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Why Cameron Winklevoss drives an 'old SUV' even though the twins are bitcoin billionaires

Investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss may be among the first bitcoin billionaires, but they don't act much like it.

When the twins were awarded $65 million in cash and Facebook stock after a lengthy legal dispute with Mark Zuckerberg, they used their windfall to take a risk: They backed bitcoin, and the decision paid off.

In April 2013, the Winklevoss twins together held $11 million in bitcoin priced at $120 a coin. That holding grew to be worth more than $1 billion in December 2017 as the price of one coin surpassed $11,700.

That month, The New York Times reported the twins' bitcoin holdings were worth about $1.3 billion and that they held an additional $350 million in other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. (December saw wild swings in the price of bitcoin, at one point trading on the Coinbase exchange. Friday, Bitcoin was trading near $13,500, according to Coinbase.)

While other early cryptocurrency investors are splurging on things like Lamborghinis, though, the Winklevoss brothers are managing their wealth differently.

"While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries," The Times' Nathaniel Popper reports. "Cameron drives an old S.U.V.; Tyler doesn't have a car at all."

Cameron Winklevoss, left, and Tyler Winklevoss

Getty Images

Their mentality appears to be focused on investing rather than spending. "Long term, directionally, it is a multitrillion-dollar asset — I don't know how long it takes to get there," Cameron Winklevoss tells CNBC. They're willing to be patient. As Cameron wrote in a 2013 Reddit, Ask Me Anything post, "I'm in this for the long-haul."

The Times reports Cameron and Tyler did sell a portion of their coins to launch Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange on which people can buy and sell bitcoin, but they have no other plans to sell their stake. A representative for Winklevoss Capital, the brothers inves...

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