NFTs made me obsessed with crypto
Content marketer by day, collector of NFTs at night.
Into the Cryptoverse is a weekly Breach series that documents the stories of everyday people as they navigate the cryptoverse.
It has been an interesting journey for the subject of today’s story. First, she rekindled her love for crypto. Then, she fell in love with NFTs and went from zero to $26k.How did she do it? Find out below:
When was your first contact with crypto?
It was sometime in 2016. I saw an ad for Luno — a centralised crypto exchange — and I was curious. In my first transaction on the exchange, I bought ₦5k ($9) worth of ETH. At the time, my monthly allowance was ₦50k ($88).
I wasn’t sure what I was doing; I was just experimenting with this new thing I had found.
I can relate. What happened next?
I didn’t make another transaction or check the performance of my crypto until 2017. Interestingly, in the few months that had passed, the value of my ETH had doubled. I could feel my brain explode the day I noticed the price progression. After my excitement died down, I liquidated my asset for a reason I no longer remember. The plan was to buy more ETH as soon as I could, but that didn’t happen.
Short answer: financial difficulties. The Nigerian economy was doing badly and this affected my dad’s earnings. At some point, he stopped sending me my allowance monthly, and I had to fall back on my savings until he reimbursed me. This impacted what I was interested in, and crypto had to take a backseat. It didn’t help that I noticed that the price of cryptocurrencies had crashed towards the end of 2017. I took it as a sign to let it go for a while. This timeout lasted for four years.
Mad. What led you back to crypto?
The 2020 pandemic. I was laid off at my content marketing job and got a severance package from my previous employers. Now, I had a bulk sum to invest in something. Following my dad’s advice, I decided that it was wise to invest in something backed by U.S. dollars. Sadly, it didn’t work out the way I would have liked.
I tried going down the traditional banking route, but the process of opening accounts and selecting dollar-backed investment options was frustrating.
During the process, Luno popped up in my head again and I figured that it was the easiest place to put my money. I started with $1k, dividing it between ETH and BTC investments. My timing was right because a bull run had started, and the prices of cryptocurrencies were going up.
Beyond this, though, I didn’t have any plan for my assets. But the events of the following months changed everything.
What do you mean?
I got another content marketing job in the second half of 2020, and the platform I received my salary on supported withdrawals to a Coinbase wallet. Every time my salary came in, I sent half to my domiciliary account, which I used for long-term savings. The remaining half remained in my Coinbase wallet, usually in ETH or BTC.
Full disclosure: I didn’t research deeply into crypto, but I thought it was a logical way to keep and grow my money. The ease of withdrawal, which was a departure from my experience with Nigerian banks, was a big plus.
Would you say your interest in crypto was growing, though?
It was. But I wouldn’t be obsessed until I started playing with NFTs.
Ah, I want to hear more about this.
In August 2021, some guy tweeted about how an NFT sale paid off his students loan. I found this interesting and aspirational, so I started looking into NFTs. I literally Googled “where to buy an NFT”, and it led me to the OpenSea website. I opened an account and jumped in immediately. For the next eight weeks, I was experimenting with buying and selling NFTs.
I have a thing for firsts. So, let’s talk about your first NFT purchase.
It was a Chibi Dinos NFT, and it cost 0.09 ETH ($295). I sold it for 0.2 ETH ($656) later that month.
Lit. I’m curious: what drew you to this NFT collection?
To be honest, it was the hype that surrounded it. I was more interested in jumping head-first into the world of NFTs, so I went for the first project I heard people talking about. That said, it helped that the price of this NFT was pretty negligible, and I had enough ETH in my wallet to cover the transaction.
I understand that.
In retrospect, it wasn’t the best approach — I got lucky here as I did a few more times. But I loved playing with NFTs, and as I bought and sold them, I was convinced that being a collector could work out for me. So, I was consistently investing in NFTs and putting back the profits I made into buying more NFTs.
This feels like a good place to talk about the first couple of losses I made from buying projects solely based on hype.
Please, go on.
A lot of these happened in August 2021, but two come to mind right now. There was one I bought for 0.69 ETH ($226) and only managed to sell for 0.05 ETH ($164). This one could have been worse because the value of the NFT is now worth 0.009 ETH ($35). The second one cost 0.75 ETH ($2460) but is now worth 0.0025 ETH ($8)
Yes, I’ve made some mistakes, but the sales that went well made up for the occasional losses.
Did you refine your approach to investing in NFTs down the line?
Absolutely. By September 2021, the initial excitement had died down. And I started thinking about how to immerse myself in the experience without thinking about the price point of NFT projects all the time.
What did you decide on?
The first step was becoming more active in the NFTs communities I was in. I followed as many people as I could on Twitter. Subsequently, I joined Discord servers, especially for the collections I had invested in or was on the verge of investing in.
This practice, by extension, exposed me to more content about NFTs and helped me figure out how to ignore price speculations and hype around projects. It’s fair to say that I finally created some sort of learning path for myself.
And oh, engaging with these communities worked out well for me.
What do you mean?
One event is a perfect representation of this. In December 2021, I won a giveaway in one of the communities and the prize was a second-generation NFT of a project called ‘The Blitnauts’. Guess how much I sold it for?
I’ll bite. How much?
3.75 ETH ($13,912). I got $13k on a platter.
Beyond the free money I got, it also showed me how important the community behind an NFT is. In many ways, I started looking at the strength and vibe of an NFT community before buying — if I didn’t like the community’s energy, I would let the project go.
That’s interesting. What was the biggest lesson you learned from these NFT communities?
If you don’t care for the project or its creator, don’t buy the NFT. This lesson rubbed off on me quickly as well because I noticed a shift in my purchasing decisions in the last two months of 2021. I realised that I did care for the NFTs in my collection. And this kicked off my interest in Anime-inspired NFTs because I was also interested in Anime — I love how story-driven the NFTs are.
The first Anime-inspired NFT I bought into was a Capsule House project. At the time of purchase in September 2021, the price was 0.172 ETH ($488). The plan was to hold on to it for as long as possible. Fast-forward to December, it had grown in value and I needed money, so I sold it for 0.777 ETH ($2882). That’s not even the biggest amount of money I’ve made from Anime-inspired NFTs.
In January 2022, I had my sights set on a project called Azuki. Luckily, a new collection dropped and I got one of the NFTs at 3 ETH ($7, 812). When I sold it a month later, I got 8.88 ETH ($23,345) out of it.
Man, I love how causal you’re about all of this.
Haha. This one was actually crazy for me because I wasn’t looking to make a profit off it as soon as I did. Sometimes, it feels like I should have held on to it for a while longer. But I’ll take what I got.
Fair enough. I’m curious about how much you’ve made from NFTs.
This is tricky, but I’d estimate the number to be around $50k in lifetime earnings. However, I don’t know how much I’ve made in profits. You see, I reinvest most of the money I get from the sales. For context, I set $2k aside for my first couple of sales in 2021. Since that time, I haven’t dipped into my personal fund to purchase an NFT.
Is it fair to ask you for a masterclass?
Haha. I’ll tell you what I know for free. What has worked best for me is participating in the NFT space with money that I can afford to lose, and being on the lookout for projects backed by solid communities.
How many NFTs do you currently have in your collection?
77 NFTs, and it’s only been a few months since I started collecting them. It’s definitely been quite a journey.
I’ll bet it has. Before you go, can I ask how much your collection is worth?
Let’s see. $26k. Wait, this is really interesting.
How, what do you mean?
This collection was worth about $60k two months ago. I guess I should consider holding on to more projects.
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