An important Bitcoin investor who has introduced cryptocurrency ATMs throughout Australia has admitted losing more than $ 3 million when the price plummeted last year.
Sam Karagiozis left school at age 15 to work full-time at McDonald's, with one day's dream of running his own economic empire.
At the start of the 1920s he had amassed a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio, before the Canberra entrepreneur took the courageous decision to invest in cryptocurrency.
When the price of a single Bitcoin peaked at over $ 25,000 AUD at the end of 2017, Karagiozis and many other early investors were all too happy to report on their success.
But despite his initial profits, Mr. Karagiozis, 27, told the Daily Mail Australia how he lost a fortune when the buzz around the cryptocurrency dropped and the price fell in freefall.
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Sam Karagiozis (pictured), an important Bitcoin investor, admitted he lost more than $ 3 million when the cryptocurrency price plummeted last year
Karagiozis, who sold Bitcoin to tennis star Nick Kyrgios (left) and his brother Christos (right) previously predicted that the price of a single Bitcoin would hit $ 100,000 by the end of 2018
"Financially, this year I will probably start to worsen by $ 5 million," Karagiozis told the Daily Mail Australia.
"Cryptocurrency would have accounted for about $ 3 million of that loss and the property the other $ 2 million. & # 39;
At the height of his success with cryptocurrency, Mr. Karagiozis drove a Bentley with license plates & # 39; MRBTC & # 39 ;.
He also made friends with tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios and elder brother Christos, and admitted he sold them "a little bit". of Bitcoin, before sitting in Nick's box of players at the Australian Open.
In an interview in early 2018, Karagiozis predicted that the price of Bitcoin will reach $ 100,000 by the end of the year.
On December 31, 2018, the price of the popular cryptocurrency was AUD $ 5223.28.
Looking back at the self-made millionaire he admits he not only blew up the gun, but he says the buzzing around Bitcoin might have even seen him jump too high, too fast.
"I feel that Bitcoin could have increased a bit faster than expected," said Karagiozis.
"But even last year we saw the decline in global equity markets and even looking at the manufacturers of real estate in Australia, they also fell.
The success of Karagiozis with cryptocurrency trading saw him invited into the box of Kyrgios players at the Australian Open 2018 (he is pictured with the mother of Kyrgios, Norlaila)
Mr. Karagiozis admitted to the Daily Mail Australia last year that he sold "a good bit of Bitcoin to Nick Kyrgios (right) and his older brother (left)
The rise and fall of Bitcoin: At the end of 2017, the price of a Bitcoin was worth around AUD $ 25,000, but has since dropped to AUD $ 5,000
"In terms of Bitcoin, with all the attention of the media, you've seen the price skyrocketed and so the first investors who made all this profit have taken their money and cashed.
"When the first investors started to cash in, the people who came in were scared and you saw the price collapse because there was a real lack of trust."
If the collapse of Bitcoin was not bad enough for Mr. Karagiozis, it was followed by great fights with the launch of its cryptocurrency – "Auscoin".
Mr. Karagiozis and other company investors hoped to raise $ 30 million from the initial ICO offer of Auscoin, but they lagged far behind.
"We have collected just under 2 million dollars, so just over 5% of our initial goal: the launch did not work as we hoped," he admitted.
"But we currently have 31 Auscoin ATMs in Australia … and our business is $ 500,000 a week, which is simply insane considering how much Bitcoin's price has decreased.
"It simply shows that there really is a market and cryptocurrency is seen as a way to the future for many".
In addition to his cryptocurrency trading, the entrepreneur has a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio and has also opened his restaurant chain, Souvlaki GR (Mr. Karagiozis is depicted in front of a restaurant)
The initial success of Mr. Karagiozis with Bitcoin led him to create his own crpytocurrency – Auscoin – and to distribute ATM Bitcoin (pictured) throughout Australia
Having been left red in the face of his prediction that Bitcoin would reach $ 100,000, Mr. Karagiozis admits that his estimates for cryptocurrency in 2019 are a little more subdued.
He believes that while the days he turned into a "Bitcoin millionaire" are no longer available, there are still ways to make a nice profit from the cryptocurrency.
"I think it will be more of a recovery phrase, between $ 5,000 and $ 8,000 for most of the year," Karagiozis said.
"I think we will see some gains, but I think it will be much more substantial, so for those who sat back and watched it fall from $ 20,000 it is an incredible opportunity.
The people who are now in crypto do not go blind and hope to get rich, they are learning, reading charts and trying to build their portfolio and develop skills.
"He may have lost some of his buzz, but I am confident in the long term Bitcoin, I still believe it as last year – I do not think there will be many other night millionaires."
WHAT IS THE CRIPTOCURRENCE?
Bitcoin is a digital currency, known as cryptocurrency, which started in 2009 and was initially worth only a few cents.
By the end of 2017, it peaked at more than $ 25,000 AUD, before falling steadily in 2018. Currently, the price of a single Bitcoin is around $ 5,000 AUD.
Thousands of amateur traders now wager huge sums, while start-ups use bitcoins to raise funds and avoid the necessary transparency in a stock market float.
But experts fear that money has become a vast speculative bubble detached from reality.
Watchdogs all over the world have warned that there may be a sudden mass collapse if the market wants to, losing billions of dollars to investors.
The economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the global financial crisis (GFC), is the one who called cryptocurrency a "giant speculative bubble" destined to end in disaster.
Cryptocurrency investors state that the price will still increase, potentially up to $ 50,000 or AUD $ 100,000.
Bitcoins are generated using an open source computer program to solve complex mathematical problems. This process is known as "mining".
Each Bitcoin has a unique fingerprint and is defined by a public address and a private key. Bitcoin owners do not have a physical currency, but a string of numbers and letters that give it a specific identity.
Other types of coins are available online including Ethereum, LiteCoin, Neo and Monero – these non bitcoin cryptocurrencies are often called altcoins.