Although Hoffmeister grew up feeding the calves on the family farm in the state of Washington, he always had an entrepreneurial streak. As a child, he bought rubber from Costco and sold it to his classmates in elementary school. He was always looking for a financial advantage. So when he saw a flyer in 2015 for something called "Bitcoin Fair" – advertising "the future of money" – he took it.
"I had no idea what Bitcoin was," he says.
His first taste of cryptocurrency was not positive. He bought some Bitcoins from a special machine at the show and tried to use the receipt as payment at a nearby tacos shop. The seller would not take it.
"I was not convinced," he says. "Not to mention, every analyst out there was saying," Very risky, very scary – do not put your money in this unless you just want to throw it away. " The advice was, & # 39; just do not do it. & # 39; "
However, he was quite interested in buying $ 100 of Bitcoin the day after the fair. He watched as his small investment increased in value, slowly dipping his toes in the waters of the cryptocurrency.
Before investing, Hoffmeister will study each new project by reading the whitepaper, a document that explains its purpose and strategy. In May 2015, he bought $ 5,000 of Litecoin, a Bitcoin offshoot, and he saw it grow by about 50%.
Then he went for this. He sold nearly $ 30,000 that he had invested in shares – his entire investment portfolio in addition to his 401K – and started turning it into a crypto. In the following months, he had ups and downs, buying and selling at relatively low profits and losses.
Then, during that hot market in the winter of 2017, he had his first big win. He bought about 5,000 Internet of Things coins for about $ 7,000 and sold them for three times the following month.
"I remember my heart beating so fast as I watched the price go up," he says.
He tripled his money again in one day at the beginning of December with an investment in a currency called Decentraland for a profit of nearly $ 20,000.
Later that month, as the entire market increased, Hoffmeister and Granofsky met at Highland Cigar to celebrate some of the unhealthy profits Hoffmeister was making. Between the time they arrived and the time they left, the value of their investments in encryption increased by $ 40,000.
"I was watching it happen," says Granofsky. "This will make you a believer."
At the time, Granofsky had put some money in the crypt, albeit less risky than his friend.
"If I did not get a return five times, things were moving too slowly for me," he says about how crazy the market was at the end of 2017. "It's not normal."
At its all-time high, Hoffmeister's portfolio – including some "digital land" plots that are now worth around half a million dollars – broke the million dollar mark.
But this does not mean that he did everything right. For example, he lost an investment in a cryptocurrency called RedCoin that could have yielded $ 100,000. In a week in January, his portfolio lost $ 300,000. He may have bought and detained Bitcoin in 2015, when he first learned of his existence, at a fraction of what the currency is worth today.
Back then, Bitcoin cost about $ 250 each. When Granofsky arrived two years later, the price had risen to around $ 2000 and seemed to have reached its peak.
"In so many ways, I completely lost myself," says Hoffmeister.
Still, Hoffmeister was able to pay his school loans in December. He expected to make a payment every month for a decade, but this disappeared in a flash.
Both Granofsky and Hoffmeister, each in the mid-1930s, see liberation as their main objective of investing in cryptocurrency.
They have maintained their daily work – Hoffmeister works as an account executive officer for Travelers Insurance and Granofsky is a senior sales manager for a manufacturer of smartphone accessories. But they hope their investments end up making work nine to five useless.
In the middle of our speech, Hoffmeister takes off his jacket to reveal a t-shirt with the logo of Loci, Inc., a new cryptography project in which it is invested.
"It's symbolic," he says smiling. "It means no more meetings."