Investing in cryptocurrency has changed countless lives over the past decade. By some counts, it's created more than 100,000 millionaires.
I know that because I'm one of them.
From almost nothing, my crypto portfolio has grown to be worth more than $1 million. It's been an incredibly positive change. For instance, at the tender age of 59, I'm already semi-retired.
And in the grand scheme of things, it didn't take long.
I discovered Bitcoin in 2011 while looking for investing-related story ideas. I was fascinated by the idea of a digital currency that could be sent over the internet without the need for a third party like a bank or a central authority like the Federal Reserve.
But I was more fascinated by the idea that a person could mine this digital currency on any personal computer, as long as it had a reasonably powerful graphics card.
After I wrote the story (which, years later, can still be read right here), I spent $300 on a graphics card upgrade for my Mac Pro. I downloaded the required software, joined a (since defunct) mining pool, and started mining. I overclocked the graphics card and let it run 24 hours a day.
After about four months, I came home from work one day to find a bizarre pattern on my Mac's monitor...
I'd burned out the graphics card. It was an inauspicious start to what turned out to be a decade-long journey to life-changing wealth.
I decided to quit right there because the Bitcoin price had fallen to into the $5 range (you read that right: five dollars), which was a drop of about 75% from where it was when I started. Essentially, the few bitcoins I had mined weren't even worth what I'd spent on the graphics card I destroyed mining them.
But rather than selling my Bitcoin, I kept it - "just in case."
You know what happened. Eleven short years later, and my modest number of bitcoins are the biggest part of a portfolio that's made me a crypto millionaire.
Now, I know what you're saying - "That was more than 10 years ago! It's too late for anyone to get those kinds of gains today."
Don't be so sure: We're in the midst right now of a historic buying opportunity, and this is the perfect time to start your own journey to life-changing wealth.
First Things First: It's Not Too Late to Buy Bitcoin
I admit the size of the Bitcoin gains we've seen so far are no longer possible. But it's still relatively early, and there's tremendous upside ahead
Bitcoin is only now starting to get serious traction in the traditional financial world. And there are still multiple catalysts that will drive the price higher in the years ahead.
ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood, known for her focus on tech and innovation, has said she expects the price of Bitcoin to exceed $1 million by 2030 - just eight years away.
If she's right, that's a gain of more than 33x from the current Bitcoin price of just over $30,000. Even if Bitcoin falls far short of that - say, $400,000 - that's a 13x gain.
That's extraordinary, especially compared to the gains you'll likely get putting your money in, say.
BITCOIN IS DOWN - but that could be fantastic news for a set of much cheaper, smaller coins. Here's why...
Of course, there's much more to cryptocurrency than Bitcoin; there are dozens of quality cryptos out there.
As the years passed and new cryptocurrencies appeared, I invested in some of them as well. I got some things right and some things wrong.
Let me share those insights with you now...
What I've Learned as a Crypto Investor
Opportunities in crypto come along all the time. The hard part is figuring out which cryptos have potential and which are dead ends.
I've learned that you need to have a way to evaluate a crypto project before you buy it. Evaluation is easy enough with assets like stocks, but crypto is the first truly new asset class in decades. Some new investors may think there is no way to size up an investment, but that's not true.
Some experts, passionate crypto exponents, have developed ways to tell whether or not a crypto is worth your investment. A while back, I talked to Chief Crypto Strategist Nick Black about a method that works really well - Nick calls it the "Five Ts."
Another lesson is more like a rule of thumb. If one of your crypto investments skyrockets, by all means, take some money off the table - ideally an amount a bit more than what you originally invested.
Doing that means you're playing with "house money." If your remaining investment tanks, you're still ahead - you've already pocketed a profit. And if it soars, your gains are that much bigger.
I did this with Solana, which I discovered in March of last year while - you guessed it - researching a story. I used a portion of my stimulus money to buy some SOL at $14.62.
By fall, Solana was skyrocketing, and I was up 1,000%. So, I sold about a third of my SOL and took a 4x gain on my original investment. I let the rest "ride," and while the Solana network has had issues, the team is working on fixes.
I plan on holding the rest of my Solana position for a long time. That brings us to the last, and most important, lesson I've learned...
The Secret to Successful Crypto Investing
After a decade of mining, trading, and writing about crypto, I've concluded the No. 1 lesson of crypto investing is patience.
Crypto is notoriously volatile, but you can't let that push you into making rash and short-sighted decisions.
In other words, patience pays.
Several times, I've bought cryptocurrencies that I was convinced were strong investments but went through long periods of decline. Yet my research showed the projects were solid, so I hung on.
In most cases, I was rewarded handsomely for doing so.
THE CRYPTO SELLOFF comes at an interesting time. Huge banks are going all-in on crypto, which could send some little-known coins a lot higher, especially these...
I first bought some Ethereum in August 2017 for about $277. That may have seemed a steep price given that you could get Ethereum for less than $1 in 2015, less than $10 in 2016, and less than $20 as late as March 2017.
Of course, 2018 ushered in the "crypto winter."
By December 2018, ETH had sunk below $100 and my investment was down 67%. But I didn't sell - I hung in there with "diamond hands." I never seriously considered selling at any point along the way.
My patience certainly paid off here. Now Ethereum is trading at about $2,300, putting me up 730%. In fact, I was up more than twice that when ETH peaked last fall - 1,665%.
As Ethereum is the backbone for much decentralized finance - "DeFi" - technology, which is why I believe it will not only recapture those highs, but keep powering higher.
Even in the current crypto slump, I have no plans whatsoever to sell. Believe me: More patience will yield more profits.
I had a similar experience with Cardano (ADA), having bought initially in February 2018. At one point, I was down more than 90%. But I held on, and now I'm up about 140%. Cardano remains one of my favorite crypto projects.
Of course, there have been times when impatience has cost me.
In September 2020, I received 400 free UNI in an airdrop, because I had used the Uniswap decentralized exchange earlier that year. UNI started trading at about $4, then slid down to about $2 before rebounding.
When the price again reached $4 in December, I sold all my UNI.
At first, I was pleased to have scored a nice $1,600 windfall... but then UNI's price kept going up... and up... and up some more, until UNI hit its all-time high of $44.97 the following May.
Had I exercised just a bit more patience, I could have reaped 5x and 10x more profit, depending on when I pulled the trigger.
The big takeaway from all this is that building wealth with crypto is really rather simple. Make wise choices, take some profits when you get a windfall, and above all be patient.
Follow these three "rules," and you'll dramatically boost your odds of success as a crypto investor. I'd like nothing better than to see you join me as a crypto millionaire.
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.