‘I was making half-a-million dollars a day and made a BIG mistake’: How a former journalist lost $9MILLION after spending his entire life savings on cryptocurrency – as he reveals how you can earn ‘a fortune’ and KEEP it
- Sydney based journalist Derek Rose lost his life savings in the December crash
- Mr Rose, originally from the USA, had a cryptocurrency portfolio of nearly $9m
- He has now opened up about how he lost ‘a small fortune’ but is not put off by it
- ‘Rather than take profits and, say, buy a house, I bought more Bitcoins,’ he said
A journalist who ploughed his life savings into cryptocurrency has revealed how he lost $9million in the Christmas crash.
Derek Rose, who says he had been making half a million dollars every other day, speculated and continued to invest but ended up losing ‘a small fortune’.
The Sydney-based journalist admits the adrenaline rush of watching his portfolio rise rather than investing in real estate was what took over him.
Rose, who is originally from the USA, spoke to the Stuff NZ Superfad podcast sharing the story of his own misfortune.
‘I was so giddy and high on emotions it was hard to work out, because I was spending all my testosterone and adrenaline checking the balance of my portfolio multiple times each day. It was a hell of a rush,’ he said.
‘My first moves were smart, involving patience and careful research. But rather than take profits and, say, buy a house, I bought more Bitcoins on the same mysterious website I was using, called Bitfinex.’
He explained he reinvested his initial AU$90,000 and turned it into nearly $4m ‘by placing leveraged bets on two cryptocurrencies’ in November and December.
At the peak of the market his account in crytopcurrency was worth over US$7m (just under AU$9m and was borrowing more to buy additional currency.
He was paying thousands a day in interest but the every rise of $1000 saw him gain half a million every two days (AU$640,000) which he admits was a ‘heady thing’.
He texted friends he wanted to cash out when his portfolio hit US$100m (AU$128m) so he could buy a sports team and a yacht and then ‘diversify into real estate’.
For Rose, it was about the ‘exhilaration and the thrill’ knowing he was staking vast sums of money.
But he says he does not consider it to be gambling instead investing in a new technology.
He said he bought his first bitcoins in 2013 when they were worth just $100 and he started spending $25-a-week to buy a quarter of a bitcoin.
When he moved from New York to New Zealand later that year he sold off five bitcoins – half of his portfolio for around US$500.
Today, despite the crash in mid-December, they would be worth US$40,000.
The bitcoin value reached $2,000 last May and another cryptocurrency called Ethereum hit $400 and he decided to cash in and make more.
It was at this point he cashed out his whole US retirement fund – $200,000 saved over 20 years – and invested in cryptocurrency.
But he says he does not regret investing his entire life savings which he lost in the crash
He says he decided to go for it and withdrew his life savings by $3,500 per day to stay under the Coinbase – the platform he chose – limit of $25,000-a-week.
But the market collapsed shortly after he started this plan and started to bounce back before the crash before Christmas.
But he says cashing out his life savings is not one of his many regrets and it has not wiped out his entire funds.
Rose says he was performing better with his crypto investments rather than his standard investments.
He now hopes despite a bad start in the valuations in 2018, should it be a similar year to 2017 he estimates making his $9m back by the middle of the year.
WHAT IS CRYPTOCURRENCY AND IS IT TOO LATE TO MAKE A PROFIT?
Bitcoin is a digital currency, known as cryptocurrency, which began in 2009 and were initially worth just a few cents.
In 2013 they hit the USD$100 mark for the first time, before rising to USD$900 at the start of 2017. Today they are worth USD$12,000 (AUD$17,000).
Thousands of amateur traders are now betting huge amounts, while start-up companies use bitcoin to raise money and avoid the transparency needed in a stock market float.
But experts fear the currency has become a vast speculative bubble detached from reality.
Watchdogs across the world have warned there could be a sudden massive crash if the market turns, losing investors billions of dollars.
Economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the global financial crisis (GFC), is one who has called cryptocurrency a ‘giant speculative bubble’ bound to end in disaster.
However cryptocurrency investors claim the price will continue to boom, potentially as high as USD$50,000 or AUD$100,000.
Bitcoins are generated by using an open-source computer program to solve complex math problems. This process is known as ‘mining’.
Each Bitcoin has a unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key. Owners of bitcoin do not own a physical coin, but instead a string of numbers and letters that give a specific identity.
Other types of coins are available online including Ethereum, LiteCoin, Neo and Monero — these non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are often called altcoins.