I Started As A Retail Investor. Now I Lead A Blockchain Project

Into the Cryptoverse is a weekly Breach series that documents the stories of everyday people as they navigate the cryptoverse.

Let’s start with your first point of contact with crypto?

In 2015, Ponzi schemes were everywhere, with MMM taking the lead. I didn’t partake in MMM — even then, I always knew that the whole thing would crumble. But I was curious about the structure of the communities, so I joined a group. One of the first things I noticed was the members of the group transacted only with Bitcoin. I thought the concept of digital money — which is the only thing I thought crypto was at the time — was interesting. I didn’t take any active steps, though.

Why not?

I had just finished my Master Degree and was hunting for a software engineering job. This meant that I didn’t have a lot of disposable income.

Fair enough. When did you invest for the first time?

2019. A friend introduced me to a platform that promised returns on Bitcoin investments every three months. It sounded like a good deal, so I bought Bitcoin on an exchange and transferred my assets to this platform. I made another rookie mistake and convinced some of my colleagues to try it out. Unfortunately, the guys that owned the platform rug pulled us after a few months and shut the platform down. Like that, my money was gone.

Whoa. I’m sorry about that.

It almost caused a rift between my colleagues and me. In the end, I paid back their money, incurring a ₦2m loss ($3508) in the process. But I learned the lesson — it’s best to keep your crypto in your wallets.

After the experience, I withdrew from investing in crypto for another few months. I couldn’t stay away for long, though. I returned in 2020.

What made this happen?

Crypto adoption was growing, and it had gone beyond retail investments — institution investors were also interested, so it was impossible to escape crypto conversations. While this was happening, I read everything I found about new and existing projects and the blockchain. On the side, I was also looking at price changes in the crypto markets. For context, bitcoin was about $3k the last time I bought it in 2019. A year later, it had climbed to $18k.

Because of this, I knew I had to double up on my research and get back in. The most important thing I did was pay $1k to join a private community, an affiliate of a research institute in the US. At the end of each month, the institute sent detailed reports of the latest trends and potential solid projects or tokens to buy. This was a game-changer.

How so?

I learned about DeFi tokens from these reports and their growth potential. Also, Uniswap and Aave were becoming popular, so I started buying them. It didn’t matter that my research was from a trusted source, I still wanted to play it safe. My capital for the first few investments ranged between $50 and $100, but it increased as I built my muscle and appetite for risk.

How did this go?

Not bad at all. I mean, I started buying Uniswap in January 2020 when it was $2. Less than a year later, it was $20. I made quite a bit of money from it. I have to add that this worked for me because I learned how to take my profits. This is how it worked: If the value of an asset I bought at $100 grew to $120, I would sell 50% of my portfolio and hold on to the rest. I did this to protect myself from potential loss. Then I used Dollar-Cost-Averaging — investing small amounts of money over time — to get my portfolio back up.

Got it. What happened next?

By the end of 2020, I had gotten better at research, and I knew how to do fundamental analysis by myself to dig out the use cases of potential coins I was thinking of investing in. I carried this energy into 2021. Then I figured out another way to make money from crypto.

I’m listening.

Early in the year, I realised that I could make extra money without holding any crypto asset. It’s something I call the “business of crypto.” For me, this means using my social currency to make a little extra on the side.

Tell me how that works.

There are crypto products that are not only great but also use referrals as a tool to acquire new users. I use a couple of these products, so I thought it would be fun to recommend them to other people and see what I’d get from them. It was an experiment at first — I became more serious with it when I made $150 from referrals in about one month. This was in February 2021.

Lit. How’s that going now?

I doubled down on it, and it gave me more incentive to learn about crypto. At the moment, I make an average of $200/month from referrals, and I’m looking to get this number up to $1k/month before the end of this year.

Interestingly, this isn’t the most exciting thing that happened last year.

What do you mean?

In 2020, I started a community of crypto enthusiasts. As the community grew and evolved, we thought of projects we could take on and build. Last year, we had a conversation about creating a native token, but we also figured that there was a lot more we could do. In the end, we decided to build a blockchain company and work on a centralised exchange for a start. In three weeks, the community raised $60k to kick off the project.

Energy.

I set up a team and brought a technical partner in Europe on board the project, and we’ve been working on this project for close to a year. We launched the exchange earlier this month.

That’s a big move.

It is. First off, it’s coming out of Nigeria, which is exciting for me. But if this is my contribution to the crypto space, then I’m all for it. Beyond that, I’m particular about how this project will add to our economic strength across multiple fronts.

Rooting for you. Back to you, how has your relationship with crypto evolved over the past few years?

I’m not just a retail investor anymore, I’m also the lead on a blockchain project. It has gone beyond earning some money from crypto and more about helping more people get on the train. We’re still very early, so there’s still a lot more to do and learn.

Word. A segue, what information do you think you could have used when you first got into crypto.

The basics of fundamental and technical analysis. I believe I would have made even better decisions right at the beginning — knowing what assets to buy, and more importantly when to enter and exit a position.

Last question. Is there anything that took you a while to figure out?

The volatility. That said, I believe in taking profits when the market moves up and this has helped me navigate this. If I’ve learned anything since I started my crypto journey, it’s that volatility is not a deal-breaker.

I believe many people will agree with that. Thank you.

Check back every Monday at 10 a.m. for a new episode.

If you’re interested in talking about your crypto journey, click this link.

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