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From rags to riches: 5 ordinary people who are now crypto millionaires

From rags to riches: 5 ordinary people who are now crypto millionaires

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By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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Here's a list of five ordinary individuals and how they became crypto millionaires in the last decade:

We've all heard stories of the rich getting richer through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In some cases, these digital assets have even turned millionaires into billionaires. However, reports of normal people finding their way into big money are not so common, but they do exist. And to prove it, we've rounded up five ordinary individuals who are now millionaires, all thanks to nifty investments made in the digital asset space. Let's begin:
1. Glauber Contessoto:
Also known as the 'SlumDoge Millionaire', Glauber Contessoto's rags to riches story is the kind that draws people to crypto. Contessoto comes from a humble background. His family moved to the US from Brazil, and he said he was "really poor" in an interview with CNBC. Before he turned into a millionaire, Contessoto worked at a music company and had also dabbled in stocks for a brief period.
In early 2021, Contessoto heard about Doge and decided to get behind the meme coin. However, with no disposable income to start investing, he sold almost all of his stocks and even borrowed money (in the form of a margin) from the Robinhood app to purchase his Dogecoin. Then tweets from Elon Musk sent prices skyrocketing, and a little over two months later, Glauber Contessoto was a crypto millionaire.
2. Erik Finman: In 2010, Erik Finman was 11-years-old and hated attending school. He had big dreams, but his teacher believed he would never "amount to anything more in life." One day, he accompanied his elder brother to a protest in Washington DC, where he saw a man wearing a Bitcoin t-shirt. When he asked his brother what that was, his brother said, "It's going to end Wall Street."
He was inspired, and in 2011, he took $1,000 that his grandma had given him and invested it all in Bitcoin, which was trading at around $10 at the time. We all know how Bitcoin has zoomed upwards in the last 10 years, rendering Finman a crypto millionaire. At the age of 15, he sold $100,000 worth of BTC, started an education platform called Botangle (inspired by his negative schooling experience) and sold it for 300 BTC a few years later, further expanding his bitcoin holdings.
3. Rachel Siegel: Today, Rachel Siegel is a well-known personality in the cryptosphere. She is a Bitcoin millionaire and the founder of Crypto Finally, a platform that works toward mass adoption of blockchain technology. However, things weren't always this good.
In 2017, she was just a substitute teacher, living "paycheque to paycheque" in a dark apartment in New York. However, her life changed after she attended the after-party of a cryptocurrency conference. From then on, Siegel decided to put the leftovers of her weekly paycheque, around $25, into cryptocurrencies. Over time, her holdings grew in value, touching the low seven-figure range in February 2022.
4. Kane Ellis: Kane Ellis is now a Bitcoin millionaire and even owns a Maserati. However, his fortune didn't come from investing. Instead, he took the backdoor and made his money through mining. In 2011, Ellis was an 18-year-old high school dropout who learned about mining through his IT job. While he was out working, his computer kept mining BTC.
Initially, he only earned about 4 BTC per day, equivalent to around $8 at the time. This was a decent passive income, but Ellis anticipated how lucrative it could be in the future, and it panned out perfectly for him. With his BTC earnings, he started CarSwap, a leading global platform for trading/selling/buying cars. And his Maserati, it bears the number plate “BANKRPT”.
5. Tommy and James (surnames withheld for privacy reasons): Last year, CNN Business carried a story on two brothers from Westchester, New York, who went from nearly jobless to millionaires overnight. They were both into wedding photography and filming, but with COVID-19 lockdowns in place, work was hard to come by.
Then, in February 2021, a friend told Tommy and James about Shiba Inu, a coin that could be a real money maker someday. They rolled the dice on the meme coin, thinking of it as "a lotto ticket that wouldn't expire". At first, the brothers managed to scrape up $200 and bought a ton of SHIB, which was worth a fraction of a cent at the time. After a few weeks, their investment had grown 300 percent. Encouraged by this growth, they got their mom and sister to invest too, and two months later, they woke up as millionaires.
While these stories might make you want to buy some crypto ASAP, it is important to remember that things don't pan out the same way every time. On the flip side, people can even lose their entire savings overnight on cryptocurrencies, or any form of investment for that matter. Therefore, before you try your hand at crypto, do your research and remember to invest only as much as you can afford to lose.
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