After selling all his investments and swapping his life’s savings for bitcoin, a Swedish computer engineer has now seen his capital grow a hundredfold, due to bitcoin’s value gains over the years.
In an interview with Business Insider Nordic, Swedish encryption and computer science expert Alexander Bottema revealed he went all-in on bitcoin as early as 2013. While he did not reveal how much bitcoin he possessed, he stated:
[M]y capital has grown by a factor of more than one hundred since I sold all my stocks and liquidated my savings in order to buy bitcoins in 2013.
A Bitcoin Skeptic
It’s a risky strategy to be sure, particularly for a computer programmer who was, initially, a bitcoin skeptic when he heard of the cryptocurrency in 2010. “I was certain that it wouldn’t be possible to build safe servers that are open, and envisioned a crash,” he stated, rejecting the concept of a peer-to-peer, decentralized digital currency and distributed ledger as “uninteresting.”
A year later, the data security expert read about how bitcoin had recovered after a crash in prices, in a daily newspaper at the time. “I couldn’t understand how a currency that is built on trust could recover. That piqued my interest,” said Bottema, ultimately leading to him turning from a bitcoin naysayer to a believer.
After downloading the technical description of bitcoin – presumably bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakomoto’s whitepaper [PDF] – and its code, Bottema studied the cryptocurrency inside out, equipped with his expert knowledge in programming and as an academic in computer sciences – he graduated and was later a part of the PhD faculty at Uppsala University in Sweden.
“It was revolutionizing,” he added after what he had learned of bitcoin. After being convinced of the cryptocurrency, Bottema set out to speculate how much bitcoin could be worth in the years to come, by comparing it directly with gold as the benchmark.
The gold market, “where rich people put their money to avoid devaluations” as a store of wealth, is about $8,000 billion, Bottema estimated back in 2013. He then divided that figure by 21 million, the total supply limit of bitcoins that will be mined, and ended up with $380,000 per bitcoin.
Notably, he stated:
I ended up on values ranging between 50,000 and 100,000 dollars per bitcoin. I panicked, and bet all of my savings.
Botemma continues to hold all of his bitcoin to this day and isn’t about to cash in anytime soon. Labelling his bitcoin reserves as his ‘retirement insurance’, Bottema says he might sell some bitcoin, if its value is hitting above a certain milestone.
I could consider selling some of my assets should the price hit 100,000 dollars.
Most of all, the everyday investor who bet big on bitcoin is content with his investment in a technology that he understands.
When asked if he’s worried about bitcoin’s value falling over time, he stated:
No, I know how the system works and I know what I’ve invested in. Sure, the currency dips, but it has always recovered after some time. Bitcoin’s future looks bright.