So you want to be a crypto millionaire! Don't we all? Here are nine proven paths to get there.
Path #1: Steal it
Some crypto millionaires got there by stealing it from others. If you have no empathy, strong technical chops, and a knack for hacking, this is the path for you. Just remember, because most blockchains are public, there's a non-zero chance you'll get caught or have the funds you stole frozen. Being the Wild West, there are also legal ways to steal people's crypto, by coding front-running bots for example, but the competition is fierce..
Path #2: Private sale
If you create your own cryptocurrency or join a team that's creating their own cryptocurrency, then you'll get a bunch of "free" tokens that could make you a millionaire once the project takes off. Similarly, if you can weasel your way into investing in a project pre-ICO (typically only available to VC firms or connected angel investors), your upside will be much higher than normal. Just note that team or early-investor coins can be locked for years, so you'll have to be patient and hope that the market doesn't collapse before your pay day.
Path #3: Have insider information
If you have privileged information that something is about to happen to a coin, good or bad, you could take on leverage and trade ahead of time to make a lot of money. But even this path is risky because news often doesn't move the market as much as you think it will. Plenty of projects will announce a breakthrough partnership or feature launch only to have their prices fall because of a general market event. Related, you could create a proprietary dataset or algorithm on the market that gives you an edge over everyone else, but that option isn't available to many people.
Path #4: Wait it out
If crypto takes over the world in 5-10 years, powering everything from finance to supply chain infrastructure, then buying any crypto that survives until then should make you a millionaire; you just need to buy enough of it and never sell (hypothetically $10,000 for a small/mid cap coin that survives for a 100x and thrives and $50,000 for a large cap coin that survives and thrives). The risk is that crypto does take off but what you invest in doesn't make the cut, since anything can happen in 5-10 years.
Path #5: Massive, concentrated bet
Here, you bet big on a small-cap coin and hope that it beats the rest of the field and moves up the crowded crypto leaderboard. If you invest in the 100th largest crypto and it makes its way to the top-10, you've roughly 20x'd. A 20x would take $50,000 to a million dollars! Of course, it's more likely that your rank-100 coin will stagnate there or fall out of the top-100.
Path #6: Medium diversified bet
Instead of betting $50,000 on one coin and hoping for a 20x, you could bet $25,000 on two different coins and hope for a 40x on one. Or on ten coins and hope for a 100x on one. That's the venture capital model, where you're betting that one unicorn return makes up for everything else. The only problem is that getting a 20x is hard enough; getting a 40x or 100x is a miracle (though it does happen). For this strategy, you should pick smaller-cap coins, maybe ultra small-cap way out of the top-100, since you need much higher upside to get to that million dollar mark.
Path #7: Whack-a-mole method
Very rarely in crypto do you see a 500x or 1000x. I was buying Bitcoin at $250 and Ethereum at $30 and hundreds of coins since. I've never had one. The sobering fact is that betting $1,000 or $2,000 likely won't get you to millionaire status by itself.
However! If you bet $1,000 on a crypto and it skyrockets into $20,000, you can move that $20,000 into another coin and hope for another 10x, and then move that $200,000 again and hope for a 5x. This path is extremely tempting for newbies as it sounds much easier than it actually is. You can make a million dollars with the method, but what will probably happen is the following: you get a 20x and move to another crypto. That crypto crashes and the one you sold out of goes up another 3x. You panic and roll the dice somewhere else and that too crashes and are back to where you started from. You helplessly watch your original original coin keep going up and realize you'd have been a millionaire had you just held it.
Path #8: Buy big during a massive crash
By massive crash, I mean 90+% drops, like what happens during bear markets, where coins that used to be one dollar trade for five cents. Buying coins at collapsed prices is like buying distressed real estate in terrible areas; no one else wants them but if the market returns to normal, they can be lucrative.
Here's an example: during the 2017/2018 bull market, I tried to convince my friend to split a supernode for a coin with me. The price was $15,000. Thankfully, he declined. During the subsequent bear market, the cost of a supernode fell to $1,500 at its lowest point. Had we been bolder, we could have bought 10 supernodes for the price of the one before. We didn't, but it would have made us millionaires during the next bull market.
Of course, buying during crashes is easier said that done because you never know how low a crash will go. A coin you like could fall 90%, but then after you buy it, it could fall another 90%. And while some coins recover, others don't. But if done right this path can make you a millionaire.
Path #9: Already be rich
If you invest a million dollars in crypto, you've won! Just cash out right away. This is the preferred method for social media stars who like to brag about their investing chops.
Remember, you can't take profits
To become a crypto millionaire, most paths require that you can't take profits. If you invest $50,000 into a small-cap crypto, and it doubles or triples, the responsible thing to do would be to de-risk the investment and take out your original cost basis. But taking anything out sabotages your potential returns. For example, if your $50,000 goes to $100,000 and you take half out, then you still need a 20x to become a millionaire (vs. a 10x). That's why most people won't ever get there: they're not reckless enough! And that's a good thing. Most people are better off aiming to be disciplined and reasonably successful than reckless and potentially wealthy.
A balanced approach
The good news is you can mix-and-match the paths above. If you have enough money to work with, we recommend a balanced approach that gives you multiple paths to becoming a millionaire. For example, if you had $50,000 to work with, you could:
- Yield farm with $10,000 in stablecoins, so if there's a major crash you have the resources to take advantage of it while earning a little income in the meantime
- Invest $30,000 into a blue-chip crypto that you think will still be around in 10 years and then lock it away safely
- Invest $10,000 into a small/mid-cap crypto that you've thoroughly researched; something close to the bottom of the top-100 or even better far outside the top-100. You could hold this hoping for a 100x or if it goes up 10x, sell it into two slightly more conservative $50,000 bets
- Volunteer to work for an up-and-coming project in return for their team coins.
But of course, even with four different paths working for you, there's still a high percentage chance you won't get there because something can always go wrong! So take the pressure of becoming a millionaire off of yourself, relax, take profits, and have a bit of fun along the way!
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