German teenager Erik Finman has an unusual success story. When was 12 years old, he realized school wasn’t his future. Most of his classmates felt the same, of course, but Finman took action: He made a bet with his parents. His parents promised that if he became a millionaire before his 18th birthday, he wouldn’t have to go to college.
So Finman took the 1,000 euros from his grandmother meant for his studies and bought Bitcoins at a rate of about 10 euros each. He won that bet with his parents by becoming a Bitcoin millionaire before he turned 18.
Finman, now 19, has been trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for seven years.
Business Insider Germany spoke exclusively with Finman, who explained why you can still become a millionaire with cryptocurrencies over the next 10 years and discussed the crash earlier this month.
Erik, we speak to each other at a time when the prices of cryptocurrencies have plummeted across the board. Was this the start of a crash and perhaps the bursting of a bubble, or just a late correction after the quick gain of recent months?
I still believe in cryptocurrencies. There are always ups and downs on the way up. Many people have anticipated this decline. It was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy after many experts spoke of a bubble.
For me, the decline is due to a decrease in momentum — after the development of the last few months, it had to happen at some point. It was foreseeable because value continued to rise steadily while many people were not convinced of the rise in prices.
Of course, I didn’t know exactly on which day that setback would come. However, the advance of cryptocurrencies is unstoppable. A single crash does not change that. People will continue to invest in it and become increasingly emotionally connected with digital currencies.
That means that you keep your Bitcoins?
That is true. I remain stuck with my Bitcoins — and there are a lot of them.
These are the words of someone who has been investing in cryptocurrencies for seven years and has a lot of relevant experience. But somebody who has only recently entered the currency is likely to become nervous after the recent losses…
I have met many such people. As interest increased and the price rose, they were attracted and invested their money in it. But the biggest mistake they can make is to get out of the market now and sell their Bitcoins just because of a setback.
It is important to know — and especially when you invest a lot of money — that the prices fluctuate greatly. In the past, Bitcoin has had these setbacks time and time again, and this is unlikely to change in the future. But Bitcoin will probably continue to rise. Maybe it only takes a few weeks; maybe years. Of course, no one knows.
For me, however, it would be the wrong strategy to sell after such a fall in prices, because I believe that there is a real chance that value will rise again to the levels we last saw.
If you are so convinced, does this mean that you see a good chance to buy Bitcoins when the price is so low?
Yes, exactly. But not only me. I have many friends and fans who almost begged for a crash. They asked for a correction and a crash because they wanted to buy but thought the price was too high.
This drop in the price of Bitcoin gives them a chance. And now you must have the courage to really get involved. Otherwise, at some point, you look back and think,
“If only I had bought after the reset.” So I really guess people are now using the reset to buy.
Not only has Bitcoin collapsed, but most other cryptocurrencies have also fallen. Are you still convinced that Bitcoin is the best digital currency, or do you also have other favorites?
Today, Bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency for me. But Bitcoin is like Netscape or Myspace. Bitcoin is sort of a pioneer of a new technology, so it’s important that it continues to exist. But the technology is already beginning to be obsolete — to buy a coffee for $2, you have to pay a transaction fee of $30.
These issues need to be addressed at the technology level, by giving a new coin or updating a coin. Add to that the electricity costs for the mining — to mine a Bitcoin, you need so much energy, with which you could cover the needs of a house over a whole year. In addition, most of the miners are located in China, and thus the energy comes from Chinese coal-fired power plants, so Bitcoin, meanwhile, contributes to massive environmental pollution. Also this problem can be solved by a new technology or an update of an existing technology.
Bitcoin has been around for a long time, and Myspace or Netscape have been successful for a while. But at some point, better products came on the market — Facebook or Google Chrome, as an example.
Fact is, Bitcoin as we know it today will not last forever. The only question is what comes next — either an update that solves the problem, or another coin will prevail.
- Erik Finman, 19, bet his parents that he wouldn’t have to go to college if he was a millionaire before age 18 — and he won by investing in Bitcoin.
- He told Business Insider Germany there was still a lot of opportunity in cryptocurrencies.
- He says he’s found there’s no need to panic over lows or bubbles.