5 months ago
His Instagram feed may be full of ostentatious photos of himself stepping onto private jets or surrounded by wads of cash, but 19-year-old Erik Finman is not as awful as his social media presence makes him seem, writes The Guardian. The teenager bought his first bitcoin at age 12 with $1,000 from his grandmother and is now one of the world’s youngest bitcoin billionaires. He told The Guardian that his social media presence is a carefully calculated front.
“I think being a provocateur is a fun way to get people to pay attention to my ideas,” he said. “You see the reaction to it, people go crazy. But that helps draw attention to the actual world-changing projects that I want to do.”
He first heard about bitcoin when his older brother took him to an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011. When he first bought it, bitcoin cost around $10. At age 15, Finman sold $100,000 worth of bitcoin when the currency was on the up and he used the money to start an online educational business called Botangle. The business matched students with tutors via video chat. He explained to The Guardian that he was inspired to start the business because he had a “terrible school life.” One teacher even held an “Erik Finman roast session, where students were encouraged to make fun of him.
In 2015, Finman sold Botangle’s technology. The buyer offered him 300 bitcoin. He now has 401 bitcoin, each of which is worth around $6,400. (That value represents a drop of nearly two-thirds from bitcoin’s high of more than $19,000 last December.) The millionaire is now working on a project with NASA to launch a satellite containing a digital time capsule into space. He also recently created a robot suit based on the four-armed contraption worn by Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man for a 10-year-old child with hypermobility issues.Read the full story at The Guardian