Beginner Series

12 Bitcoin Success Stories: How Bitcoin Changed My Life

Today we’re going to share some incredible bitcoin success stories.

Who are we? Here at Cointree, we launched a cryptocurrency exchange way back in 2013 and have grown it to over 80,000 Australian members. We’ve seen people quickly grow their wealth and change their life. And we’ve seen that success means different things to different people.

So in this article, we’ll cover a wide range of bitcoin success stories, including an apprentice who bought a house, a retiree who can’t stop smiling, and a student who was a millionaire by 18.

Let’s start with the boy that bought a Bentley.

12 Life-Changing Bitcoin Success Stories

1. “I bought a Bentley” — Javed Khan, trader

Javed Khan’s investment success began by accident. In 2018, when bitcoin’s price was around $3,000, he was using bitcoin as a method to transfer money because it was easier than using a bank. But whenever he left the bitcoin sitting in his wallet, the price would go up. He saw an opportunity.

Whenever the bitcoin price fell and it was quiet, we would buy more bitcoin. “When nobody’s talking about bitcoin, there’s no headlines, that’s a good time to buy.” He was careful not to extend himself, only investing money he could afford to lose.

In 2020, he cashed in his profits and bought a Bentley. “I sent a video from the showroom to my mum and she cried, she was really proud.”

2. “I quit my job and left on a round-the-world trip” — Mr Smith, anonymous software engineer.

After finishing college in 2008, Mr Smith (not his real name) began working at a typical large technology company in Silicon Valley. He got on well with his “equally geeky” colleagues.

In 2010, he invested $3,000. With the price of bitcoin only US 15 cents at the time, that means he had almost 20,000 bitcoin. “I knew from the very start that I was playing the long game. I wanted to see how high it could go,” he said.

Mr Smith had almost forgotten about his investment 3 years later, when it popped up in the news. With the price rising by 10% or more every single day, he sold 2,000 coins when the price hit $350. When the price hit $800 a few days later, he sold another 2,000 coins. He’d already netted $2.3 million. “I quit my job and left on a round-the-world trip.”

Today, he spends his time travelling the world in luxury. He flies first class to 5-star restaurants where he enjoys elite chef-prepared meals for every meal. In the 30 days before he was interviewed by Forbes, he’d visited Singapore, New York City, Las Vegas, Monaco, Moscow, back to New York City, Zurich and Hong Kong. His net worth is likely somewhere between a hundred million dollars and a billion dollars.

“He’s constantly talking about Bitcoin,” his girlfriend said, “If he starts talking about it, he’ll never stop. Ever.”

3. “Bitcoin helped me buy my house” — Daniel Crocker, business owner

In 2012, Daniel Crocker was completing an apprenticeship at an IT company. Every lunchtime, he would chat with his colleagues about side hustles to make some extra money. When the topic of bitcoin came up, he decided to give it a go and make a small investment.

He then held those coins for 8 years as their value grew and grew. Last year, he sold some enough for half the deposit on his house. “I do know people who have gone in deep but I think I've been lucky enough already.”

4. “By dedicating my life to crypto assets and blockchain technology, I’ve made more money than I would have ever expected to make in my entire life — by a long shot.” — Jeremy Gardner

Jeremey Gardner fell in love with bitcoin when he realized that anyone in the world with an internet connection could send money to anyone else. Buying bitcoin in 2013, he dove deeper into the technology and began giving more and more to the cryptocurrency industry.

He founded The BlockChain Education network which is a nonprofit educating people about blockchain technology, he launched Augur which is a decentralised prediction market, and he shared a three-story house in San Francisco known as the 'Crypto-Castle' that was home to over 6 multi-millionaires.

“We’ve been told that it’s going to die so many times. And yet here it is, stronger than ever. I think there’s a certain sense of vindication if you were investing in this technology and people were calling you stupid for a long time,” Gardner said.

5. “It's part of my pension plan.” — Heather Delaney, business professional

“I put in £5 at the very beginning and I've built it slowly and steadily over time.” She’s planning to continue adding to her investment, as Heather is part of a growing cohort who are purchasing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of their retirement plan.

While the ultimate success of her investment will be judged at the time she retires, she’s already up over 500%. And as bitcoin is a long-term investment, the rapid price changes don’t phase her.

“I know loads of people who have done exciting things with their investments, but for me, it's part of my pension plan.”

6. “In 2011 or so I cashed out 2-4 Bitcoins for a McDonald's meal.” — Kane Ellis, Aussie entrepreneur

Born in South Australia, Kane Ellis has always been interested in technology. At 18 he launched a technology consulting company Nerd Herd. Then he went on to launch the CarSwap app. Still, his best investment was to begin mining bitcoin back in 2010 when a single coin cost only $1.60.

He only made one mistake. He sold 2-4 Bitcoins to buy a McDonald’s meal. In today’s terms, that burger, fries and coke could be worth 6-figures. Luckily, that was only a small portion of his holdings.

A few years later, he again sold a small portion of his holdings to indulge himself. But this time that small portion afforded a bright yellow $200,000 Maserati.

