Let’s not beat around the bush: most people who are involved in the cryptocurrency market dream of becoming millionaires and living a lifestyle of luxury.
Since the initial release of Bitcoin in 2009, there has been a great number of stories about people who became millionaires thanks to Bitcoin, and, in this article, we look at five such stories to show you that Bitcoin gives everyone an equal opportunity to achieve financial independence.
In 2011, Erik Finman was just 12 years old when he received a generous gift of $1,000 from his grandmother. Most other kids his age would use the money to buy a new smartphone or the latest video game console, but Erik decided to invest everything in Bitcoin.
That decision had paid off big time because Bitcoin was valued at $1,200 a piece just two years later, which is when he decided to sell his Bitcoins and use the money his investment had earned him to launch an online education company called Botangle, a web venture providing video tutoring services.
It didn’t take a long time for Botangle to catch the attention of investors, who presented Erik with a seemingly difficult choice: sell the company for either $100,000 or 300 Bitcoins. For Erik, however, there was just one answer, and you already know what it was. Yes, Erik decided to bet everything on Bitcoin one more time. Why? Perhaps because he made a bet with his parents that if he turned 18 and was a millionaire, they wouldn’t force him to go to college.
“I can proudly say I made it, and I’m not going to college,” said Erik in an interview with CNBC. “The way the education system is structured now, I wouldn’t recommend it. It doesn’t work for anyone. I would recommend the internet, which is all free. You can learn a million times more off YouTube and Wikipedia.”
It has been a long time since Bitcoin was valued at less than $1,000, so it’s almost hard to appreciate just how much has its value climbed up over the years. The story of Kristoffer Koch should be able to put things into perspective for you.
In 2009, Kristoffer was busy writing his master thesis on encryption technology at his University in Norway. While researching the latest applications of encryption, he came across the unknown virtual currency called Bitcoin. Determined to experience first-hand what Bitcoin was all about, he decided to spend around $26, which allowed him to purchase—hold your breath—more than 5,000 Bitcoins (yes, that’s correct).
What did Kristoffer do with his investment? Nothing! He moved on with his life and forgot about it. He remembered only when mainstream media started talking about Bitcoin on a daily basis around 2013. After an entire day spent searching for the correct password to his encrypted Bitcoin wallet, Kristoffer struck gold and quickly exchanged one-fifth of his investment for $886,000.
He used the money to buy himself a cozy apartment in Oslo, Norway, and the rest is history. It’s possible that Kristoffer still has the remaining 4,000, patiently waiting for the right opportunity to sell another chunk of his digital fortune.
It takes a certain kind of determination and blind faith to sell everything you have and use the money to invest in a volatile cryptocurrency. However, determination and blind faith are sometimes exactly what you need to have to become a millionaire.
When he was in his early 20s, Kingsley Advani was working at a software company, putting as much of his salary into the crypto market as he could. Because his salary wasn’t enough for him, he also decided to sell everything from his laptop to his headphones and pour the money into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
That strategy has turned out to be visionary because Kingsley turned his investment into a low-seven-figure sum, courtesy of the amazing 2017 bull run. After watching his net worth balloon up, he quit his job and now travels the world as a startup advisor and angel investor.
“I think at no point in human history have people in their 20s had such an opportunity to invest in such high-growth assets," Kingsley told Business Insider. “It's like a rebellion to traditional finance. You don't need centralized banks to send money—you have these great pieces of tech send money for you through cryptography. So unlike banks, it's faster, cheaper, and more secure.”
There are many people who have become Bitcoin millionaires because they’ve, well, bought low and sold high. But there’s also a different kind of crypto millionaire—the crypto entrepreneurs who have the necessary business acumen to create world-changing solutions, and Jeremy Gardner is one of them, holding enough coins to be referred to as a crypto millionaire while still being in his 20s.
Jeremy got into crypto when one of his friends offered to purchase him some Bitcoin in exchange for cash back in 2013. It didn’t take a long time for Jeremy to fall in love with Bitcoin and the realization that it allows anyone with an internet connection to exchange value anyone else, removing the need for centralized intermediaries, such as banks or even governments.
Even before Jeremy cashed out some of his Bitcoin investment, he already knew how to spend the money: launch Augur, a decentralized prediction market meant to harness the wisdom of the crowd. After a $5 million ICO, Augur is now live and doing well.
In addition to Augur and several minor crypto ventures, Jeremy is also responsible for The Blockchain Education Network, which is a non-profit group that’s on a mission to educate and empower students excited about blockchain technology across the world.
Nobody knows who Mr. Smith is and that only makes his Bitcoin success story that much more enticing. This shadowy figure was interviewed by Forbes because he had earned over $25 million in investment profits and used the money to travel the world. The list of countries Mr. Smith has visited includes Singapore, New York City, Las Vegas, Monaco, Moscow, and you can be sure that he only flies first class and stays in 5-star suites.
Mr. Smith worked at a Silicon Valley tech company when he purchased $3,000 worth of Bitcoin in October 2010. “I had no idea how much to invest, but I was getting paid pretty well at the time, so I decided on $3,000.” Because Bitcoin was worth only $0.15 a piece at the time, his initial investment gave him around 20,000 Bitcoins.
From the very start, Mr. Smith knew that he was playing the long game, deciding to see just how high Bitcoin could go. For the next three years, he hodled his investment, only occasionally checking how Bitcoin is performing. But when Bitcoin hit $350, and then $800 just days later, Mr. Smith knew that it wouldn’t be wise to wait any longer.
He cashed out $2.3 million, quit his job, and started a new life. We know that Mr. Smith’s story is at least partially true because he showed Forbes contributor Jordan Bishop a Bitcoin wallet with a balance of 1,000.00 BTC, which was worth $2.6 million at the time of the Forbes interview.
We hope that the five inspirational Bitcoin success stories presented in this article have showed you that anyone can become the next Mr. Smith. Recently, the value of Bitcoin has nearly doubled in just one week, and it’s guaranteed that many fantastic investment opportunities are yet to come.
It’s up to you to be ready to capture them when they finally do arrive, and the best way how to do that is to jump head first into the turbulent waters of the crypto market and experience first-hand what it’s like to see your investment grow and your knowledge and experience increase as a consequence.