Here is my story: As a teenager I browsed 4chan. Not the best place for healthy adolescent development but I always thought the humor was fringe and edgy and hilarious. I had recently come into some money (about 10k) when my grandfather passed away, and started coming onto Reddit for advice. Someone DM'd me randomly and told me to invest in the top 10 crypto currencies.
At this point, I had heard of bitcoin, but had no idea there were other cryptos. It's also, coincidentally, that I clicked on /biz/ for the first time. This is going to sound absolutely retarded, but it was the meme's that got me to invest. It was WAY too funny, seriously. The shit posting, the obvious and flagrant petty lies to make a quick buck, the ease of willingness to fuck other people over, telling people falsehoods for a laugh even if it could ruin them financially... it was just too funny.
I think my first purchases were ETH and LTC off coinbase. I probably invested 4k because the app seemed pretty legit. Within a week, my 4k had turned into 8k.
At this point, I asked my brother to borrow 15k (he's pretty successful, so he lent it to me). I turned that into 50k, paid him back, then asked my parents to borrow another 60k (i've never asked them for money before, so they had no reason to suspect the money was for anything "bad").
By May, I had 750k, mostly thanks to DGB/REDD coin. Then with ANS/NEO and a few other big wins, I was up to 2.3MM in December 2017 (total, I had already cashed out 350k, so had about 2MM in crypto still. The 2MM was only for about 9 hours though, it actually was hovering around 1.6MM)
At that point, I was cashing out every week with coinbase. Had raised my limit to 100k, but I didn't take out as much as I should have because I literally thought I was going to be worth 10-15 million in a few months.
Look, I had no previous investing experience, and I didn't know how taxes worked with trading, etc. I felt like I couldn't breath. I had this euphoria rush over me everyday and was thinking, "holy shit, I fucking rich". I remember going to the gym in the middle of the day (at this point I was no longer working), and thinking, "wow look at all these poor people, they don't even know how rich I am". Immature? Yes. Arrogant and preemptive? Yes. But it was a genuine feeling, not one of distain, but more like, "wow, I am beyond these cogs in the machine, how sad it is for them".
So around Jan 15th 2018, I had successfully cashed out about 800k total. At this point I met with an accountant who laid out how much I would owe, so I had to put about 350k aside for taxes (for '17 and '18 so far). Whatever, I had 450k in my checking account and it was fucking incredible. It was like winning the lottery, except I felt like I had accomplished something instead of just being lucky (I was just lucky, but it didn't feel like that at the time.
My total crypto value crashed down to about 200k at it's lowest point. I sold some them regrettably, but it was to offset gains from taxable events set from the previous year so I would be able to pay less in 2018. In May of 2018 there was another huge bounce up to 700k and I thought I was good again, turned out no, but whatever.
During this time, I gave my parents 150k in return for the money I borrowed. This made them extremely happy because they always thought I was kind of a failure since my brothers all did well financially and I was a freelance artist. At least they didn't have to worry anymore.
I spent May 18' to Jan 19' traveling the world. I went all over Europe and Asia. I lived in Paris for 5 weeks, stayed in Italy for a month, Japan for two months, China for a month, Vietnam for a couple weeks, visited Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, went to the UK from there, back to France, Spain, etc etc.
I was just burning through cash and having the time of my life. I've eat at over 15 three star Michelin restaurants, and probably 70 two and one star places. I would just hop on tinder, invite a girl to a lavish meal, and we'd have sex. When you're relatively young (I'm 29), are decent looking and you appear to be rich, girls will literally just fuck you. It's crazy. They'll even have sex with you without a condom. I still used one most of the time, but I'm just saying that girls are kind of... just willing to let you do whatever you want to them if they like you and you're rich, even if you just met them.
Between Jan 2017 and Jan 2019, I spent 400k. Mostly traveling, dates, meals, some hookers (famous porn stars btw), etc etc, but I also bought a bunch of awesome shit for my home.
Right now I have about 40k in my checkin, 50k in savings for a rainy day, and 100k left in crypto (it was worth about 70k before this recent boom).
There were times I regretted not cashing out at the top. I didn't for two reasons 1) tax liability would be too high 2) I was a greedy bastard who didn't have experience witnessing bubbles (like I said, I thought I'd be worth 10-15 million by now).
But as a 29 year old who spent the past two years living like a king? It was well worth it. I learned a lot, met many interesting people, learned how to respect people better and understand the world more than I did before.
I have many great memories, but one that stands out is staying in the executive suite at the four seasons in Paris. A semi-famous porn star came up, I recorded a movie with her, then ordered a 2 pistachio ice creams and a clam pasta dish after she left and tipped the server 50 euros after he set up my meal while I lay in bed watching him. I was just like, "fuck, this is amazing".
Crypto changed my life, even if I don't have that much money anymore. I just want to tell you guys to LIVE while you're young, look for opportunities, and I hope you guys see much success in the upcoming years. I'm fairly certain that the phrase "money doesn't buy you happiness" is just something rich people tell poor people so they don't revolt. Good luck!