KOCHI: Sanju Bhaskar, barely 30, who moved from his native Wayanad to Kochi to pursue his dreams in the film industry about eight years ago, is now striking it rich literally in another sector: Cryptocurrencies!
Bhaskar’s investment in various cryptocurrencies – there are over 1,700 virtual currencies and the number is growing by the day – has given him returns ranging from 20 times to 50 times, and in some cases even 100 times in just two years!
He is not alone. The global hysteria surrounding cryptocurrencies is seeing several investors from Kerala jumping on the virtual currency bandwagon. “I reckon there would be only about 100 people in Kerala who are hooked on cryptocurrencies at the moment, but I see the numbers rising several times in the coming months and years,” says Bhaskar as he checks the price movements on various virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin cash, Etherium, Litecoin, Cardano etc on his mobile app ‘Cryptomarketcap’.
Maju Mathai from Koothattukulam started investing in cryptocurrencies after his bitter experience at the stock market, where he suffered losses. Maju claims he bought the virtual coin ‘verge’ at 33 paise and exited at R12 apiece at an astounding return of 3,500 per cent in a matter of months, making a cool profit of about R4.8 lakh.
“I exited my investment in verge as I was in need of some money,” says Maju, adding he also has investments in other virtual coins such as Ripple (1,400 numbers), Paccoin (1.48 cr), Electronium (47,000) and Bitcoin cash (0.33).
James P T, also from Koothattukulam, is also a new entrant in the cryptocurrency market, investing in several virtual coins. “I have been dabbling in the commodities market, and earlier in the stock market. I feel cryptocurrency bull-run is here to stay,” he reckons. James has also invested in ‘OneCoin’, which will officially be launched last August. The price of OneCoin, which many believe will become the number one cryptocurrency, has shot up from Rs 480 in May 2016 to Rs 1,800 at present, and James believes the price will touch Rs 10,000 by 2020.
The amazing thing about the new investors in cryptocurrency from this part of the world is their confidence to put their hard-earned money into a bubble-like virtual currency. “Central banks and economists warn that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are bubbles which will burst. But they have been telling this from 2013. We exited part of the holding after the warning by RBI, but we are now regretting this,” says Bhaskar.
Adds Mathai: “I had invested in stocks like SAIL at the time of disinvestment. I bought the shares at Rs 120 apiece. I bought Kingfisher share at Rs 60. I incurred huge losses.”The new wave of interest in cryptocurrencies is attracting more and more investors into the virtual coin market. Many experts have equated the frenzy to Ponzi schemes.No one knows where the virtual coin boom is headed. As long as the run-up lasts, people like Bhaskar and Mathai will laugh all the way to the bank.