Most 12-year-olds want a new bicycle, an X-Box or a new cellphone for their birthday. They’re caught up in who’s the prettiest girl in class or what’s going to be on the school lunch menu tomorrow (here’s a hint – stay away from the mystery meat). One 12-year-old boy from Idaho, however, had his mind on something completely different, and became a millionaire by the ripe old age of 16.
Erik Finman received $1,000 from his grandmother when he turned 12 in 2010. His older brother told him he should invest in Bitcoin, now known as SegWit1x (BTC), and the pre-teen actually listened to his sibling, purchasing 100 units. Three years later, when BTC was worth $1,200, Finman cashed out and pocketed $100,000.
The earnings provided him with the capital needed for his first startup, called Botangle. It’s an online education platform that connects students to teachers digitally. He subsequently sold Botangle after about a year, accepting 300 BTC in lieu of $100,000 cash. At the time one coin was worth around $200.
Finman is also behind the Marvel Virtual Reality headset, a project he put into motion in 2016. His Indiegogo page created to attract investors for the project raised 500% of the $20,000 goal. The headset allows the wearer to have a virtual display of his or her laptop or Android smartphone.
Now, Finman owns more than 403 BTC, as well as a mix of Litecoin and Ethereum. Even though BTC has suffered a fairly significant setback in value, his take at today’s prices is worth over $2 million. Looking back at what he’s been able to accomplish with virtually nothing, Finman told Business Insider anyone could do it, boldly stating that “it’s your own fault” if you’re not a millionaire within 10 years.
Finman advised young investors to find something they are good at, stick with it and make money doing it. Despite the smaller market capitalization of digital currencies, there is tremendous growth potential that doesn’t require a substantial capital investment. Finman added that the recent decline in cryptocurrency values is only temporary, and that he still fully supports the future of virtual currencies.