Caroline can’t get over it herself. “I was not at all predestined to be interested in the world of cryptocurrencies: I have no training in finance, I have always been zero in math … I also did a literary baccalaureate”, laughs this resident of Loiret. Eleven months after starting to invest part of her savings in these digital assets, Caroline juggles terms that can make the uninitiated dizzy. “Recently, I got interested in video games play-to-earn, or even DeFi, decentralized finance. I really like spotting the scams, the shitcoins… There is so much to learn! “ enthuses the 30-something, who has just sold her personal services business.
While bitcoin recorded a new record (around 59,000 euros for a bitcoin), Tuesday, November 9, many amateurs joined the ranks of “crypto-enthusiasts” when they never imagined one day becoming passionate about digital asset management.
A freelance worker in the IT world, Nuwan took advantage of a lasting drop in the price of bitcoin in 2019 to learn more about how cryptocurrencies work. “I was looking for a way to grow my savings without touching everything that was stock market: in my mind, it was a world where investments took 10 years to be profitable and required the use of numerous intermediaries, such as brokers. “, justifies this 34-year-old resident of Yvelines.
Like Caroline, Nuwan forges through his research his intimate conviction: blockchain – the decentralized technology that makes cryptocurrencies work – is the first stone of a major economic upheaval. “The more I dive into it, the more I find it to be an emerging financial revolution”, Nuwan observes.
“Cost-free, anonymized exchanges, safe from governments and financial institutions that can devalue a currency whenever they want …”Nuwan, investor in cryptocurrencies
Convinced, Nuwan buys his first “cryptos” at the start of the 2019 school year, for an amount between 10,000 and 15,000 euros. For his first investments, he mainly turns to the two digital currencies with the highest capitalizations: bitcoin and ethereum.
Since his first steps, he has invested the equivalent of “four to five times” its initial sum. His method has also evolved a lot: “Today, I am learning about the various innovations that are being created around the cryptocurrency sector, such as in video games or the metaverse, and I try to bet on those who have the potential to become leaders in their field”.
Caroline and Nuwan probably never imagined a few months ago spending hours scavenging for news before investing their savings in digital assets, but neither of them regrets their choice. “I follow the sector’s news during the day on Twitter, I chat with specialist journalists, influencers … In the evening, I often participate in voice meetings on Discord to chat with other amateur investors and exchange advice”, lists the former business manager of Loiret.
“The first thing I do when I open my eyes in the morning is look at my phone to check the value of my asset portfolio! (…) My husband, who got into ‘cryptos’ in 2018 , find that I talk about it too much today! “Caroline, cryptocurrency investor
The young woman does not plan to stop anytime soon: after having bought some cryptocurrencies and especially bought and resold NFTs (certificates of digital authenticity for online content, also based on blockchain technology) during the summer , the value of its assets reaches virtually 10,000 euros. Far from the very real 750 euros invested in twelve months.
If Guillaume * got on the bitcoin wagon, it was for political reasons. “I had a very bad image of the banking system and the financial markets, which in my opinion made the world go in an unequal direction”, explains this 39-year-old Parisian, who became a project manager in IT after having worked as a sound engineer.
“At the time, I did nothing with my savings: I did not want to put my money elsewhere than in my booklet A. Lending my money to the banks so that they buy shares with it, I was loath to do so.”Guillaume, cryptocurrency investor
“Fascinated” by the decentralized functioning of cryptocurrencies and convinced by the “promise that bitcoin would become the currency of the internet”, the thirty-something spends 630 euros to acquire three bitcoins in March 2015… and moves on. “I didn’t particularly need money at that time. So I hardly looked at bitcoin’s price and didn’t touch it until February 2021”, Guillaume continues. The digital currency is then exchanged at around 47,000 euros per unit: its three bitcoins are worth 141,000 euros.
The project manager who nevertheless had great mistrust in the world of finance is surprised to want “to put your hands” in the cryptocurrency markets, whose activity has exploded in six years. He keeps most of his three bitcoins aside, and decides to use some “5 to 10%” to buy and resell less famous coins, which sometimes change in value much faster. Since February, the thirty-something has been carrying out operations “everyday”. “Last week I spotted a cryptocurrency that worked like one whose price had exploded a few days earlier. So I bought it for 0.1 bitcoin. [5 300 euros au moment de l’entretien] before reselling everything ten minutes later, because the price had increased by 20% “, laughs the Parisian.
Guillaume would not have believed that one day he would be passionate about this universe. “But looking back, I tell myself that experimenting, testing things for myself, still suits me quite well”, he breathes. However, the investor does not see himself lasting in this jungle: “I’m pretty happy to have discovered this world, but I plan to quit in a few months: all this does not correspond to my values and is far enough from the extraordinary promise that seduced me at the start.”
Unlike Guillaume, Alexandre intends to spend the next few years being active in the cryptocurrency market. Raised “very far from the world of finance” by a father who works in logistics and a mother secretary of management, this 24-year-old student admits to having taken an interest in the subject by discovering the vertiginous benefits displayed by certain followers. “I had just spent the first confinement to telecommute for my internship from my parents’ home, and I had been able to save a lot of money during this period”, remembers the young man of 24, a student in the Bouches-du-Rhône, who moved at the time without much conviction towards the sales sector.
After spending a few months learning about how digital currencies work, the young man invested 2,000 euros in January 2021 in a cryptocurrency intended to finance a project in which PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel participates. “This is an application that will allow inhabitants of countries facing very high inflation to convert their savings into a stable cryptocurrency, because it is backed by the dollar”, explains Alexandre.
The student tries to keep a cool head, even when his first steps in the markets give him thrills. “The value of the cryptocurrency in which I invested quadrupled in May, before undergoing a strong correction since the start of the school year. I am rather quiet, because I believe in this project and do not plan to sell for the moment”, continues the twenty-something, who now intends to diversify his portfolio by focusing on new values.
His recent passion for the world of digital currencies has in any case profoundly changed his projects: after having long imagined evolving in the world of sport, Alexandre began a work-study program in the banking sector. “In my opinion, this is the best way to give credibility to my CV in order to hope to work one day in the world of ‘crypto'”, he hopes.
* The first name has been changed at the request of the interested party.