Understanding, investing, and trading in crypto seems to be becoming increasingly popular among young people. For many, in 2022 it is an indispensable source of income or piggy bank, while at the same time there are still many people who do not understand it at all. What makes it so attractive to invest in digital currencies such as bitcoin? How smart is it to go along with the crypto hype without any knowledge? And what are the biggest pitfalls?
I was called ‘cryptowappy’ by old schoolmates when I dropped out of college.
‘DESIRE FOR FREEDOM’
In recent years, more and more young people decided to purchase a digital wallet with crypto coins. The corona crisis and lockdown most likely played a role in this, but according to Mouna (30), young people are increasingly concerned with alternatives to ‘classic’ working and saving. She herself has been trading crypto for about 2.5 years. She was introduced to it through a friend. “I had nothing at all with finances at the time, but I thought: if she can do it, I can do it too.” She is now working on it full-time and helping other young people to start as well.”I think that more and more young people are realizing that instead of exchanging time for money by working you can also learn skills that make money for you. Young people are increasingly looking for how they can become more disconnected from society and more get freedom.”
WAT IS CRYPTO?
- Crypto is a collective name for various cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrencies. These are digital coins that you can buy with ‘normal’ money and then store them in a digital wallet or a wallet.
- The largest, best known, and also the first is Bitcoin. Other well-known cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, litecoin, and Cardano, but there are hundreds of them to name.
- Its value cannot simply fall or rise. Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by these institutions but exist on a digital network.
- The price is determined by supply and demand and can fluctuate wildly. Is there hype surrounding a coin and are there any interested parties? Then the value rises, as happened with bitcoin. Last October, that coin reached the highest value ever, namely 57,547 euros. In January of this year, on the other hand, the value fell again by more than 40 percent.
Where Mouna used to work in the art industry, she is now only busy investing, trading, and helping others with crypto. She was able to quit her job. “This is art for me too: you create your own life. There are so many possibilities.” She understands that people are skeptical about it. “We have always learned – sometimes subconsciously – that you have to work hard for a lot of money, but you don’t have to. You can also learn how to make money work smartly for you. I know people who have lost money and stopped taking it I understand that, but I’ve also seen people earn a monthly income within one day.”
Mouna strives to make more people aware of how crypto works. According to her, it is still too much of a far-from-bed show for most and there should be more education about it than just advertising. She expects that in about five years everything will be paid with crypto and that ‘ordinary’ money will disappear. “Maybe in less than five years. That’s why it’s crucial to learn about it.”
According to recent research by Rabobank and Nibud, more than a quarter (27 percent) of young people between the ages of 18 and 30 invest in crypto. EenVandaag also researched this and concluded that more than three-quarters of young crypto investors say they understand well what it means and why crypto coins rise or fall in value.
Most see it not only as a hobby but also as a way to build wealth. Due to low-interest rates and inflation, they are worried about their savings being worthless and less. For them, investing in crypto is therefore a replacement or addition to their savings account at the bank, in the hope that their money will increase in value that way.
At special ladies’ events, Mouna informs young women who also want to start with crypto. “Some are only 18 or 19 years old. They are studying, have a part-time job, and are still doing this on the side.” One of those young people is 21-year-old Nadja. When she stopped her studies six months ago, she decided to focus on crypto. “I didn’t really feel my study and thought: is working 9 to 5 the only way to earn a little money? I saw a lot of people talking about crypto in the news and on social media and I wanted more about that. I mainly wanted to know if it was real or a scam.”
Some hear through-via that they really need to buy a certain coin. They do that when they don’t even know what they are doing.
After gathering information and advice from Mouna and other crypto traders, Nadja decided to go for it and bet money. “It was still a bit of scanning and that was of course exciting. You think: do I benefit from their information? Or am I burning my money now?” She started with fifty euros. “It is important that you can miss the money that you bet. You have to save for it because you can also make a loss.”
