wish we'd invested in when it was only worth a couple of dollars. But its rapid rise in value this year is reported to have created its first billionaires. The Winklevoss twins from America, and you might remember them from their association with Facebook. So what more do we know about them. A question I put to our business correspondent Joe Lyneham.

They are 36 year old identical twins. I think there are about six foot for each. They have degrees from Harvard and from Oxford. They rowed for Oxford. In fact in the boat race and they are as you say now the first Bitcoin billionaires basically got in with Bitcoin when it was worth the round five six or seven dollars. It is, as of last week, worth eleven thousand dollars per bitcoin. They put in 11 million dollars into bitcoin in 2012, and it has increased by ten thousand percent.

And the two people we may well know. They've got a habit of being ahead of the curve.

Indeed and they're not shy of litigating either Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss claim to have invented the idea for the Social Network which we now know as Facebook and they engage a very young coding expert called Mark Zuckerberg who was a student at Harvard University in the early noughties to write the social network code. He then went off and formed something very similar, and they sued him. Allegedly, they came to a settlement of 65 million dollars in 2008. From that settlement, which has never been publicly confirmed, they supposedly invested the 11 million dollars in to what we now know as Bitcoin.

They’re now Bitcoins first billionaires. What does this say about Bitcoin and its stature?

That it's overpriced perhaps. Eleven thousand dollars for a little bit of cryptocurrency. It is not linked to gold it is not linked to any fixed asset and supposedly this bit of digital infrastructure is worth eleven thousand dollars per bit. And these are tiny little bits. They've also a finite number of these bitcoins and they're supposed to kind of self-reduce, which should push up its value. It means that there is a certain amount of credibility. These guys have got behind them. There are talk about it making Bitcoin derivatives, or futures. They are kind of special types of investments. Whether that could spark problems in the future we don’t know. We also must say that Bitcoin is the favored currency for criminals. They sell a lot of weapons and drugs using bitcoins because it cannot be traced. Having said all that there is a growing list of retailers and sellers who do legitimately sell products and accept Bitcoin as the payment.

Finally, they are now richer than many of us would ever dream of. Have they said what they’re going to do with their money.

Not a word.

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