Imagine that, on your birthday, your grandmother gives you 1,000 euros to buy whatever you want. And that you, instead of a television, fashionable sneakers or the latest phone model of your favorite brand, decide to buy bitcoins – the cryptomoney that is in fashion on the Internet – start doing business with it and become a millionaire.
Well, that’s what happened to the young Erik Finman, an American teenager born in a small town in the state of Idaho, to whom, as reported by the Argentine media “Clarín”, his grandmother gave him $1,000 for his fifteenth birthday, an amount that today only represents about 0.41 bitcoins at the exchange rate but which in 2012, that day, was much more.
The boy decided to invest in the cyber currency and start amassing his fortune in it. A pathologically bad student, his parents would not allow him to leave school, but he, who was sure that he would succeed with the bitcoins, bet his parents that if he was a millionaire at eighteen they would not force him to set foot in the university.
With this, he set to work and sold his first unit of the cryptomoney at the end of 2013, until he eventually managed to collect more than 400 bitcoins… an amount that today is equivalent to a whopping $1,100,000.
But that’s not all there is to it. As the Argentine newspaper explains, Finman moved to the select area of Silicon Valley in northern California, began to travel around the world and decided to found in 2014 a “startup”, Botangle, a platform that links teachers with frustrated students, as he was, and that allows private lessons on any subject through the Internet, charging by the hour.
A project he set up with twenty workers, including programmers, animators and workers, whom he paid in bitcoins. A “major” investor took an active interest in him and offered him $100,000 or 300 units of kryptonite for his company. Finman did not hesitate: he kept the bitcoins (in exchange, more than $800,000), as he considers it “the currency of the future”. “My parents asked me why I didn’t take the cash. The answer is simple, for me it was an investment,” explained the young man at the time. It should be remembered that those responsible for the “WannaCry” virus, which alerted the entire planet on 12 May, demanded the ransom in bitcoins.
Now, the boy has come of age and has more than won the bet from his parents. He is a millionaire and will not set foot in the University, nor does he have any interest in it. “The university doesn’t work for anyone. I would recommend the Internet, where everything is free. You can learn a million times more from YouTube or Wikipedia,” he said. A most ironic thing for someone who, thanks to a company based on education, has been made of gold.