Winklevoss twins receive refund of over $300k from Trump’s campaign

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have been collectively refunded around $310,800 by the Trump 47 Committee since they exceeded the maximum amount of donation allowed by federal law, a campaign official told Bloomberg.

The founders of Winklevoss Capital Management and Gemini crypto exchange each donated $1 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) to former president Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 elections.

According to federal law, a presidential campaign is legally allowed to accept a maximum donation of $844,600 from each person. It is not known however, whether the refund was processed in Bitcoin or its cash equivalent.

According to the Bloomberg report, the donated money is split between Trump’s presidential campaign, the leadership political action committee that pays his legal bills, the Republican National Committee, and 42 republican state party committees.

Trump is wooing the crypto industry

The news of the Winklevoss twins’ donation refund comes days after they decried President Joe Biden for his ‘anti-crypto’ policies while calling Trump the “pro-crypto” choice.

President Donald J. Trump is the pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto, and pro-business choice,” Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a post on X on June 20.

Over the past few weeks, Trump has re-iterated his intention to ease policies around crypto if re-elected. On June 7, Trump said that he will put an end to Biden’s “war on crypto” within an hour of taking office if re-elected. He also described himself as a “crypto president.” Trump also intends to turn U.S. into a Bitcoin mining powerhouse.

According to the Bloomberg report, Trump has also held discussions with Elon Musk on crypto policy.

The Winklevoss twins are not the only ones in the crypto industry who support Trump’s re-election. For instance, Brian Morgenstein, the head of policy at Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, reportedly said:

“President Trump will protect your right to own Bitcoin, to mine Bitcoin, to transact with Bitcoin, and for many of us, to work in the Bitcoin industry.”

In late May, Trump also promised that on the first day after re-election, he would commute the life-sentence of Ross Ulbricht to time-served, thereby freeing the creator of the now-defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road.

Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign told Bloomberg:

“Crypto innovators and others in the technology sector are under attack from Biden and Democrats. While Biden stifles innovation with more regulation and higher taxes, President Trump is ready to encourage American leadership in this and other emerging technologies.”

The legal troubles of the Winklevoss twins

The Gemini exchange, which is run by the twins, used to run the now defunct Gemini Earn program, which allowed users to earn yield on their assets. The program was jointly run with Genesis, which filed for bankruptcy in January 2023.

Subsequently, several users of Gemini Earn spent months trying to recover their funds. In February, Gemini said it will return 100% of the user assets “in kind,” as part of a Genesis bankruptcy settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

In May, Gemini said that Earn users collectively received over $2.18 billion of their assets, representing 97% of all assets owed to Earn users. On June 14, the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office announced that it had completed its settlement with Gemini and recovered $50 million worth of assets of Earn users.

The NYAG said that Gemini “allegedly misled thousands of investors on the risks” of the Earn program.

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