This student grew his portfolio from $17 to $10k+ in three years

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

What do you find most fascinating about the cryptoverse?

Simple. It’s the potential of making money. Interestingly, this is a departure from what I thought about it a few years ago.

I’m listening.

This was 2015, and I was in secondary school. At the time, I ran in the same circles with a couple of senior students who always talked about Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin. Although I wasn’t sure what either of them meant, the fact that these guys knew something I had no idea about made them look cool to me. I wanted to be cool like them, which from my perspective meant I had to own bitcoin as well.

I get that. What did you do?

I asked one of the guys to show me how to buy bitcoin, and that was it. Shortly after, I grabbed my mum’s debit card and bought ₦20k ($35) worth of Bitcoin.

Haha. I don’t know what to say.

I may have thought that mum wouldn’t notice the charge in her account. For context: my dad had passed away a couple of months earlier, and his gratuity was paid into my mum’s account. Or perhaps, the need to be as cool as the other guys trumped whatever fear I had of being caught.

Your mum found out, didn’t she?

She noticed the debit charge and asked me if I knew anything about it. When I denied what happened, she took it up with the bank. I’m not sure what happened after she reported the situation. Sadly, I don’t know what happened to the bitcoin I bought either.

What do you mean?

The Bitcoin hype died when the senior students graduated from secondary school. My interest in crypto followed. Subsequently, I forgot that I had bitcoin assets until 2017.

Let me guess. Something happened in the market.

Yes. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $20k. I wouldn’t get any piece of that action because I couldn’t recover my wallet details. The assets were lost forever. Very baffling.


But it triggered a renewed interest in crypto. When I started my research, I noticed a lot of similarities with something else I already knew.

What was this?

The stock market. My mum is an accountant, and she taught me how stocks work. I used this pre-existing knowledge to analyse and trim out the crypto content I consumed.

Nice. That must have helped your crypto learning curve.

Exactly. It wasn’t as steep as it would have been if I was starting from scratch.

I took another action step in 2018. In the middle of my pre-university programme, I heard about Buycoins. Their messaging offered people a chance to buy bitcoin and ether for as low as ₦1k ($1.7) — this lured me in.

In my first transaction on the exchange, I used ₦5k ($17) out of my ₦20k monthly allowance to buy bitcoin. At the time, it was just a way to save money until I got into university. In the months that followed, I topped up my coins with anything between ₦1k and ₦10k into it when I could. When my pre-university programme ended at the tail end of 2018, I withdrew everything. ₦50k. In my mind, I was rich.

Haha. Baller.

I planned to buy more coins in 2019, but I couldn’t. My running costs increased during my first year at university, and I didn’t have as much money as the previous year. As a quick fix, I decided to get a job. I was interested in technical writing, so I started positioning myself for freelance technical writing jobs. By the first quarter of 2020, I had gotten a few gigs and had more disposable income.

I was ready to dive back into the market. Luckily, bitcoin dipped to about $5k in March 2020. I took ₦100k out of my savings account and bought bitcoin. It turns out that I couldn’t have done this at a better time.


A massive bull run started in the same month. I continued to buy more bitcoin and even bought one ether when it traded for less than $200. In September 2020, I sold all my bitcoin and made my first million Naira from crypto. But I also made a mistake.

What was that?

I constantly feared that I would lose my profits, so I sold my ether when it reached an all-time high of $220. Ether would peak at $4k less than a year later. This blunder still haunts me, but if I’ve learned anything from crypto, it’s that the train is never late. There will always be new opportunities.

WAGMI. What happened after?

In January 2021, I started trading futures on Binance.

What drove this decision?

Again, it was my knowledge of the stock market. My mum had also taught me a bit about how leverage trading works. I thought crypto futures contracts worked with the same model.

Futures trading is pretty much entering a trade with more money than you have and betting on or against the volatility of the crypto market.

Here’s how it works: let’s say I have $10 but would like to trade with $100. I can enter a futures contract with what I have, and the exchange will provide the difference. If I make a profit at the end of the contract, I receive my profits as though I had entered the trade with $100. On the flip side, if I make a loss, I pay the exchange the deficit.


It is. However, I didn’t jump into it until I was confident in my risk management and technical analysis skills. More importantly, I had been exposed to the crypto market long enough to understand the importance of following charts and trends rather than emotions.

How has this been working out?

So far, so good, my profit: loss ratio is 1.5:1. It could be better, but you win some, and you lose some. Nevertheless, I try my best to keep my losses low as much as possible and bounce back from a trade that didn’t go my way. This is how I think about it.

Tell me about your biggest loss.

In November 2020, I opened a new trade when BNB reached an all-time high of about $600. Initially, I planned to go long on BNB because I was sure the price would still go up. However, I changed my mind last minute because I feared other traders would bet on the price value coming down. I entered the contract and went short with $1000 and a 75x leverage.

Let me guess: BNB didn’t dip.

No, the price continued to go up. I lost my whole trade margin — the amount I used to open and sustain the trade. I don’t usually lose money this way, but hey, I can always use some character development.

Sorry, man. What about your biggest wins?

I remember an FTM contract I entered and made close to $10k from. The coin was $0.222 when I opened the trade with $300 and a 10x leverage. At the end of the contract, the price had risen to $1. There have been a couple more wins since that time. As I said, I’ve made more money than I have lost from futures contracts.

Love it for you. A segue: what’s your crypto hotcake?

We’re very hung up on holding crypto assets in Nigeria, and I feel like there’s more to just HODL’ing. I get why we do it — we think it’s an alternative to storing the value of money. Nevertheless, trading is a better way to distribute wealth. Let the money move around.

Also, trading is a good way of joining in the action and putting everything I’ve learned about crypto into use, and I think more people should think about it that way. I can now confirm the practicability of some of the things I had read about in ways I wouldn’t have if I had just stuck to holding my assets. This gives me an idea of my weak points and how to plug them.

Let’s talk about weak points. What do you think is the most annoying thing about crypto?

The UX of a lot of crypto apps and wallets are bad. I understand that more apps are making the experience smoother. Sadly, non-custodial wallets like metamask are still stuck in their ways. And it’s things like this that make crypto look like it’s for the cool kids only. No, it’s not. It’s for everybody.

I hear you. How has crypto impacted your personal life?

My finances have been the most affected. The flexibility of earning money and the sense of security it gives is an amazing flex. Also, I enjoy how crypto preserves the value of money — it’s helpful for someone like me who interacts with the Nigerian Naira almost every day.

Let’s circle back to your assets. What does your portfolio look like?

The value of my portfolio is more than $10k at the moment. I’m excited about the next few years. I’m pretty young, so I suspect that my relationship with crypto at that time will set the tone for the rest of my life.

Wait a minute, how old are you?


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

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



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store