“When I bought Ethereum, I purchased it at something like 18 USD, and I believed in smart contracts. I was confident that it will grow to at least 200 USD per ETH by 2020 or so.”
Well, look how that turned out.
Mandy (Pseudonym) is an investment banker based out of Mumbai, India, who has been actively investing in cryptocurrencies since early 2017. He claims to have invested a grand total of about 8000 USD in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. When asked about his returns, he says, “My all time high portfolio value was about 350,000 USD, but because of the current market scenario, it’s come down to about 250,000 USD.”
I let that sink in for a moment. Even at its lowest point, he has made a 3000% increase. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I got down to interviewing Mandy, and learnt of how he stumbled upon his crypto success story.
Screwed over for Bitcoin
Before graduating, Mandy helped out his father’s business in IT solutions. They came across an anonymous client who wanted to pay in Bitcoin in return for a database. “This was back in 2015, and it interesting for us as we had never heard of this. However, the guy took the website and the database and never paid us. We got screwed over.”
But in a way, Mandy considers this to be a blessing in disguise. He says, “While we wasted a lot of time and lot data that could have made us some money, it introduced me to the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. I began reading about it and I started to believe in the vision that it was trying to achieve.” Soon enough, Mandy purchased his first Bitcoin.
Upon more research, Mandy discovered other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple. He says, “There was so many conversations and people on Twitter which introduced me to more cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. Some of my biggest investments were from Ripple and Ethereum and I came across them on Twitter and other crypto communities.”
His first coins were Bitcoin, ETH, Ripple, Dash and NEM. All of these coins have the largest market caps in the cryptocurrency world.
Mistakes and learnings
Mandy’s run so far has been in the bullish phase of cryptocurrencies. He acknowledges this and says, “maybe I got a little lucky”. However, his journey so far hasn’t been without failures. Early on, he found ICOs to be a great way to make new, long term investments and made a few investments too. However getting into them without doing in-depth analysis about the team and the project cost him. He says, “I lost a bunch of money owing to poor research. Of course, you learn from them.”
Despite reasonable experience as a long term investor, Mandy considers ICOs to be highly risky. He says, “when you look at a project like Matchpool, even after the research, it looked like a great investment. But soon after the ICO, the team split and a lot of investors lost money on it. Similarly with Bancor – it’s a great project, but the investment never really grew. And this is bound to happen. Everytime you invest in an ICO, you’re taking a risk on every acocunt – the team, the project, the problem.”
Despite this, Mandy’s portfolio dedicates 50% to ICOs.
After regulatory crackdowns on ICOs across the world, many saw their portfolio values reduce drastically. For traditional investors, seeing their portfolio sizes reduce by a good 100,000 USD is horrifying to say the least. When we asked Mandy the same, he chuckled and said, “Yeah it’s not easy seeing that. But know this – in the long term, none of this matters. If anything, the price drop is a great chance for us to invest more. With countries like China, Singapore and USA out of the question, guys like me from India get a chance to make earlier and more effective investments,”
“With cryptocurrency investing, you have to believe in the technology and hold it long term. I don’t do day trading, as I have a full time job, but that’s basically it; research before investing and then hold. I strongly believe Bitcoin will hit 40-50k USD a bitcoin by 2022.”
When asked for his one piece of advice for beginners, Mandy says, “It’s simple. If you’re just getting started and you don’t have much insight into crypto, you can blindly invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you have some knowledge, you can look at altcoins and ICOs. And with ICOs, invest in projects that you think you will use in your daily life. You can’t go wrong with that.”
Get in touch with Mandy on Twitter – @Mandyb
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