How did you get into crypto? We asked 5 people

As crypto is becoming increasingly popular, so are its opportunities. In this week’s crypto diaries, people in our community share how they became interested in crypto. In addition to the potential high gains, there are other uses they believe will provide significant long-term benefits.

5 people told us about their first memories of crypto, what sparked their interest, and where they see crypto going.

Ebuka, 28

It was in 2016 and I was trying to pay for something not entirely legal — a football bootleg page — online. Because I was a student, I didn’t have cable and so this was a cheaper alternative. But when I was about to make payment, the account owner told me he only accepted Bitcoin. That was the first time I heard about crypto. To understand how to use it and send the money, I watched a few videos on YouTube and read a few things. After sending the money, I became more intrigued with this new digital currency world and started exploring it for my own use. I found that there were many other things I could pay for with it. I was so excited about how much it might grow in the future. Since that day, I’ve been buying Bitcoin and I’ve also bought and sold other tokens in the process.

Bolanle, 29

In 2021, my friend got a job offer from a crypto company and she was told that they were going to be paying her in a cryptocurrency. She knew very little about crypto at the time, so she asked our group chat if we thought it was a good idea. I had seen people on social media talk about crypto before then, but that was the first time I really thought about it. There was one person in the group though who seemed to be pretty active in crypto.

She answered all of my friend’s questions and shared material she had been reading and YouTubers she had been following. I was interested so I checked out the links she shared. I found it all really interesting, so when my friend got her first paycheck, I told her to show me how to open a crypto wallet and send some of her crypto to me (in return for cash, obviously) so I could play around with it. She did, and she also showed me how to buy, sell and withdraw.

She recommended CoinMarketCap — a crypto publication and price-tracking platform — to learn more about crypto and we learned about it together; asking each other questions, and asking other friends whenever we had questions. I only own Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and some stablecoins, though, so I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but I do know enough to get by.

Arike, 28

In 2020, a crypto company reached out to offer me the opportunity to interview for a job on their marketing team. After going through the introductory interview, they sent me a really extensive assessment. I had to write three articles and one PR email in 78 hours. I didn’t know a single thing about crypto at the time — I had heard of Bitcoin but never actively engaged in any conversations about it — so I got to work. I watched videos, read articles and asked people who knew about crypto to share helpful material with me. I spent my entire weekend doing a crash course on crypto and finally, on Monday morning, I had everything ready and sent it to them.

I didn’t get the job (they went with someone with more “experience”), but I had learned enough that I was now actively interested in crypto. Beyond investing, I now saw how crypto could make my money management easier. For example, I saw how I could save money in stablecoins to offset the currency inflation, and that’s mostly what I’ve been using it for.

Imran, 28

The first time I heard about crypto was in 2017/2018. My friend was talking about Bitcoin and how much money he was making from investing in it. I did my own research but I didn’t actually own any crypto until last year because of FOMO — everyone was still going off about how much money they were making and I wanted in on it. I bought Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and USDT. I bought most of my crypto to make some money, but my decision to buy USDT was because I live in Nigeria — I use it as a strategy to protect myself against the ever-devaluating Naira.

I haven’t really looked at my wallet because of how disappointing the prices are now and I don’t think I will be looking anytime soon. Maybe when I blow and there is some indication of the market trending upward, I’ll give it another go. For now, my crypto journey is on pause.

Deyo, 30

My first in-depth interaction with crypto was when I was doing marketing research on two crypto exchange companies for work. During my research, I found that despite the ban on crypto transactions in Nigeria, many people were still active in the space. Upon further investigation, I found that not only were people keen on crypto for the money-making opportunities, but they were also using it as a way to safeguard their money from Nigeria’s turbulent currency.

My study made me more intrigued about the space on a personal level, so I bought some crypto. However, I was more interested in NFTs. I’m a brand guy and to me, I see NFTs as a touchpoint for brands in the future — I think Buju has a collection of NFTs and one of the holders got to spend time with him and also got VVVVIp access for one of his shows.

I was intrigued by the idea so I started to delve into NFTs and so far I have 8 — some I bought as collectables because I like them and others because of the community and what they are trying to achieve. I own a Doodle Dog NFT and they donate proceeds to dog shelters. I also have some I wouldn’t mind selling when the value increases.

I made some money off Litecoin before crypto started to dip. I don’t own any crypto per se, but then again I still have my NFTs which are on the Ethereum network so in some way I still have Ethereum.

I haven’t given up on the market, though. Most of my disposable income now is going into holidays, but I do intend to buy NFTs in the future. If you gave me $5,000 now, I would invest $1,000 of it in crypto and $ 2 or $3,000 in the stock market.

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