Brenda Gentry, 46, a cryptocurrency speculator from San Antonio, said she started buying Bitcoin in 2020 before focusing on lesser-known tokens like Bund, which is tied to a decentralized sports betting network . Ms. Gentry’s trades in the Bund have brought her about $400,000 in profit, she said, and her total portfolio is now in the six figures, having been hit by the recent price drop.
“It’s like a kid walking into a candy store,” Ms. Gentry said, noting that she can buy one token, then convert it to another, then another.
In addition to her cryptocurrency investments, Ms. Gentry, a former mortgage underwriter, has found work as a consultant advising DeFi and NFT projects. She plans to use her cryptocurrency earnings to purchase an acre in San Antonio. She wants to build a house, with a crypto-mining operation in a storage unit next door.
Many people who got rich from little-known cryptocurrencies said they had no intention of cashing out. They said they’d rather HODL, or hang on for dear life, and keep speculating.
Consider Mr. vantKruys, the Luna investor. He said he recently used around $1 million of his cryptocurrency holdings to buy a house for a loved one. But he has no interest in selling his stash of Luna, despite market volatility that saw a drop from $99 to under $50 per coin between December and January.
“My idea is that Luna is going to be $500 in five years,” said Mr. vantKruys, who is 45. “It’s the horizon we’re playing with.”
Recently, he has become obsessed with another obscure token, Pocket Network, which offers digital infrastructure for a range of blockchain initiatives. (Mr. vantKruys, the managing partner of crypto fund TRGC, is an advisor on the Pocket Network project.)