Into the Cryptoverse is a weekly Breach series that documents the stories of everyday people as they navigate the cryptoverse.
There are a couple of interesting things about the designer in this story: he took crypto seriously after he was caught up in an investment scam in 2021. About a year later, he’s building his portfolio with one goal in mind — investing for the future. What’s his number? At least one Bitcoin in his portfolio in the next five years.
When did you hear about crypto for the first time?
2014. Conversations about Bitcoin blew up on my university campus, and almost everyone in my circle caught the hype. We all thought it was an easy way to make money. I did some research and decided it wasn’t for me.
I feared that it was a scam. It seemed like Satoshi Nakamoto woke up one morning and created something out of thin air. Then I read that everyone had access to the blockchain, which is the distributed ledger where all transaction records are stored. In my mind, this meant that anyone could run away with people’s assets. I was like “No, not today.”
Let me guess; that scared you away.
It did. I deleted the crypto wallets I had initially downloaded on my phone, blocked out the crypto noise and moved on with my life.
Fast forward to 2018, a colleague at work convinced me to give it another try. I invested ₦10k ($18) in a coin for a start. But I lost interest again for reasons I no longer remember.
When did you return to it?
2021. The chain of events that led to this was memorable.
Tell me about it.
For someone wary of investment scams, I lost ₦400k ($770) to one in early 2021.
A lot of investment schemes broke out in 2020 and 2021, most of them promising investors unreasonable returns. They said they invested in real estate and the crypto markets and made it seem like they had a solid plan. I believed one and put my money in. The next thing they announced was that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had frozen their account and everyone’s money along with it. The bottom line is that I didn’t get my capital or the promised ROI.
I felt so stupid. But it also unlocked something in my mind. I told myself if I was going to lose money, it had to be on my terms and by my own mistakes. I set my sights on crypto again. Volatility or not, I was determined to figure it out this time — and I told people around me that I would hack it, no matter what it took.
I respect the conviction. How did it go?
For the first three months, I dedicated myself to learning about how investments work. I started with a book called “Investing for dummies.” Afterwards, I turned to crypto resources like Investopedia and Binance academy. At the end of it, I discovered that learning crypto wasn’t as hard as I initially thought.
What made you think so?
The fact that it closely mirrors the way the stock market works. Both are influenced by events that are happening in the real world. I started monitoring world trends and their impact on the crypto market. For instance, I noticed how the market reacted to Elon Musk’s tweet about how Tesla would no longer accept payments in Bitcoin and also China’s moves against crypto.
Now, I felt like I was ready to dive in.
Energy. Let’s talk about your earliest investments.
It was a little tricky to find a crypto exchange that worked — I found the onboarding process to most of them needlessly stressful — but eventually settled for Bitnob because it was the easiest. After that, I invested $100 in Bitcoin for a start.
In the weeks that followed, I put any loose cash I had into Bitcoin and Ethereum — $20 here, $50 there. I also tried my hands at trading but quickly realised that it wasn’t for me. All of this happened between May and July 2021.
My day job as a brand designer took most of my time already. But I found a way to work around this. I leveraged my working knowledge of technical analysis and collaborated with day traders in my circle. I contributed insights about the market movements, and if the information was good, they used it.
I see your confidence was growing.
Yes, it was. Sadly, I ran into financial difficulties in the second half of 2021, which affected my ability to invest more in assets. However, I held on to the assets I already had. The plan was to take profit in December, but I couldn’t. The price of crypto assets didn’t go up as much as it usually did at the end of the year, so my crypto assets weren’t worth as much as I initially estimated. So I thought it was best to wait for the market to recover.
This event also taught me something.
It helped me understand how important it is to block out the noise. A lot of people were pretty sure that the value of one Bitcoin would rise to $100k by December of 2021, but it didn’t happen.
See, if you treat crypto predictions as religion, you will likely get burned.
Preach. What did you do after?
I thought it was time to add more coins to my portfolio. I used $100 from my savings to buy Shiba Inu, BNB, and XRP — each for different reasons.
Tell me about them
I put 50% of the money in Shiba Inu because of its strong community. 25% went into BNB because Binance’s value as an exchange and a network will always help its native coin. The remaining 25% went to XRP because it looks like one for the future — brands concerned about clean energy will likely go for XRP when they adopt cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
This was just an attempt to diversify my portfolio. I’m 100% bullish on Bitcoin because it moves the market. Besides, I’ve written it off a couple of times, and I was wrong each time.
When I decided to invest in crypto, the goal was to save in something that wasn’t Nigerian Naira. While this hasn’t changed, I’m now looking for something that will stand the test of time and be relevant in decades to come.
What’s the thinking behind this?
I’m very big on family, and I’ll like to give my kids the best possible start in life. I’ve decided that crypto investments are the best way to achieve that. I mean, I can start small and slowly build up my portfolio. Also, I don’t need too much third-party involvement.
The goal now is to have at least one Bitcoin in my portfolio in the next five years, and it will be just for my kids. I’m not even married yet, but it’s never too early to start.
Love it. How do you imagine this will happen?
Dollar-cost averaging. It’s what people do when they want to invest an amount of money in a crypto asset over time without being too affected by the volatility of the crypto market. This is how it works: you continue to buy an asset irrespective of its price. My favourite thing about Dollar-cost averaging is that the days you buy an asset at a low price will cover the days you buy at a high price. It’s a win-win situation for me, so it’s one strategy that will get me to one Bitcoin.
I started Dollar-cost averaging last year. In the beginning, I bought $1 worth of Bitcoin daily. Then the frequency changed to once a week. I paused this when I needed money for other projects.
My entire crypto portfolio is worth about $300 now. That said, I’m in a better place financially and can afford to put more money into crypto this year. The plan is to buy at least $200 worth of Bitcoin every month.
Rooting for you. I see you’re not afraid to start small.
I’m not. Granted, you need disposable income to invest in crypto assets. But I think a lot of people underestimate what the disposable income they have can do.
For me, I believe in starting small and working my way up. For context, I used $100 to test the waters in 2021. I’ve learned so much between then and now, and I’m comfortable putting more money in crypto. I think about it this way: “Start small, make the mistakes, leverage the lessons and increase your positions.”
That’s a good way to think about it. But what do you find most annoying about crypto?
The UX of a lot of crypto apps is bad. I’m a brand designer, and I find crypto apps difficult to navigate.
Interestingly, this problem has reignited my interest in User Experience (UX) design. I didn’t think that crypto would push me into starting a career in UX when I started this, but it’s happening, and I can’t complain about it.
Love it for you When you think about your crypto journey in the next five years, what do you see?
I imagine I’ll have more income to play with and by extension, more money to invest in my assets. I’m also hoping to have met my target of one Bitcoin for my kids or something close to it.
Beyond that, I don’t think crypto will be criminalised in Nigeria the way it currently is, and that will be a good thing. At least, more people can be onboarded and take advantage of the crypto-verse. That’s a future I’m excited about.
Check back every Monday at 10 a.m. for a new episode.
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