Maxwell* is a 31-year-old marketer with a top commercial bank in Nigeria. Three years ago, he became interested in cryptocurrency, and then got consumed with the idea of making money quickly through it.
Things went well for a while, and then his portfolio crashed, taking his relationship down with it. He tells PiggyVest how it happened and the lessons he learnt.
When did your interest in crypto begin?
That was in 2020. But let me begin with a preface: Regardless of everything I’m about to say, I don’t think crypto is a scam or bad investment. But it’s not for me anymore; I’m traumatised.
That sucks. Sorry about that.
Thanks. Around late 2020, I started to see more crypto-related content on Twitter. I followed a couple of accounts that talked about the subject, joined a few WhatsApp and Telegram groups and made a couple of new friends. Everything was good initially.
My salary at the time was ₦200k, and every month I would dedicate ₦50k to crypto. The rest would go into my monthly upkeep, black tax, and relationship expenses. I did not have any savings but, in my mind, there was no investment better than my crypto portfolio.
So, what happened?
If I had stayed in one place, maybe I would’ve got out at the right time. I took some profit, but while some coins would rise, others would be dipping simultaneously. I started becoming impatient, and I was spending too much time watching the candles. My mood was dependent on whether the market was bullish or bearish. I could no longer spend time with my girlfriend.
She never told me to stop, but she was iffy about the whole thing. She would just talk about how I was becoming a shadow of myself, and I would attack her for being selfish because I was trying to make money to secure our future. But, you know, there’s something special about women’s intuition. It’s always right. Then again, looking back, it was obvious that I was unhinged.
Greed set in. I wanted to make money quicker. Guys were always sharing information about new shitcoins, but I always looked away because I was sceptical. But they were cashing out and FOMO wanted to kill me. As the sharp guy I thought I was, I decided to try my hand at one “sure” shitcoin.
I wanted to do it big, it was just a 24-hour pump and dump. And I was guaranteed to make 5x the money I invested. It’s so embarrassing now. But back then, it made complete sense.
I didn’t have any more cash, so I asked my girlfriend for a quick loan. I even told her I would pay her an extra ₦200k for her worries. Because she would do anything for me, she broke her PiggyBank and gave me the money.
What happened next?
I went through the entire sketchy process of purchasing that demonic coin. With things like this, you had to stay on high alert. I was monitoring the pump up until 1 am when I dozed off. That sleep…I will never forgive myself for it. It cost me everything.
The next time I opened my eyes, it was almost 6 am. I grabbed my phone, but it was too late. My $750 was now around $2. They dumped this thing on my head in my sleep. I didn’t even know who to blame. I was just seeing red. I thought it was a nightmare.
I asked my guys, and all of them were like, “Ah, guy you no take profit? I no know say you don sleep go, I for wake you.” I felt betrayed, but who sent me to buy shitcoin? I was not myself at work that day.
How did your babe find out?
I decided to tell her in the evening when we were both back from work. She was fuming. But instead of calming down, I became defensive, which made her even more mad. I started saying crazy things out of anger, and she told me she wouldn’t have that. The next thing, she said she was done with me and hung up.
At first, I thought she was being unreasonable, so I ignored her. I was the one who had lost money, I had a ₦300k gbese on my head…and I have to deal with a breakup? That night, when she broke up with me, I sent her messages accusing her of being stingy and putting her money over me. I said crazy things. Then I ignored her for two whole weeks.
What about her money?
She blocked me everywhere, but I had her account number. In fact, it was two weeks later, after I made the first payment of ₦50k out of pride, that she unblocked me to ask about the rest of her money. I told her I would pay the rest every month for five months, and I did.
Did you try to get her back?
I tried to get closure and after she gave me her own POV, my ego deflated. Ah! I had been an asshole to her, especially on the night we broke up. That kind of verbal attack was a dealbreaker for her. She kept receipts. I can’t even remember saying half of those things. The babe had standards, and I understood. I did too much, and I regret it every day.
You know what’s even crazier? She’s actually engaged now. I don’t know the guy, so it’s probably somebody she met after me. I’ll be lying if I say that I’m happy about it o. [Laughs] E pain me. But she knew what she wanted, and it was not a person as hostile and financially irresponsible as me.
Besides, we would still be dating if we were still together. So she levelled up. Good riddance to me, I guess.
What did you learn from this experience?
That money is not everything. If I could take that night back, I would. I lost my queen because of pride. I wish I could even erase that memory, but at least I’ll learn to do better in the future.
Another thing I learnt is the value of contentment. Sometimes you’ll think you’re being smart when all you’re merely being greedy. You just have to know when to stop.