It was early 2021 and cryptocurrencies were all the rage. Friends were making money hand over fist on cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.
I wanted in on the action but didn’t have much money to invest.
One day, while scrolling through crypto Twitter, I saw someone tweet that you could buy a fraction of a bitcoin.
This piqued my interest.
Could I really get exposure to this hot new asset class without breaking the bank? I decided to give it a try.
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Taking the Plunge with KSh500
After doing some research, I downloaded a Binance crypto exchange app and connected my bank account.
I deposited KSh500, the minimum amount required.
My heart was racing as I clicked the “Buy Bitcoin” button for the first time.
The app gave me a warning that crypto was risky and volatile.
I acknowledged the risk and completed my purchase. Just like that, I owned 0.00002 BTC.
It wasn’t much, but I was now officially a bitcoin investor!
At first, I checked the price obsessively, even though my balance barely budged.
The price swings were wild. My KSh500 sometimes became KSh600 or dropped back to KSh400.
I started to learn more about blockchain technology and came to believe it could radically transform finance.
This made me want to invest more, but money was tight.
When payday rolled around, I decided to increase my position. I upped my bi-weekly auto-buy from KSh500 to KSh1,000.
This allowed me to steadily accumulate more satoshis (fractional bits of bitcoin) over time.
Portfolio Balloons as Bitcoin Moons
As 2021 progressed, bitcoin went on an absolute tear.
Major companies like Tesla and Square announced they had bought bitcoin for their corporate treasuries.
Adoption was exploding and the price rocketed from $10,000 to $60,000 in just a few months.
I could hardly believe my eyes as my portfolio grew from a few thousand shillings to over KSh100,000 almost overnight.
At times, I considered selling some profit but decided to stay the course.
In November 2021, the first bitcoin futures ETF was approved in the U.S., sending bitcoin to a new all-time high near $70,000.
My little KSh500 investment was now worth over KSh200,000!
Diversifying into Alternative Cryptos
flush with profits, I started diversifying into other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Solana and Polygon.
These represented the next wave of blockchain innovation beyond just digital money.
I also learned about DeFi (decentralized finance) apps like AAVE that enabled cryptocurrency lending and borrowing.
The crypto ecosystem was expanding rapidly. I tried yield farming on DeFi protocols, providing liquidity in return for governance tokens. Though complex, I earned great returns on my capital without relying on banks as middlemen.
By early 2022, my portfolio had swelled to over KSh1 million in value. I knew these gains wouldn’t last forever but I had no intention of selling.
I firmly believed blockchain and crypto assets were the future. While friends warned me of a bubble, I saw a technological transformation just getting started.
The Crypto Winter Cometh
Like clockwork, the crypto markets finally cooled in 2022.
The Federal Reserve started raising interest rates, tanking risky assets.
My portfolio declined nearly 80% at one point as bitcoin plunged below $20,000.
It was a gut check to see those big gains evaporate. But having studied past cycles, I expected crypto winter would come.
This was a chance to accumulate more coins at lower prices, much like I first did with my KSh500 buy.
I avoided the temptation to panic sell. With income from my job, I systematically dollar-cost averaged into bitcoin and blue chip altcoins.
Once again my portfolio returned to seven figures as the crypto market recovered in 2023.
Reflections on My Crypto Journey
Looking back, it’s unbelievable how far I’ve come from that first KSh500 investment. I’m proud I took a chance on this emerging technology early on.
Bitcoin and blockchain have proven to be more revolutionary than I ever imagined.
My story shows it’s possible for anyone to build significant wealth, even on a limited budget.
With the power of compounding and a long-term outlook, small amounts can grow exponentially over time.
Crypto is volatile so it’s critical to only invest what you can afford to lose.
But it represents a rare asymmetrical risk/reward investment that could fundamentally reshape society.
For now, I plan to continue steadily accumulating crypto assets. This portfolio has given me financial security and optionality.
However, I’m most excited by the prospect that crypto and DeFi can bank the unbanked and create economic empowerment worldwide.
The future is bright.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post. By no means the views of the author be mistaken for our (freelancing.co.ke) stand. Trading crypto is risky!