14 Jun 2018
Meet Erik Finman: The 19-year-old flamboyant bitcoin millionaire
19-year-old Erik Finman, currently based out of San Francisco, is one of the youngest bitcoin millionaires in the world.
His fascination with the cryptocurrency started at the age of 12, when he first invested $1,000, given to him by his grandmother, in bitcoins.
At that time, the digital currency only cost around $10, but a few years later, it hit $1,100.
Finman was listed among the most influential teens of 2014
At the age of 15, Finman sold bitcoin worth $100,000 to start "Botangle," an online educational business that essentially matched students and teachers on video chat.
Finman, who comes from a family that lays high emphasis on education, came up with the idea of Botangle because he had "a terrible school life" with his teachers being discouragingly mean to him.
Finman has 401 bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies
In 2015, Finman sold Botangle's technology. In exchange, he could either have 300 bitcoin or $100,000 cash.
Even though it was a big gamble, Finman opted for the cryptocurrency. At that time, bitcoin's value was around $200; now it is $6,500.
"Bitcoin will either be nothing or everything, and I think it will be more everything," he said.
Finman's projects include space exploration, robots, education
Recently, Finman created a four-armed robot suit inspired by supervillain Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man for a 10-year-old with hypermobility issues.
Currently, he is working with NASA to send a satellite containing a digital time capsule into space, which will include representative sounds of life on Earth and a Taylor Swift CD.
He also plans to build a physical school in the future.
Rise to fame
Finman's satirical Instagram feed is worth a dekko
Finman is known for his obnoxious Instagram account where he jokingly mocks cash and flaunts being rich.
In a particular picture, he is lying on a bed covered in money with the caption, "Cash so worthless compared to Bitcoin I'm sleeping on it."
"I think being a provocateur is a fun way to get people to pay attention to my ideas," he said.
Betting big on bitcoin with swag
Finman's parents, who are both Stanford graduates, were against him dropping out of school. So they made a deal with him: If Finman made $1 million before his 18th birthday, he won't have to go to college. Finman won that bet last year.