Why I failed to make a fortune as an early bitcoin adopter?
Note: The author of this article, Velaciela, aka V酱, was the Co-founder of Yibite, a bitcoin news site that was founded in 2014 but finished in 2015. The story below is a vivid description of his gains and pains when working for a bitcoin startup. Not every early adopter can take fortune-making ride of bitcoin.
Bitcoin soared over $1000, hitting a record high as it happened at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.
As an early bitcoin user and investor, or even a so-called entrepreneur, it would be lying to say that I didn’t make a profit from it. But honestly speaking，I am not financially independent or a successful investor though I indeed invested a lot of money in bitcoin and got some opportunities to learn something about the bitcoin blockchain. Therefore, it can be said without exaggeration that my investment in bitcoin is a big disaster.
I never thought I would share my experience with anyone, but it’s just not right to do that, so I’d like to say something about bitcoin and what I have learned from it.
1, Early Investment
I am among the very first group of investors in cryptocurrencies. At the very beginning, investors bought bitcoin with a large volume at the price of less than $100 and they even invested some bitcoin start-up projects. I’d like to call myself a top investor who has the vision and courage to seize an excellent investment opportunity. At that time, I learnt cryptography by myself and worked to make my research methods scientific. I even backed up my bitcoin wallet in different places to make it as secure as possible.
All those turned out to be meaningless. Among early investors, some were even earlier than me, they started with merely several dollars. Some miners chose to sell their bitcoin. Some stopped for a while and started again, but suffered great losses. It seemed that bitcoin holders won a great deal in all blocks but genesis block of Satoshi Nakamoto. But it was the other way around. Some foreign bitcoin “guru” could not even afford an air ticket when giving a lecture all over the world. As such, just like stocks, though there were some early stockholders in 1990s, only a small number of people made a profit.
2, Knowledge About Bitcoin
Though not exactly a bitcoin expert, I am no laymen. I wrote some dissertations about bitcoin which proved to be reliable later, and I had a great number of followers. I gave my priority to bitcoin, donating great time and effort and I believed that bitcoin could rise ten times of its initial price based on my research.
Again, it didn’t make much difference. Not so many people became rich, not even professional miners, programmers, ASIC designers, technicians and cryptologists. Most companies went bankrupted and simply disappeared. Is bitcoin so hard and impossible for common people to understand and master? That’s not the case.
3, Industrial Players
I used to work at ALTCOIN ASIC, the first bitcoin mining company in China. Its founder was a boy of 20 who runs the world’s largest mining pool. The CEO is one of the writers of Bitcoin by CHINA CITIC PRESS. Besides, the company worked with Chinese Academy of Sciences and it received 10 million RMB in its seed round funding. It didn’t take much time for them to set up an exchange and start several projects. Unfortunately, just like common stock investment, listed companies, employees and even senior executives didn’t earn a fortune from price volatility.
4, Successful Investors
Since early adopters, industrial players and experts all failed to make money, can we say that nobody ever makes any profit? Actually, that’s not the case. I know some successful investors like Li Xiaolai( a Chinese Bitcoin multimillionaire) who has been holding bitcoin for years. I heard that Ding Lei (founder of NETEASE) is also investing bitcoin. If it were true, I guess he didn’t lose any money. Generally, there are people who are not necessarily experts or early investors, but they earned a lot from bitcoin.
It’s definitely not a happy feeling to see others making money. I thought I would complain as I always did, but not this time. I realized that I failed because I am too greedy. In other words, one need to be mentally wealthy in order to make a fortune. When I gave it another thought, I realized that if I invested on VIPS, YY and other stocks that I was familiar with, it would be another story. It’s all about me being too greedy.
Now all I am thinking of is that how come some experts and early investors in stock market didn’t become wealthy?
If it’s true that some people fail because they are not professional, then how come experts who can even estimate EPS also give up?
As a top investor (at least I think so), I am still too young, too simple. I failed not for lacking skills, but for my thoughts.
Man is but a reed. What makes one different from another is mind. Great people often entertain great minds. The strategies and decisions of a businessman lie in his mind.
If he is short-sighted and sees his company as a tool of making money, there is no way he would be successful in the long run. He is destined to lose all due to one mistake.
For those who have made profits in bitcoin, they are already successful in other areas. Take Li Xiaolai for example (the richest person in terms of bitcoin ownership in China), he himself is a well-known English teacher. One could tell how wise he is through his book A Friend of Time by CHINA CITIC PRESS. I talked with other successful investors who are running great companies and only regard bitcoin as an investment project. They would keep a peaceful mind in all cases.
In terms of stock market, successful investors would have the patience to hold their stocks for a decade or even longer. We do what our minds tell us and we pay for our behaviors. This is life and we’ve got nothing to complain. We each should remain peaceful when we’ve already done what we are capable of.
This is what I mean by faith. Faith is willing to hold your stocks for years when you are sure it would make a difference. I am not saying you should do nothing and stick to it blindly. Instead, use your judgement and see what happens.
With faith, investors succeed.
With faith, entrepreneurs succeed.
With faith, stockholders succeed.
As for future investment, here are my suggestions.
First, it’s impossible to predict short-term price. When you invest, always bear this in mind
Second, price is decided by supply-demand relationship and company operation.
Third, prepare for possible consequences. No one knows what would happen in the future. You make a decision after all factors are considered.
Fourth, improve your judgement. You should work to improve your judgement so that you would not blindly follow those so-called experts. Remember, read more and ask more.