Pete Roberts from Nottingham, England, is one of the most risky investors to save money to buy virtual currency while virtual cash prizes are rising in the winter of last year.
Now, eight months after the investment, the $ 23,000 was spent by Roberts to buy some $ 500 virtual dollars. And the investor understands what happened to him.
"I was too scared to lose the chance and just wanted to make quick money," Roberts told the New York Times. "This loss almost exhausted me financially."
"Dreaming" virtual money
There are many people who suffer the same virtual loss as Roberts. After the recent sharp fall in prices, many virtual currencies lost their profits at the end of 2017. Compared with the peak of the month, the total value of the virtual currency market has dropped by around 600 billion. USD, which corresponds to a 75% discount – according to Coinmarketcap data.
Previously, the virtual currency market has gone through many deep cuts and has subsequently increased enormously. However, this decline could have a longer-term impact on the introduction of digital money technology, as a large number of individual investors have deposited money in virtual currencies over the past year, and not many of them will consider virtual currencies as synonymous with financial ruin for a long time. .
It is difficult to determine how much virtual money investors are currently losing, with a lower value of the portfolio than the initial investment. Many people who have lost money in recent months are those who entered the market last year for the virtual price increase, so their portfolio value is still greater than the initial investment.
However, according to some statistics, there were more people who invested in virtual currency at the end of last year than the number of people who had deposited money in the sector in the past 9 years. For example, the largest virtual currency floor in the American Coinbase has the double number of customers between October 2017-3 / 2018. The new startup Square began to allow Square Cash mobile users to buy virtual currencies in November last year.
Most new customers at Coinbase and Square will be the losers if they buy virtual currency at any time in the past 9 months and are not "released" yet.
The damage can be particularly high in some countries, such as Korea and Japan, two markets where virtual currency investments boomed last year, almost nothing before. The "virtual fever" in these two countries has attracted everyone, from housewives, students to office staff.
Kim Hyun-jeong, a 45-year-old teacher living in the suburbs of Seoul, says she won 100 million ($ 90,000) in virtual currency last fall. She withdrew her savings, secured her insurance and borrowed $ 25,000. The value of Kim's investment is now & evaporated & # 39; with 90%.
"I thought virtual currency would be the only breakthrough for ordinary people who work hard like us," she said. "I thought my family and I could get away with it and live comfortably, but it went the other way."
Cracked and crying
In the United States, Charles Herman, 29, a small business owner in Charleston, South Carolina, received a virtual currency last September. Now Herman says that he feels 10 months of virtual money wasted.
Although he has almost $ 4,000 in initial investment, Herman no longer believes in the promise of virtual money. And he has returned to invest in real estate.
The bulk of the frustration and disappointment of virtual money investors is that they are focused on smaller virtual currencies that are sold through the very first virtual ATMs (ICOs). These virtual currencies are advertised as the payment mechanism for new software that is being built by ICO.
Almost no company has given the software as promised, making the virtual currency worthless, many of which have been discovered as the product of a phishing scheme.
Bitcoin, the largest virtual currency, is a bit better. Bitcoin prices are 70% lower than the all-time peak, compared with less than 90% of smaller virtual currencies. Bitcoin does not have much practical value, but rather a speculative channel.
On the social networks and virtual currency forums, there are still many adherents of virtual currencies that are optimistic, advising investors to hold on. However, the number of pessimists as a result of money laundering seems to be greater.
"It hurts me to lose all the hard earned money, I am broke and just cry", wrote @accounts @Notsofrugaljoey.
On Reddit, a user in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) placed a photo of a loan of $ 100,000 that he borrowed in December last year to buy virtual currency. Now he has to pay his salary in three years.
Back to Brother Roberts, the British, at the beginning of the story. Roberts still keeps the virtual money he has bought in the hope of a recovery. However, he stopped virtual trading and was looking for another job.
"I live on my bank account with a little savings," Roberts said. "I made a mistake and will pay for it in the coming years."