FOMO Got Me Into Crypto. My Profits Gave Me A Reason To Stay
Into the Cryptoverse is a weekly Breach series that documents the stories of everyday people as they navigate the cryptoverse.
It took Amaka three years to get over her crypto reservations. But with $3k and a desire to unlock financial stability, she bought her first coins in 2019, which has now grown by over 5x. What’s her strategy and how did she get here?
Walk me through your first point of contact with crypto.
In 2016, I had two older friends who invested in bitcoin and talked about it. The biggest takeaway from their conversations was that the coin was a form of exchange and a store of value.
Interestingly, both of them had different experiences with their bitcoin investments.
What do you mean?
Their bitcoin purchase coincided with price fluctuations, and everything led to a bear market. When bitcoin started dipping, one of them decided that he was done and sold his coins at a loss. He never bought again and became a critic of cryptocurrency. His favourite word to use was “scam.”
On the other hand, the other person held on to his coins and didn’t sell them until 2021. He won.
Interesting. You were in the middle of this in 2016; who were you inclined to follow?
I was closer to the guy who ran at a loss, and I felt deeply affected by his experience. When you see someone lose money, you don’t want to follow suit. It didn’t help that I had bought into a Ponzi scheme earlier that year and got burned.
You changed your mind at some point, didn’t you?
Yes, I did. It was now 2019, and my partner invested in bitcoin and mentioned it to me. See, I have an aversion to losing money, but I also have a side that constantly looks for ways to make money. This side won, and I decided to bite.
It helped I had more money to play with than I did in 2016. Between studying for my law degree and other adulting stuff, I started a contract logistic business that picked off. By 2019, I had some money I wanted to invest in something.
Lit. Why did you think crypto was a strong investment choice?
I trusted the judgement of the person who renewed my interest in it — that was already a strong start. But I also wanted to do my due diligence. I did a little research, which revealed the price progression of bitcoin over the years. This triggered a strong case of FOMO that had me wondering why I didn’t buy into it in 2016. There was no time to waste this time — the FOMO spurred me to action, and I made my first investments in late 2019.
Tell me more about these?
Bitcoin was the biggest cryptocurrency, but I also wanted to diversify my portfolio. In my first transaction, I bought four different coins. Thinking about it now, I may have gone a little hard for a first-timer who wasn’t very informed.
How hard did you go?
I invested about $3k on these coins. Let me break it down: I bought $1k worth of bitcoin when its value was less than $30k. About $200 went to ether, and it was about $1k at the time. Another $200 went to litecoin, which had its value pegged at less than $50. I spent the most on XRP because it was the cheapest. It traded at less than $1, and I invested $1500.
This is quite a selection.
I didn’t understand the full potential or uses cases of these coins. However, I knew enough to understand that bitcoin had already made its mark. Ether was coming up close, becoming more expensive to transact in. The way I saw it, people would need something cheaper to transact, and XRP could be that coin. I only bought litecoin because someone advised me to.
Haha. That’s very honest. What was your goal when you first invested in these coins?
I just wanted financial stability — a hedge against the Nigerian naira fluctuations and general inflation. I could save in a dollar account, but the process of opening a domiciliary account was unnecessarily long. Crypto seemed like my best bet. It didn’t take me long to realise the only thing I might have to do is buy my assets when the price is low and sell when it’s high.
I’ve been doing this since 2019, and the biggest realisation is that I can’t just buy any coin. I have to be sure of the coin’s value before I put money into it. Also, when I say I have to hold, it means I have to hold. I’ve held on to my bitcoin for more than a year, and I don’t plan to sell it for the next couple of years.
That sounds like a plan. I suppose there have been subsequent investments too.
Apart from the first set of coins, yes. I bought BNB when it was about $200, but I didn’t hold it for too long — I sold it when it crossed the $500 mark. I would probably have held on to it for much longer if I was a big fan of Binance.
Wait a minute. Why aren’t you?
I tried to take to it, but it just never happened. I don’t think it’s the best app choice for beginners. This probably doesn’t matter, but I was scammed on their P2P platform.
Oh. I’m sorry about that.
It was totally my fault. I got sentimental and trusted the guy I was transacting with. It sounds funny now, but I didn’t think he would scam me.
Anyway, I made some money from holding BNB and decided to quit when I was ahead. I’ve invested in other coins since that time.
What are the major coins you’ve bought?
Now, I’m not sure how much I put into them, but I’ve bought into AXS, SOLANA, SAND and CARDANO. I’m particularly excited about the gaming coins.
Is there a reason?
I could be wrong about this. I have brothers who I’ve seen spend a shit-ton of money on their gaming characters. Crypto gaming seems like an extension of that. I’ve started to see the signs that this thing will blow up too. The value of my gaming coins, especially AXS, has been on an upward trend.
Love to see it.
The goal is to hold for as long as possible. That said, I use an insignificant amount of money to buy some coins and hold them for a relatively short time. These coins are a means to an end to always have liquid cash. So the intent here is to dispose of them when I’m in a good position to make a little profit.
What does your portfolio look like right now?
I currently have 21 coins in my entire portfolio, and I’m holding at least five of them for the long term — BTC, AXS, SOLANA, CARDANO, ETH, and XRP comes to mind right now.
Aside from my initial $3k investment, I have put a little more in these coins between 2019 and now. Luckily, I have made more in profits than I have invested, which is great considering that my entire portfolio is worth more than $20k at the moment.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t lost money or made mistakes that resulted in a loss either.
Do you want to talk about it?
I’ve got the timing of my purchases or sales wrong at least two times, and it all happened with shitcoins. I bought SHIB when it was low but didn’t hold on to it long enough. It blew up after I sold all the units I was holding. I also tried my hands at Dogecoin when the price was high and held on to it. Sadly, it’s been struggling since that time.
I’m sorry. It seems you are big on buying and holding, and not necessarily trading.
I work in real estate and am always on the move, so I don’t have the time to be a day trader. I do the next best thing instead: buy and hold. The thing about this is that I’m too dependent on the direction of the market trends — the bull market is good for me, bear markets not so much.
Nevertheless, I trust my decisions enough not to flinch at temporary dips. I think I’m in a good position to make profits for a long time. The biggest indicator of this is that I bought the major coins at a good time, so when the dips happen, I’m either not losing a lot of money or losing anything at all.
The joy of getting in early. How would you say your relationship with crypto has evolved in the past year?
I’m more grounded than I was when I first started. I got into this because of FOMO, but the knowledge and profit I’ve gained in the past two years have given me enough reason to stay. At least, I can now plot my investment path without primarily relying on anyone.
Growth. What do you think is the defining factor?
Research. As I invested more money in crypto, I became more interested in keeping up with the latest trends, coin listings, and price projections. All of these things come naturally to me now.
As they should. Where do you imagine your portfolio will look like in the next five years?
I should have made at least $100k in profit. If this happens, I’ll feel more secure about my finances. I probably won’t have to wait five years to hit this number if I start trading. Sadly, I don’t have the time or dedication to be a full-time trader. Still, there’s money to be made.
Fingers crossed on that. Tell me, what do you find most annoying about crypto?
Predictions are not always accurate. For example, I was convinced that BTC would hit $100k by December 2021, but here we are. It’s part of the package, and I can live with it.
However, I struggle to understand why people are still adamant about crypto adoption and actively campaign against it. I understand that everyone will have their own journey, especially as crypto becomes more mainstream. But like, fall in line and keep this moving already. Why haven’t they seen that crypto is allowing us to do more? And that’s what we need to do.
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