According to Le Monde, the two brothers were hospitalized on Dec. 15 and transferred to the intensive care unit of a Paris hospital after contracting SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Grichka died on Dec. 28, and Igor died six days later, on Monday.
The twins became famous in France in the 1980s, hosting a popular TV show called Time X and selling a best-selling book called Keys to science fiction, or Keys to science-fiction.
Despite their TV charm, outlandish views on theoretical physics, and noble Russian bloodline, the twins rose to cryptocurrency market fame due to a viral meme. The twins’ striking high cheekbones, puffed lips and elongated chins, which the brothers denied were a result of plastic surgery, made them internet meme stars as far back as 2015.
Extravagant, conspiratorial stories surrounding the twins first appeared on Reddit and 4Chan before cryptocurrency meme creators took over. The most iconic crypto meme shows Grichka as an omniscient, omnipotent figure, capable of crashing — “bogging” — or pumping cryptocurrency markets with a single phone call.
The original YouTube video from February 2018 has over 4 million views, while the meme features in tweets and trading forums.
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Fortunately, the twins were happy to run with the joke and the newfound fame the meme brought them. In an interview with CNEWS in July last year, they claimed that they had predicted a Bitcoin (BTC)-like currency in 1982 as part of their Time X TV show. They even suggested that they may have met with the mysterious Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, in the 1990s.
Igor told the TV show Non-Stop People that the famous photo of his brother on the phone has been viewed over 1 billion times and that Satoshi “probably had something to do with it going viral.” There is no proof of this interaction.
While the twins were no strangers to the eccentric or the outlandish, the memes will undoubtedly live on.