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Teenage bitcoin investor turned bar mitzvah money into $500,000-plus profit

Mark Molloy
Eddy Zillan invested money from his bar mitzvah in bitcoin and ethereum - Provided

Eddy Zillan was 16 when he began investing in bitcoin, just two years later, the youthful investor estimates he has “made close to a million” from trading in various cryptocurrency.

The perspicacious Ohio teenager was an early adopter of the bubble and bust digital currency, investing in 2015 when bitcoin’s price was as low as $214 following a prolonged bear market.

“I started off with $1,000 to play around with out of my savings,” he told The Telegraph. “I then acquired another $5,000 through my bar mitzvah money (in 2012).

“I then invested another $6,000 through money I earned and saved from working summer jobs.”

The student, who has created his own cryptocurrency consultancy business capitalising on his investment success, calls his first foray into the bitcoin market an “educated guess”.  

Eddy Zillan invested money from his bar mitzvah in bitcoin and ethereum Credit: Provided 

“I then started using analytical data, market research, reading books, articles, technical analysis, and finding out information through other successful traders,” he explains.  

“At the time that I learned about bitcoin there were no YouTube videos, tutorial videos, or anything of this sort.

“I completely taught myself everything about the market that was necessary and I can only attribute my success to myself. I had no mentor and learned from making mistakes and a lot of research.”

Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed by 1,570pc over the past 12 months, this week smashing the $15,000-mark, sparking fears of a dot-com style crypto bubble.  

But so far, the teenager’s gamble on digital currency has paid off spectacularly and today he buys and sells vast sums of cryptocurrency, making him comfortably wealthy.

In numbers | Bitcoin

“I have made close to a million from trades but the market is very volatile and some days I may make $150,000, but other days I may lose $100,000, so it’s very hard to give an exact dollar value on my portfolio,” he explains.

Zillan cashed in last year, just before bitcoin’s meteoric price rise, and today trades in ethereum, a rival cryptocurrency which has rocketed more than 6,800pc since the start of 2017.

Bitcoin | Your essential guide

He predicts the cryptocurrency ‘rising star’, which he invested in when its price was at $6, will follow the same path as bitcoin.

“I hope to one day be a cryptocurrency multi-millionaire,” he says. “At this current rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if ethereum in the next couple years hits the mark bitcoin is at, meaning it would go up 20-30 times its current value. Bitcoin is just the first to break past a thousand, there will be many more to do the same over time.

“Bitcoin will continue to rise because to this day barely anyone in the world's population has invested into this technology. Slowly people invest and it could potentially rise to over $100,000 in just a matter of years.”

So what advice would he give to potential cryptocurrency investors? “I would invest slowly and wouldn’t dump the entirety of my savings due to the markets volatility.

“I would also look into altcoins (bitcoin alternatives) because those are the ones you see nowadays that have the largest exponential growth.”

Having cut his investment teeth in bitcoin, Zillan has a backup plan should the crypto bubble burst - he plans to study dentistry at university next year.