Winklevoss twins refunded for exceeding Bitcoin donation limit to Trump

The billionaire Winklevoss twins, founders of cryptocurrency company Gemini, were refunded after their bitcoin donations to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign exceeded the maximum amount allowed under federal law.

According to a Bloomberg report, the portion above the legal limit was refunded to the donors, citing a campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

Why refund?

The twins each announced donations totaling $2 million in Bitcoin in posts on social media site X on Thursday to the presumptive Republican nominee, which would exceed the maximum $844,600 that the Trump committee can legally accept per person.

It is uncertain whether the Trump 47 Committee, which accepted the Bitcoin donation and typically focuses on larger contributors, returned the amount in Bitcoin or converted it to its equivalent value in cash.

According to the report, the donated money is split among the former president’s campaign, the leadership political action committee that pays his legal bills, the Republican National Committee and 42 GOP state party committees.

Trump’s acceptance of the Bitcoin donation moves toward the burgeoning relationship between his campaign and the crypto industry, a key player in the 2024 election. Investors and allies rally behind candidates who promise a lighter regulatory hand.

Twins’ background

The Winklevoss brothers reportedly attended a June fundraiser for Trump, costing up to $300,000 per person. They have also donated roughly $5 million to the Fairshake political action committee and its affiliates, which has been responsible for attack ads against lawmakers and backing certain Democratic and Republican candidates for office.

Many of the users of the Gemini crypto exchange, founded by the twins, spent months trying to get back funds they invested in Gemini Earn, a program to earn a yield on crypto assets run jointly with now-bankrupt Genesis.

However, users can now get their Earn assets back in kind. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James said she recovered about $50 million from Gemini for users who “were defrauded.”

Gemini agreed in February to return at least $1.1 billion to customers through the Genesis bankruptcy as part of a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Gemini and Genesis over Gemini Earn early last year; Genesis has settled the charges.

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