Investors in the cryptocurrency space often belong to multiple camps, those who hold the biggest coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and those who invest in altcoins, also known as sh*tcoins. A trader made an investment of approximately one Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), or about $2,000 to $140,000.
What happened: Over the past two weeks, one of the most trending cryptocurrencies has been grandpa (CRYPTO: PEPE). Reports have emerged of investors taking hundreds or thousands of dollars and turning them into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
Benzinga spoke to one of the traders who was once among Pepe's biggest holders to find out how it all went.
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A trader, who wished to remain anonymous, told Benzinga that they started trading cryptocurrencies during the "Covid phase".
"I'm in a sales job and it was pretty slow when they shut everything down," the trader said.
Trading started with buying Ethereum at around $1,000 and entering non-fungible tokens quite early.
"Sort of, I just went down the rabbit hole."
Among the big wins in NFTs for the trader were 5 Azukione of the hottest NFT projects of 2022.
As NFTs and cryptocurrencies faced setbacks, the trader sold the majority of his positions, paid taxes, and waited for the next thing to invest in.
"I lost my ass like everyone else, just trying to buy stuff that I find underpriced."
The trader told Benzinga that he first heard of Pepe on Twitter, with the account DegenHarambe post on the coin when it had a market cap of around $20,000.
The trader said that with “sh*tcoins” you generally want to be one of the first 100 holders, otherwise you could be used as exit liquidity for others. You also need some form of risk.
"Like anyone in space, I think you must have some degree of degenerate gambling problems."
The trader put an Ethereum into Pepe for an investment of around $2,000 with the cryptocurrency trade with a market cap between $180,000 and $200,000 on Friday, April 7.
It wasn't until later in the early hours of Sunday April 9 that the trader saw how much Pepe had earned.
"I'm at work, coming home, meeting friends for dinner, not even looking at the phone, putting the kids to sleep."
At 3:30 a.m., the trader woke up to feed a newborn baby and saw that his investment in Pepe had gone from one ETH to five ETH.
“Oh, there might be something here. We could have a little eclair in a bottle here,” the shopkeeper recalled thinking.
On Saturday April 8, the trader was at work and busy and didn't get to watch Pepe very often. When they were able to verify, it was revealed that the single ETH was now worth around 10 ETH with coin trading with a market cap of over $1.3 million.
On Easter Sunday (April 9, 2023) and the following Monday, Pepe went even higher and became a trending topic on social media.
The trader sold for seven to eight ETH from Pepe on Sunday, money raised to help cover taxes on the investment and which could also be used to help buy and renovate a new home.
On Monday, the ETH investment alone, plus the eight ETH withdrawn, was worth around 70 ETH.
The trader sold a large portion of the investment on Monday before buying back 7.5 ETH. On Tuesday, the value of 7.5 ETH was worth around 30 ETH.
At the time of the interview, the trader had around 100 billion Pepe left, which was worth around $20,000 to $22,000. The trader turned ETH alone into around $140,000 by counting what was sold and what was currently held.
At its peak, the initial ETH invested was worth $1.2 million, but since the coin was illiquid, it was impossible to sell the full amount without the coin dropping significantly. Shortly after selling Pepe, the trader realized he was the 14th largest holder at some point.
"You don't want to be the first out, but you don't want to be the last."
The trader said investing in Pepe was a risk, but he thought it logical because there was no meme frog coin yet.
"It was the risk that was worth it in my head."
Related Link: How to Buy Altcoins
And after: The trader told Benzinga that he would continue to invest in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, despite Pepe being a potential once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"This stuff doesn't happen often, it never happens."
The trader called the cryptocurrency "the casino that never sleeps".
The trader has had several huge successes over the years of investing in cryptocurrency. In addition to buying Pepe and Azuki's NFTs early, the trader was also early to shiba inus (CRYPTO: SHIB), investing in the coin on one of its early days. An investment in Shiba Inu gave the trader a gain of 2 ETH, but would be worth millions of dollars if he held out.
"My portfolio is probably worth more now than it was during the bull market."
The trader said everyone is looking for a head start through side jobs and hustles.
“Crypto is kind of that for me. I like investing in crypto because I think the multiples are there. That's the beauty of space.
For Pepe and other crypto investments, the trader always preaches caution to others.
"You have to preach caution about this stuff."
The trader remembers getting messages from friends and traders as Pepe rode up and thought it was already over 40 times when it started, why would you buy now?
"You don't want anyone losing money."
The trader continues to hold a small position in Pepe and expects it to increase over time.
"Everyone knows Pepe, probably the oldest meme there is. Hopefully it will become something bigger than it is today.
The trader would not mention by name any cryptocurrencies or NFTs he held, outside of Azukis.
As for Pepe's future and what could be next, the trader shared his final thought.
"Hopefully it will go higher one day."
Read next: 21,000% in 3 Days, Pepe The Frog Meme Coins Soar as Crypto Twitter Switches from Dogecoin
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