‘Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride has given me a $10 540 profit’

Lewis Young, a self-employed electrician, had a back-up plan in case he made a loss when he started investing in cryptocurrency in January 2019.

A self-employed electrician explains how he made thousands of pounds by investing in bitcoin. “I told myself I would go back on to a construction site and do overtime,” he says, explaining that he could add $12 400 to his $54 560 annual earnings that way.

TOP TIP: Investing in bitcoin is risky, so it’s always wise to consider what would happen if you lost your money. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.

The 35-year-old from Camberwell, south London, had savings of £35,000.

Lewis says he wants to wait for a few years to get on the property ladder. But with low interest rates making it hard to earn anything on his savings, he was keen to invest.

Getting started

Lewis’s first investment was $646 (£500) in bitcoin and from there he quickly started investing in different cryptocurrencies.

He admits it was a rollercoaster of emotions during the early months.

“You can get caught up in the hype, buy something and then wake up the next morning and be down by thousands of pounds.”

The ups and downs

At one point his investments had surged before falling by $5,000. “I was like ‘argh do I stay in or do I get it out?’,” he says.

He decided to hold on and his investments went back up by $3,000. He took the money out.

There was another lesson in May when his $12,000 doubled to $24,000. He says he wished he had cashed in at that point.

“I wasn’t as clued up as I am now and I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing because I was investing a lot of my savings,” he says. “The humiliation if I had lost that amount would have been terrible.”

Note: we don’t recommend investing lots of your savings in crypto because it is very risky and you could lose your money.

After making $11,000 in 11 months, he now has investments in a dozen currencies using three trading platforms, and plans to continue investing long term.

What I did

  • I set up an account with trading platform eToro where I invested $646 in bitcoin. When the value went up I invested $4,000.
  • A month later I decided to cover all bases and invest between $30 and $6,000 in other cryptocurrencies including ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.
  • I used trading platform Coinbase as you cannot get the smaller coins on eToro.
  • My eToro account is now valued at around $13,000.
  • But I have navigated several highs and lows; there have been days where a coin has been minus 60%, but I only risk what I am willing to lose.
  • I check my investments once a day when I am on the bus to work.

What worked

  • It took me a day to sign up to eToro and get an account going. The app was easy to download, it transfers your British pounds to dollars and gives you everyday information on each currency.
  • I did my research. All these other coins are used by different people for different things. You might find that some of them resonate with you when your read their story about how and why they were created.
  • Investing in a range of currencies. It’s good to keep your eggs in different baskets.
  • Using a mix of platforms. Coinbase makes buying smaller currencies possible.
  • Investing in cryptocurrency made me start asking what else I could do with my money so I put some money in Tesla. It gives you variety.
  • It takes 24 hours to move cryptocurrency from your account to your bank account. There is a £25 fee for withdrawals and another fee varies according to the currency you are cashing out.
  • Transferring money between wallets involves copying a generated code. If you find yourself wanting to quickly move currency or cash some out then it’s good to know how to do this.
  • You have to be aware that you could risk losing it all. I told myself I would have to accept any loss and go back on to a construction site and do overtime.

And what didn’t

  • Getting swept away by it. You don’t want it to take over your life, where you are checking it every hour, watching it go up and down. You have to have a strategy: either check it at regular intervals or be on it non-stop for 12 hours a day.
  • Missing out when I doubled my $12,000 to $24,000. If my money doubles again I would take out the profit to put it towards my house deposit – I do plan to buy eventually.
  • I would also leave my original stake in there and keep investing in something to keep the ball rolling.