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Winklevoss twins' Bitcoin trust aims to introduce investors to alternative currency

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In April Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss claimed their Bitcoin portfolio was worth $11 million — around 1 percent of the currency's dollar equivalent at the time — and now the pair are hoping to bring the alternative currency to traditional investors. As reported by The New York Times, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust would function as a normal exchange-traded fund — but instead of focusing on stocks, the fund would be made up of Bitcoins. Since shares in these types of funds are traded, investors would essentially be buying and selling Bitcoins without having to deal with the specifics of the alternative currency itself. According to the proposal filed by the twins, owning five shares of the trust would be the equivalent of owning one Bitcoin.

"The trust brings Bitcoin to Main Street and mainstream investors to Bitcoin," Tyler Winklevoss told the Times. "It eliminates the friction of buying and reduces the risks associated with storing Bitcoin while offering similar investment attributes to direct ownership."

Putting Bitcoin into the hands of average investors within a familiar context would no doubt help curb fears about the currency, but it's not a done deal just yet. Government regulators will have to approve the proposal, and even if it should clear that hurdle the Bitcoin market itself has faced a number of problems — something that could spell trouble for the trust over time. Still, it's yet another sign of the confidence the Winklevoss twins have in Bitcoin.