Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)

Bitcoin investors: From buying a Bentley to losing it all

Bitcoin has soared to trade at an eye-watering $48,000 (£34,820), following the news that Tesla has bought $1.5bn of the crypto-currency.

Enthusiasts will tell you it’s the future of money – but investing in the notoriously volatile virtual currency can be a rollercoaster, and it’s not without risk. The hunt for new coins, using powerful computers, is also causing a surge in energy demand – which is not so good for the environment.

Here are some of your Bitcoin adventures.

‘It paid for a holiday in Iceland’

James Saye, tech consultant

I first invested in Bitcoin in 2017 – I was nervous about putting too much in, so I went for around £500.

I cashed it in for £2,500 during one of its peaks, and had a great holiday in Iceland – the cash came in handy, Iceland is lovely but expensive.

I bought in again in 2018 when the price was lower so I’m still in but I don’t regret cashing out when I did.

Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)

‘It’s part of my pension plan’

Heather Delaney, founder of Gallium Ventures

I’ve been the silent crypto-investor. I put in £5 at the very beginning and I’ve built it slowly and steadily over time. I see it as a long-term strategy, meaning the rapid highs and lows are not ones that cause me anxiety – although ask me as I near my retirement and we shall see what I think then!

Based on how much I have invested in Bitcoin over time versus what I see today, I have a 585.41% increase in my investment.

I’ve never cashed it out – but I have converted some to other currencies as the market has fluctuated.

I know loads of people who have done exciting things with their investments but for me it’s part of my pension plan. I know I’m not typical.

‘He didn’t get a single penny back’

David Stubley, founder of 7 Elements cyber-security firm

We had a client whose Bitcoin wallet was fraudulently accessed and all the money was transferred out of it. He had intended to use it as a deposit on a house.

The man had been spooked by reports of fluctuations in the currency and decided to check his wallet. But he clicked on a fraudulent link, which led him to a phishing site, a complete clone of the real thing.

He had 84 bitcoins, and the fraudsters transferred 83 of them. At the time, in 2017, they were worth $475,000.

We tracked the payment on the blockchain [a kind of shared digital public ledger] – we could see it rolling across various wallets and finally it reached a wallet containing $15m of currency.

While the final identity of the fraudsters could not be identified, we were able to have the wallets frozen, so at least denying access to the stolen funds.

Our client was irate but philosophical. Today, that stolen Bitcoin would be worth £2.8m.

Once it’s gone, it really has gone.

Read more: BBC