Nadja didn’t like the crypto business very much in the beginning. “I saw those graphs and thought: this isn’t fun, isn’t it? It’s really complicated. The first weeks I thought: where did I start? I’ll just stop because I don’t get it anyway. But if you delve more deeply and see that you can earn something with it, it automatically becomes more fun.” Now, in addition to her part-time job, she spends about an hour a day practicing and learning about crypto. She has not yet made any major investments. “I gradually want to put in more and more money. But for now, I see it as an addition to my work and salary. It will be a sideshow in the coming years and I also want to pick up a study again so that I can get a diploma to have as a backup. But myIn the end, the goal is not to have to work or to work less.”
In her environment, Nadja notices that the elderly in particular wonder whether she is acting wisely. ” I’ve also heard the term ‘cryptowappie’. That’s what my former schoolmates called me when I dropped out of college. They said, ‘That crypto really went to your head’, while quitting isn’t just crypto. It was one of the motivations.”
Furthermore, peers react mainly positively. “Friends say, ‘I don’t want to miss it. Let me know when you’re rich and I’ll start too.’ That’s the FOMO.” Because of this fear of missing out, Nadja notices that many young people want to participate in the hype, sometimes without investing any effort or time. “They hear via-via that they really have to buy a certain coin. They do that, while they don’t even know what they are doing.” Nadja herself says that she is well aware of the risks. ” You have to keep your emotions under control and, for example, not continue if you have already lost a lot. People around me have already made those mistakes and they protect me from them.If something goes wrong, it’s my own responsibility and I have to deal with it.”
In addition to pursuing (financial) freedom, crypto is also a form of entertainment for many young people. “People also do it for fun,” Mouna said. “Just like going to the casino is considered a night out here.” However, according to her, you can’t quite compare working with crypto with gambling. “In the casino, you gamble purely on luck, while you perform analysis in crypto. Some do deal with it ‘gambling’, but that is not wise. It is never 100 percent watertight, but with the right guidance, personal development, and knowledge you can achieve a lot.”
Opinions differ on that. For example, according to economics professor Jakob de Haan, investing in crypto coins is indeed gambling because the prices of coins can suddenly drop, he told Radar. “If you invest in a stock, there is real economic activity behind it. That is not the case with most cryptocurrencies at all, the price is determined by what people are willing to pay for it. You can suddenly lose all your money overnight. .”
Learning to trade takes a lot of time and energy. Many people think: I’ll copy and paste, then I’ll have that money too. But I found out the hard way that it doesn’t work that way.
Femke (24) experienced the hard way that things can go wrong when you think you can earn money quickly and easily by trading. When she started to get interested in crypto, she joined a Telegram group where information and advice were shared. “We would get signals from a professional trader telling you when to get in and out of a trade. We could copy and paste that. It went well for the first two weeks and then everyone lost their money.” Femke lost 5000 euros as a result. “Then I cried really hard.”
According to Femke, there are an awful lot of these Telegram groups. It cleverly responds to the fear of young people to miss something or to be left out. “It’s easy to show pictures of a luxurious lifestyle. That’s what everyone really wants. I already counted myself rich and then you just go crazy.”
Distinguishing between who you can take information from and who you can’t is often difficult. ” You often can’t see that in this world. Results are easy to fake and because it’s all so new, it’s sometimes difficult to find out if something is a scam. In addition, there is a risk of being hacked, which means you lose everything.”
Still, the misstep didn’t stop Femke from continuing to trade. “I think it’s really cool, but I was like, ‘This is never going to happen to me again.” She decided to learn how the crypto market works through an education platform and joined a community. “It is so important that you get the right education. There are so many courses that people pay a lot of money for, but that are no longer up to date. Those are just recorded videos that anyone can put on YouTube, but it is important that you get live education. For example, all teachers of the platform I am affiliated with have gone through screening.” Now Femke makes decisions based on her own knowledge of the market.”If things go wrong now, it’s up to me. When it comes to money, I’m no longer going to put my fate in someone else’s hands.”