7. “He can’t wipe the smile off his face.” — Terry Proud, retiree

In mid-2017 when bitcoin’s price was around only $3,000, retiree Terry Proud sold a portion of his superannuation investments to buy cryptocurrencies. Terry is part of a growing number of Australians who are investing in cryptocurrencies through Self managed Super Funds (SMSFs).

When he was interviewed by Nine news, he said he “can’t wipe the smile off his face.”

8. “If you don't understand crypto and refuse to learn, it's gonna be a tough century for you.” — Su Zhu, cryptocurrency trader

In 2012, Su Zhu and his friend from high school, Kyle Davies, launched Three Arrows Capital from the kitchen table in their apartment. Taking experience from their previous roles as traders for Credit Suisse, they quickly began making a profit.

While at one point they had contacted everyone they knew for an emergency loan, they quickly paid back the money and have now grown into one of the largest cryptocurrency trading funds in the world. They now also run DeFiance Capital, which invests in decentralised finance businesses that they expect to “eat traditional finance over the next decade.”

Today, they’re best friends with young kids and a cryptocurrency portfolio worth billions of dollars. There are multiple Lambos sitting out the front of their trading office.

9. “It paid for a holiday in Iceland” — James Saye, technology consultant

In 2017, James was nervous about putting his money into bitcoin. Luckily, he bit the bullet and purchased around £500. As the value quickly increased by 500%, he cashed in his gains for £2,500.

James took his profits to Iceland, where he had a great holiday. He noted that while Iceland is lovely, it’s expensive. So he was glad to have the extra cash.

Thankfully, he bought back in again after the price dropped in 2018.

10. “She [now] says that I should be allowed to buy the things I want.” — Kristoffer Koch, student

In 2009, the Norwegian student Kristoffer was writing his master thesis on encryption technology. When he read Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper on Bitcoin, the insights from his study helped him see the impact this new cryptographic technology could have.

He spent $26.60 to buy bitcoins. That doesn't sound like much, but given bitcoin was so new at the time, it gave him an incredible 5,000 bitcoins. And although it was only $26.60, his partner was sceptical about spending “real money” on “fake money.”

Fast-forward to 2013 and Kristoffer saw bitcoin in the news. He did a quick calculation and realised he was close to being a millionaire. He sold 1,000 of his bitcoins and bought an apartment. If he still holds the other 4,000, he is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Regardless, his girlfriend now “Says that I should be allowed to buy the things I want.”

11. “I think at no point in human history have people in their twenties had such an opportunity to invest in such high-growth assets.” — Kingsley Advani, software engineer

Some people speculate, others invest, but Kingsley Advani went all in. He emptied his bank account and sold everything he owned so he could buy as much bitcoin as possible. And it paid off big time.

It was mid-2017, right at the beginning of the massive bull run, that Kingsley saw the incredible potential of bitcoin. He took all his money, sold everything he owned, including his laptop, and purchased $34,000 worth of bitcoin. Months later he was a millionaire.

He now travels between San Francisco, New York and London working as an advisor to startups in the cryptocurrency industry. “It's like a rebellion to traditional finance,” Advani said.

12. “If I make a million dollars by the time I’m 18, I don’t have to go back to school or go to college.” — Erik Finman, high school dropout and entrepreneur

In 2011 when Erik Finman was only 12 years old, he took $1,000 his grandma had given him and invested it in bitcoin. A single bitcoin was worth around $10 at the time.

He first discovered bitcoin after his brother took him to a protest held at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC. When he saw a guy with a bitcoin shirt on, he asked his brother what bitcoin is. “It’s going to end Wall Street, bro.”

Erik began researching bitcoin and could see a bright future. “For three years, I just was basically doing bitcoin trading and school, and that was about it.” But he never liked high school.

“People didn't really get what I was trying to do, get what I was searching for or what I was dreaming of. I had one teacher tell me, yeah, drop out, work at McDonald’s since I’ll never amount to anything more in life,” he explained.

So he dropped out of high school at 15 and made a bet with his parents — if he made a million dollars by the time he was 18 he didn’t have to go back to school or go to college.

Immediately, he sold $100,000 of bitcoin and started a business from his bedroom. Inspired by his negative school experience, he built an education company, Botangle, where teachers would teach students skills over video chat. For example, an Australian wanting to learn Japanese could hire a private tutor in Tokyo. Two years later, he sold his company for 300 bitcoins.

When bitcoin crossed $2,700 he was officially a millionaire. Critically, he was 17 years old, so he won the bet with his parents. Instead of going to college, he travelled the world visiting Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Prague, Sydney, Melbourne, Vienna, and Stockholm.

Today he’s grown his bitcoin holdings and has a net worth of 8 figures. He’s a key investor in a Silicon valley cryptocurrency startup and helped introduce the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 as a citizen advocate.

In true crypto style, his first splurge was an Audi R8.

What will your bitcoin success story be?

We've all seen the charts and know the numbers: bitcoin has been the best investment of the past decade. But now we've seen how the numbers affect people's lives. So there’s only one question to ask.

Are you ready to start your crypto journey?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner. At Cointree, we make it easy for everyone to invest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We’ve even got a detailed guide for beginners.

You can get started in three steps. Simply create an account, verify your identity, and deposit funds. Then you’re ready to buy bitcoin.