'I lost about $3million last year': How a Bitcoin investor who once sold tennis star Nick Kyrgios cryptocurrency lost a FORTUNE when the price crashed - but says you can still get rich by following one simple step
- Sam Karagiozis, 27, was a self-made millionaire who struck it rich through Bitcoin
- In late 2017 one Bitcoin was worth AUD$25,000 - it now sits around AUD$5,000
- When the price of Bitcoin crashed last year Mr Karagiozis lost close to $3million
- The entrepreneur sold cryptocurrency to tennis star Nick Kyrgios and his brother
- Mr Karagiozis has a portfolio in excess of $10million across property and Bitcoin
A leading Bitcoin investor who introduced cryptocurrency ATMs across Australia has admitted losing more than $3 million when the price plummeted last year.
Sam Karagiozis left school at 15 to work full-time at McDonald's, with a dream of one day running his own business empire.
By his early 20s he had amassed a multi-million dollar property portfolio, before the Canberra-based entrepreneur made the brave decision to invest in cryptocurrency.
When the price of a single Bitcoin peaked at more than AUD$25,000 in late-2017, Mr Karagiozis and many other early investors were all too happy to tell of their success.
But despite his initial profits Mr Karagiozis, 27, told Daily Mail Australia how he lost a fortune when the buzz around cryptocurrency dropped off and the price went into free fall.
'Financially, this year I'm probably starting off about $5 million worse,' Karagiozis told Daily Mail Australia.
'Cryptocurrency would have accounted for about $3 million of that loss and property the other $2 million.'
At the height of his success with cryptocurrency Mr Karagiozis was driving a Bentley with the numberplates 'MRBTC'.
He also made friends with tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios and older brother Christos, and admitted selling them 'quite a bit' of Bitcoin, before sitting in Nick's players box at the Australian Open.
In an interview in early 2018 Mr Karagiozis predicted the price of Bitcoin would reach $100,000 by year's end.
On December 31, 2018, the price of the popular cryptocurrency sat at AUD$5223.28.
Looking back the self-made millionaire admits not only did he jump the gun, but says the buzz around Bitcoin may have also seen it jumped too high, too quickly.
'I feel like Bitcoin may have risen a bit faster than it was meant to,' Mr Karagiozis said.
'But also last year we saw global share markets decline and even looking at property makerts in Australia, they dropped too.
'In terms of Bitcoin, with all the media attention you saw the price skyrocket and then the early investors who had made all this profit took their money and cashed out.
'As the early investors started cashing out, the people who got in later got frightened and you saw the price just plummet because there was a real lack of confidence.'
If the collapse of Bitcoin wasn't bad enough for Mr Karagiozis, it was followed by big struggles with the launch of his own cryptocurrency - 'Auscoin'.
Mr Karagiozis and the company's other investors hoped to raise $30 million from the initial coin offering (ICO) of Auscoin, but fell a long way short.
'We raised just shy of $2 million, so just over 5 per cent of our initial goal - the rollout didn't work out as we hoped,' he admitted.
'But we currently have 31 Auscoin ATMs in Australia... and our turnover is $500,000 a week, which is just insane considering how much the price of Bitcoin has dropped.
'It just shows there really is a market for it and cryptocurrency is seen as a way of the future for many.'
Having been left red faced with his prediction that Bitcoin would reach $100,000, Mr Karagiozis admits his estimates for cryptocurrency in 2019 are a bit more subdued.
He believes that while the days of becoming an overnight 'Bitcoin millionaire' are gone, there is still ways to make a handsome profit from cryptocurrency.
'I think it will be more of a recovery phrase, sitting in between $5,000 and $8,000 for much of the year,' Mr Karagiozis said.
'I think we will see some gains but I think it will be a lot more consistent, so for those who have sat back and watched it drop from $20,000 it's an awesome opportunity.
'People now that are into crypto aren't going in blindly and hoping to get rich, they're learning about it, reading charts and trying to build their portfolio and develop skills.
'It may have lost some of its buzz but I'm bullish long term in Bitcoin, I still believe in it like I did last year - I just don't think there will be many more overnight millionaires.'
WHAT IS CRYPTOCURRENCY?
Bitcoin is a digital currency, known as cryptocurrency, which began in 2009 and which was initially worth just a few cents.
In late-2017 it peaked at more than AUD$25,000, before dropping steadily in 2018. Currently, the price of a single Bitcoin sits at just AUD$5,000.
Thousands of amateur traders are now betting huge amounts, while start-up companies use bitcoin to raise money and avoid the transparency needed in a stock market float.
But experts fear the currency has become a vast speculative bubble detached from reality.
Watchdogs across the world have warned there could be a sudden massive crash if the market turns, losing investors billions of dollars.
Economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the global financial crisis (GFC), is one who has called cryptocurrency a 'giant speculative bubble' bound to end in disaster.
Cryptocurrency investors claim the price will boom again, potentially as high as USD$50,000 or AUD$100,000.
Bitcoins are generated by using an open-source computer program to solve complex math problems. This process is known as 'mining'.
Each Bitcoin has a unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key. Owners of bitcoin do not own a physical coin, but instead a string of numbers and letters that give it a specific identity.
Other types of coins are available online including Ethereum, LiteCoin, Neo and Monero — these non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are often called altcoins.
Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ashed.html