Northwood Students Get Insider’s View of Cryptocurrency Industry

Gemini’s Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss Join the Classroom Live

Digital currencies like Bitcoin are widely considered the new frontier of global finance, and Northwood School students were recently treated to a class visit by two of the leaders of the world’s cryptocurrency industry.

Students in Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class had a forty-minute conference call with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the founders of Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a private asset exchange for cryptocurrency that allows investors to trade several different cryptocurrencies. Launched in New York in 2015, Gemini now operates in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

“An important component of the course is exploring new technologies that have the potential to reshape the global economy,” stated Dr. Finnerty Paul.  “The opportunity to speak with leaders in the field who have created a secure platform to invest in cryptocurrencies is a unique opportunity to engage our students as we believe that students learn best through exploration and inquiry.”

Crypto

Students in Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class hold up copies of “Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption,” a NY Times bestselling book that tells the story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s big bet on crypto-currency and its dazzling pay-off.

Cryptocurrencies are digital assets with advanced cryptography, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars and euros, central banking authorities do not control cryptocurrencies.  Bitcoin, released in 2009, was the first cryptocurrency, but the market has exploded in recent years, and over 6,000 altcoins (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.

Cameron Winklevoss said, “I don’t think it’s going to be one cryptocurrency take all. Other things like the Facebook Libra or Gemini Dollar will be more like a currency.”

“In my opinion, it’s probably a lot better than gold,” said Brian Kelly recently about Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency. Kelly is a commentator on the business and personal finance network CNBC and sometimes called a “Cryptocurrency Televangelist.” He believes that having companies like Gemini and currencies like Libra grow will start to change the market for what crypto is today and have more competitors in the future.

The industry is growing rapidly and with two trustworthy and respected entrepreneurs running a company like Gemini, the future looks bright for the startup and the entire industry.

The Winklevoss brothers believe that in the near future, all real-world assets will be tokenized and traded on blockchain, a technology that enables transactions without a central authority. Aimee Headland ‘20, a student in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class, agrees with them. “[Blockchains] will make trading any type of cryptocurrency much easier and also allow me to invest more easily,” she said.

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