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Friday, January 5, 2018

Meet the Teenage Dropout Who Became a Bitcoin Millionaire

Before he made it big, a teacher told him he wouldn't amount to anything.

Erik Finman sits in his Tesla.

Most of the time when a person decides to head down the path less traveled, it usually ends in disaster. Yet there are times when a person perseveres and then prospers. Such is the case of Erik Finman, the teenage Bitcoin millionaire. He’s only 19, but he’s parlayed his initial Bitcoin investment into millions of dollars. Now he plans on building the “world’s best university” in the city of Dubai.

The tale of the teenage Bitcoin millionaire is fascinating. 

Grandma’s Gift Leads to Millions

The tale of the teenage Bitcoin millionaire is fascinating. Back when he was 12 (in 2011), his grandmother gave him a gift of $1,000. His brother Scott gave him a tip about getting into Bitcoin. Back then, a single Bitcoin was only worth $12, so he bought as much as he could and then decided to hold them.

However, the story gets a lot more interesting. Erik Finman had a terrible time going through the school system. He was bored and unmotivated. He says one teacher even told him that he would never amount to anything, so he should just drop out of school and start flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

Finman’s parents decided to pull him out of school, which is what he wanted, and began homeschooling him. In 2013, he cashed out some of his bitcoins to start an online education company called Botangle. This venture was designed for frustrated students like himself to find good teachers over video chat. He then began to intern at Silicon Valley start-ups and moved to San Francisco at age 15.

A Family Affair

Finman now owns 401 bitcoins, which is worth $4.9 million currently. He wants to use some of his Bitcoin wealth to create a new university in Dubai, and his whole family is involved in the project. His family already runs online teaching training in Dubai, using the technology he developed through his Botangle project. Looking at his family, you could see why homeschooling was a really good choice. His father has a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford, and his mom has a PhD in physics from Stanford. His brothers went to MIT.

As for Dubai, Erik Finman chose it because:

Dubai has really become the center of the world. It already has the tallest building, it already has the biggest malls – I think it deserves to have the best education system in the world too, and I know that fits a lot of [the UAE’s] goals.”

Finman personally believes that college is often a waste of time due to outmoded methods of education, which is why his university will feature a system that helps students like himself that are continually frustrated.

As for Bitcoin, Finman has no concerns about the cryptocurrency’s price fluctuations. He adds:

“But I think Bitcoin definitely has more to go, and I think cryptocurrency as a whole has a lot more to go. It’s the next big thing. The only way you can take down Bitcoin is not through its own doing, but if you make some better alternative to it. Whatever the winning cryptocurrency is – and right now that’s Bitcoin – will get to millions of dollars of coin.”

It’s quite possible that Erik Finman and his family could achieve something spectacular. They’re obviously a very driven family. So far, the teenage Bitcoin millionaire has been doing everything right. Finman primarily holds bitcoins, but he also has some investments in Ethereum and Litecoin.

Reprinted from Bitcoinist.