Do you wish you’d boarded the Bitcoin boat earlier? Unless you were among the early pioneers buying in at three figures or less – or you’re afflicted by Stockholm syndrome when it comes to dear old fiat – this thought is likely to strike you every time Bitcoin inches or throttles upwards. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The idea that not so long ago it was possible to buy 1 BTC for a few thousand bucks (or, a little earlier, for mere hundreds) is frankly soul-destroying. But what are you gonna do?
Unless you’ve retrofitted a flux capacitor capable of 1.21 gigawatts to a magical DMC DeLorean, you need to make peace with your former self’s lack of foresight. If not, you'll be crippled by debilitating hindsight bias, destined to channel Brando by claiming “I coulda been a contender” anytime crypto enters the conversation.
Stop beating yourself up, because there is good reason to believe the Bitcoin boat hasn't even left the harbour. If you don't believe us, take a lesson from someone who invested back in 2013. This Redditor knows a thing or two.
The fact is, if you truly believe in Bitcoin, you’ll know that it’s still relatively early days. The mantra “keep calm and stack sats” has never been more relevant. Whether you find yourself in a bull or bear market, you need to keep your eye on the prize. After all, you’re not the only one who thinks they’ve “missed the bitcoin boat.”
Every day, all around the world, people look at the cryptocurrency’s price action and bemoan the fact that they missed out on Bitcoin. But what does this actually mean? Essentially, it means that they feel they missed out on an easy win.
But the win was never easy, because there is no such thing as a free lunch. No-one really knew for sure that Bitcoin would succeed, and many that bought early probably sold once it doubled from $10 to $20 feeling that they had made a killing.
Those who scoffed at Bitcoin in the early 2010s, when it first reached parity with the US dollar, are the same people who now wish they’d bought at $1,000 or $10,000.
The fact that Bitcoin has reached critical mass and become a Top 10 global currency, as measured by M1 money stock, should not dissuade newcomers from putting skin in the game. On the contrary, it should convince them that Bitcoin is here to stay and, in many ways, still extremely undervalued.
Even Elon Musk conceded that he was “late to the party” after adding $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to Tesla’s balance sheet in 2021. Despite his tardiness, the asset’s early-year rally meant that Tesla earned around $1 billion profit on its crypto holdings within six weeks.
If you’re going to re-engineer a past where you bought Bitcoin in double figures, and despite knowing little about it, hodled through multiple market crashes, why not throw in a super model partner, becoming a best selling author and a clandestine career as an international spy? It is all just wishful thinking.
Regret is a part of life. We cannot berate ourselves for neglecting to make decisions that would have benefitted us financially, if such decisions were never realistically considered.
If you’re going to re-engineer a past where you bought Bitcoin in double figures, and despite knowing little about it, hodled through multiple market crashes, why not throw in a super model partner, a best selling novel and a clandestine career as an international spy? It is all just wishful thinking.
A little schadenfreude may help. Think of those poor souls who looked the proverbial gift-horse straight in the mouth, but decided not to jump in the saddle. That is a different level of self-recrimination to contend with.
Exhibit A; pop star, Lily Allen, was offered hundreds of thousands of bitcoin to perform a live-streamed gig on the VR game Second Life in 2009, when the cryptocurrency was virtually worthless.
Five years later, when the price of each bitcoin had risen to a few hundred dollars, Allen cursed herself for rejecting the overture.
One wonders how much her misery has compounded in the years since, as it’s hurtled past $10,000, $20,000, $50,000… If Allen had said Yes in 2009, and HODL’d her crypto, she’d be a billionaire now.
Few Brits have ever snubbed a king’s ransom worth of crypto like Allen. Yet 30% believe they’ve missed out on Bitcoin entirely, and would prefer to avoid the market altogether as a consequence. This despite the fact that 25% of survey participants say they’d have pocketed over $1.4 million in profit if they’d only converted their assets into bitcoin at the start of 2020.
Moreover, 31% of those surveyed said they believed bitcoin would surpass $70,000 by the end of the year. That’s some fine cognitive dissonance right there.
Lily Allen, was offered hundreds of thousands of bitcoins to perform a live-streamed gig on the VR game Second Life in 2009, when the cryptocurrency was virtually worthless.
Spare a thought for those that did get in early, but couldn't resist the temptation to trade their way to an even bigger fortune - like this guy pouring his heart out on crypto twitter. Turns out that most of the time hodling is both the most painless and profitable strategy to earning crypto.
Many individuals are both convinced they’ve missed the Bitcoin boat – yet at the same time suspect the asset will rise in value in the near term. Holding those contradictory thoughts is a painful piece of mental gymnastics.
One wonders if they know that they do not have to buy one whole bitcoin; they can purchase a smaller unit, known as a satoshi, which constitutes one hundredth of a million of a bitcoin. We’ve written about what’s known as crypto Unit Bias separately in the Learn Crypto blog.
At the time of writing, 1,800 satoshis are equal to $1. Instead of buying one bitcoin, you could buy 180,000 satoshis for $100. Better still, blindly do that through cost averaging and stop trying to time the market.
Again, the same people who might nowadays scoff at owning a bunch of satoshis are often the same individuals who once laughed at the pointlessness of owning “half a bitcoin.” History, as they say, will be the judge.
Incidentally, Allen is just one of many crypto cautionary tales. What about the home-owner who rejected 50,000 BTC – then worth $13 million – for his humble abode? Clearly he wasn’t familiar with Bitcoin and opted for a cash buyer instead. If he’d taken the crypto, converted half into US dollars, and HODL’d the rest, he’d have over $1.3 billion worth of bitcoin at today's prices. His preferred fiat money has quietly lost value while bitcoin was heading to the moon.
All of which is to say, missing the Bitcoin boat is a misnomer. Virtually no-one is “priced out” of the asset at this juncture, and though many have likely missed the opportunity to buy one whole coin outright, that doesn’t mean you can’t stack sats and reap the rewards.
Comparison is the thief of joy; stop thinking about what could have been, and focus on making better decisions today.