To warn others about the risks involved in investing in crypto, 21-year-old Daniek created the hashtag #CRYPTOkentRISICO for a school assignment together with three fellow students. ” We noticed that the media mainly talks about making a profit with crypto, but in fact we hear almost nothing about the risks and how many people have lost money by investing in crypto. That’s how we came up with the idea of using the hashtag #CRYPTOkentRISICO to launch.”
With the hashtag, Daniek and his fellow students want to focus mainly on young people. ” Young people in particular are very impressionable by influencers and various social media pages , ” explains Daniek. ” Often there are all kinds of self-proclaimed experts who promise mountains of gold and quick money if you invest in a certain currency. That naturally attracts young people. But 90 percent of those so-called experts have no idea what they are talking about.”
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has already warned about these so-called influencers. They share advice and promising success stories on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, but according to the AFM, many of those influencers are not even allowed to give advice just like that. This is because they have too little financial knowledge and/or earn money from the investments they promote. They also do not always adhere to the rules and some have already received a warning from the AFM.
In order to better inform young people about crypto, finfluencers and the risks, students at dozens of MBO schools will be taught by the AFM in the coming months. That was announced yesterday . Current legislation makes it even more difficult to intervene in case of deception regarding crypto. The European Union wants to introduce rules from 2024 that will then be the same in all EU countries. Coin providers must then point out risks to buyers, for example, and misleading commercials and posts are then no longer allowed.
Investing or trading in crypto can be fun and if you use it wisely, it can also yield some pocket money. But it is no guarantee of quick profit. Mouna therefore emphasizes that it is important to find out what your motivation is to start with it. “What exactly do you want to achieve with it? A lot of people go with the hype, that’s the FOMO culture, but why do you want it? It’s not something easy and if you don’t have a clear idea why you want it, you quickly You have to sacrifice a lot and adjust your habits and ways of thinking.”
Seeing crypto as quick money is therefore the biggest pitfall, according to her and other experts. “I know people who started because they thought: I’m in money problems and will just trade. That’s where things go wrong.” In addition to knowledge about the technical aspects of the crypto market, according to Mouna, it requires a certain mindset. ” It has a lot to do with emotions and being able to keep them under control. For example, you have to learn to deal with patience, dare to take risks and accept that you can also lose money. So being able to withstand your loss. A lot of people don’t take that into account. ”
To help beginners get started, Daniek from #CRYPTOkentRISCO has listed a few tips that he thinks are important to keep in mind when investing in crypto:
Don’t listen too much to investment tips from others, such as from people urging you to buy certain coins. By that I don’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to experts, but do know: the experts who really understand crypto and the blockchain will never encourage or advise you to buy a certain coin They’re more likely to tell you where they think the market is headed and then let you think about where to invest based on that.
Don’t make hasty decisions and think a few times before investing in something. Always start with small amounts that you can spare. This way you can experiment and take a risk every now and then without it costing a lot of money. damage If you are going to invest large sums, analyze as best you can what such a coin is doing and always keep in mind that you can lose a lot of money.
Secure your crypto account well. Through our research, we spoke to several people who said they could no longer access their account after they were hacked. They often had thousands of euros on it that they have now lost.
Know what you can miss. I usually make sure that I save a part and use another part to invest. Of course I also lost some money, but luckily I haven’t made any major mistakes yet. That’s because I make clear agreements for myself and then stick to them. That’s something I recommend to everyone.
From March 28 to April 1, it is Money Week, an initiative of the Money Wise platform. In this week, young people are encouraged to get involved in all things money in order to develop their financial skills. This year’s theme is ‘from duku to digi’, which focuses on the digitization of money. Think of online investing, crypto coins and online gambling.
At FunX you can also read and hear stories about the financial situation of young people all week long. Here you can read everything. Curious about more stories in which young people talk about their money matters? Then check out Money Moves!
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