A Guide for the Young Crypto Enthusiast (or the Merely Curious)

“There is a real desire to be able to play catch-up when it comes to wealth accumulation in America,” said Yanely Espinal, 33, director of educational outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance, an educational nonprofit. “So crypto is sold as this vision that if you do this, you can catch up if you’re willing to take a risk.”

The biggest attraction of crypto is often the possibility of high returns — the kind of tenfold payback that Bitcoin owners experienced if they bought in early 2019 and sold in early 2021.

But something like that may never happen again, and the small number of people who realized those gains may well have been lucky. Repeating a feat like that — both buying and selling at precisely the right time — requires extraordinary skill (or, more likely, something akin to lightning striking twice).

I’m not here to tell you not to try under any circumstances, though. Quite the contrary.

Consider the journey that Aadi Gujral has been on. Mr. Gujral, the 17-year-old founder of the Foundation for Financial Literacy, found his way to crypto during the early days of the pandemic. He purchased Bitcoin and then jumped aboard the hype train, dabbling in other currencies and mining coins, too.

“There were times when this was incredibly profitable and times where I was regretting every choice,” Mr. Gujral said. “With the volatility, my money would have probably been safer and better invested in a stock index fund.”

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