fbpx
Money

I Made $1M On Bitcoin – And Lost It Again

Until 2016, I ran an advertising agency in London. At our peak, we were highly successful; I had a team of 35 people, a £3m turnover and a Covent Garden office.

When the agency folded, I decided to invest in bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a type of electronic cash that allows people to spend or trade via a peer-to-peer network without the involvement of banks or other intermediaries.

It is a cheap, efficient way of transferring funds or holding value, which can be converted back into sterling at any time.

I had used it before to buy treatment online for my mother after she was diagnosed with cancer.

I had also dabbled with investing in it in 2013, and made and lost some money: bitcoin is prone to sudden fluctuations in value. But the market seemed to have moved on, and I decided it could be a good way to make some profit on my savings.

At first, I deposited £5,000; at the time, January 2017, bitcoins were about $600, so I bought seven or eight and spent the rest on other cryptocurrencies.

But over the next few weeks, I became hooked and plowed in a large chunk of money – £23,000 in all. I remember telling people, “I really think the value of bitcoin could rise to $2,000 this year.”

I could never have predicted it would peak at 10 times that. By the middle of spring 2017, my investment had risen to about $300,000, and by the summer it was at half a million.

Media interest in bitcoin was growing and friends kept asking how they could get into it, so I started a Facebook group, then a website and finally a podcast devoted to the subject.

As excitement built, more and more people got involved, forming the conditions for a bubble, but many of us were too caught up in the hype to exercise caution.

At the end of 2017, bitcoin had reached almost $20,000 and my portfolio had ballooned to about $1.2m. That is when I got a little out of control.

I have always been an entrepreneur, and since I was a kid I had dreamed of buying my local football club, Bedford Town, becoming chairman and getting them into the league.

I thought the project might cost £5m, so that was the figure I decided to aim for. I estimated I could get there within six months.

By this time I was traveling the world doing interviews for my podcast, taking friends out to expensive restaurants and buying extravagant gifts for my family.

I am not the kind of person who puts everything away for the future, and though I donated £6,000 to my local hospital, much of my spending was quite frivolous.

It might have been more sensible to buy a couple of houses, but I became overambitious. This felt like my one shot at achieving that childhood dream.

At the end of January 2018, the bubble burst and bitcoin’s value suddenly fell. There had been a few drops during 2017 but it had bounced back, so I was not too worried.

But over the rest of the year, I watched it sink lower and lower, along with the other cryptocurrencies I had invested in, all the time thinking, “Well, there’s no point selling now…” That was my attitude throughout last year, as bitcoin’s value continued to fall.

Pretty much everything I had built up was wiped out.

There are many who invested a lot more than I did and ended up with far greater losses. I wish I had taken everything out before the bubble burst, but I do not waste too much time on regret.

I have earned money in the past through hard work and enjoyed it more. At the moment, I am enjoying making my podcast, which provides more than enough money to live on.

I have sold most of my bitcoin, which is currently worth about $4,000 apiece, to give me a cushion in case the business has a bad month.

But if I had to choose between the $1.2m and the podcast, I would let the money go again – I love what I do now.

I still believe that bitcoin is a force for good.

I recently interviewed Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation, who was explaining how it helps people living in authoritarian regimes to prosper – for example, women in Afghanistan who are not allowed to open bank accounts can still work and get paid in bitcoin.

It is a step in the right direction. My main focus now is exploring how bitcoin could help stabilize an increasingly volatile world.

This story originally appeared in The Guardian. Image courtesy of Sophia Evans/The Guardian.

Join The Discussion

Over 1,000 Feared Dead After Cyclone Idai Hits Mozambique
Over 1,000 Feared Dead After Cyclone Idai Hits Mozambique [Video]
Flash Floods, Earthquake In Indonesia Kill Dozens
Flash Floods, Earthquake In Indonesia Kill Dozens [Video]
Thais Flock To Early Voting In First Election Since 2014 Coup
Thais Flock To Early Voting In First Election Since 2014 Coup [Video]
49 Killed As Gunman Livestreams New Zealand Mosque Shootings
49 Killed As Gunman Livestreams New Zealand Mosque Shootings [Video]
Where The Funds Go On Crypto Exchanges And OTC Desks
Where The Funds Go On Crypto Exchanges And OTC Desks
Why Most Educated People Fail To Understand Bitcoin
Why Most Educated People Fail To Understand Bitcoin
Japanese Hacker Arrested For Stealing Over $130,000 In Cryptocurrency
Japanese Hacker Arrested For Stealing Over $130,000 In Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Bulls To Return In 2019
Bitcoin Bulls To Return In 2019 [Video]
Why You Shouldn't Put All Your Focus On Only One Social Media Network
Why You Shouldn’t Put All Your Focus On Only One Social Media Network
The Videos Your Customers Want To See On Social Media
The Videos Your Customers Want To See On Social Media? [Infographic]
5 Ways To “Trick” The Facebook Algorithm For More Engagement
5 Ways To “Trick” The Facebook Algorithm For More Engagement
7 Ways To Generate More Social Media Traffic In 2019
7 Ways To Generate More Social Media Traffic In 2019
Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Use In 2019
Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Use In 2019? [Infographic]
Snapchat To Launch Gaming Platform Next Month
Snapchat To Launch Gaming Platform Next Month
How Long Should A YouTube Video Be
How Long Should A YouTube Video Be? [Video]
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties [Video]
6 Hottest Cannabis Products In 2019
6 Hottest Cannabis Products In 2019
10 Easy Ways To Be Healthier In 2019
10 Easy Ways To Be Healthier In 2019
9 Questions To Ask Your Network To Help You Find Your Path
9 Questions To Ask Your Network To Help You Find Your Path
What Is Your Therapist Listening For
What Is Your Therapist Listening For?
Apple Announces New iPad Air And iPad Mini
Apple Announces New iPad Air And iPad Mini [Video]
Over 1,000 Feared Dead After Cyclone Idai Hits Mozambique
Over 1,000 Feared Dead After Cyclone Idai Hits Mozambique [Video]
Flash Floods, Earthquake In Indonesia Kill Dozens
Flash Floods, Earthquake In Indonesia Kill Dozens [Video]
IBM Aims To 'Change The Landscape Of Cross Border Payments'
IBM Aims To ‘Change The Landscape Of Cross Border Payments’