Winklevoss Twins' Bitcoin index provokes angry wails from rival
We had this first, shout founders of Bitcoin Average
A Blighty-based Bitcoin bod has claimed the Winklevoss twins' cryptocurrency stock ticker has "taken influence" from his own open source service.
The Zucker-baiters launched a website called Winkdex last week, which uses a patent-pending mathematical to formula to track the price of Bitcoin on several different exchanges.
However, the boss of a similar site called Bitcoin Average contacted us to say that he already offered a similar service to anyone wanting to track the ever-fluctuating value of the virtual funny money.
It was designed by London-based developer Alex Kotenko and uses an open source mathematical formula to track the price of Bitcoin on several different exchanges.
Sean Gilchrist, the Bitcoin Average boss, said: "We do not know the Winklevoss twins and there is no doubt in my eyes that they have taken influence from us. They are even trying to patent this formula that we've had open source for months.
"Due to the fact we are a non-profit service they aren't affecting business as such. However, with the amount of time we've put in for free in developing this for the community it is incredibly frustrating to see the media reporting it as if its a ground breaking idea that they came up with."
He claimed the API is used by "hundreds if not thousands of apps and services", including Bitcoin wallets.
The two services look similar, although there's not much else you can do with this kind of service apart from show a wildly oscillating line denoting the value of Bitcoin.
Currently, both Winkdex and the Winklevoss Index are regarded as service marks, which are not quite as protected as trademarks.
As for Bitcoin Average, if it succeeds in patenting the method and formula used in the system that determines the price, and the Winky Twins' effort is judged as replicating it, the pair might have a few worries.
However, the Winklevii hit back at Gilchrist's claims and insisted their system of determining an accurate price for Bitcoin was unique.
The SEC filing announcing the launch of Winkdex and its "blended Bitcoin price" assessment system was actually filed on July 1 2013. Research by the Winklevoss' team suggested the Bitcoin Average website was not registered until July 18, 2013, and wasn't publicized until August 2 2013.
A spokeswoman for the Winklevoss brother said: "Winkdex has developed a unique and different methodology for determining a more accurate U.S. dollar denominated spot price of Bitcoins.
"Our patent pending methodology selects different exchanges and weighs the price, volume and time of the transactions in determining the price. Cameron and Tyler are pleased to learn about the BitcoinAverage project and encourage all responsible ventures in the Bitcoin marketplace."
Winkdex is different from other services because it only includes the American Bitcoin exchanges deemed to be the largest in the 24 hours before a value for the coin. It gives recent trades more value than older ones, producing a more up-to-date value, which is intended to make the index more difficult to manipulate. ®