EXCLUSIVE: Crypto Trader Turns 1 ETH Into $140K With $PEPE: 'That's The Beauty Of The Space'

Zinger Key Points
  • A trader took a 1 ETH investment in Pepe coin and turned it into 70 ETH.
  • An interview with the trader reveals a look at the risks and rewards of investing in altcoins.

Investors in the cryptocurrency space often fall into multiple camps, those who hold the largest coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and those who invest in altcoins, also known as sh*tcoins. One trader turned an investment of around one Ethereum ETH/USD, or around $2,000 into $140,000.

What Happened: Over the last two weeks, one of the top trending cryptocurrencies has been Pepe PEPE/USD. Reports have surfaced that investors taking hundreds or thousands of dollars and turning that into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

Benzinga spoke to one of the traders who was once among the largest Pepe holders to find out how everything went down.

A trader, who wished to remain anonymous, told Benzinga they started trading cryptocurrency during the “Covid phase.”

“I’m in a sales job and it was pretty slow when they shut everything down,” the trader said.

Trading started with buying Ethereum at around $1,000 and getting into non-fungible tokens fairly early.

“Kind of just went down the rabbit hole.”

Among the big wins in NFTs for the trader was minting 5 Azukis, one of the hottest NFT projects of 2022.

As NFTs and cryptocurrencies faced setbacks, the trader sold the majority of their positions, paid taxes, and had been waiting for the next thing to invest in.

"Lost my a** like everyone else, just trying to buy stuff I think is undervalued."

Enter PEPE

The trader told Benzinga they first heard about Pepe on Twitter, with the account DegenHarambe posting about the coin when it was at a market capitalization of around $20,000.

The trader said that with "sh*tcoins" you typically want to be one of the first 100 holders, otherwise you might be used as exit liquidity for others. You also need some form of risk.

“Just like anybody in the space, I think you have to have some degree of degenerate gambling problems.”

The trader put one Ethereum into Pepe for an investment of around $2,000 with the cryptocurrency trading with a market capitalization of between $180,000 to $200,000 on a Friday in April.

It wasn’t until later in the early hours of that Sunday that the trader saw how much Pepe had gained.

“I’m at work, go home, meet friends for dinner, don’t even look at phone, put kids to sleep.”

At 3:30 a.m., the trader woke up to feed a newborn baby and saw that their Pepe investment had turned from one ETH into five ETH.

“Oh, might have something here. We might have a little lightning in a bottle here,” the trader recalled thinking.

On Saturday, April 8, the trader was at work and busy and didn’t have a chance to look at Pepe very often. When they were able to check, it was revealed that the one ETH was now worth around 10 ETH with the coin trading with a market capitalization of over $1.3 million.

On the Sunday and following Monday after the launch, Pepe went even higher and became a trending topic across social media.

The trader sold seven to eight ETH worth of Pepe on Sunday, money pulled to help cover taxes on the investment and that could also be used to help with a new home purchase and renovation.

On Monday, the one ETH investment, plus the eight ETH taken out, was worth around 70 ETH.

The trader sold a large amount of the investment on Monday before rebuying back in 7.5 ETH worth. By Tuesday, the 7.5 ETH worth was worth around 30 ETH.

At the time of the interview, the trader had around 100 billion Pepe left, which was worth around $20,000 to $22,000. The trader turned the one ETH into around $140,000 counting what was sold and what was currently held.

At its peak, the original one ETH invested was worth $1.2 million, but the coin being illiquid made it impossible to sell the full amount without the coin going down significantly. Shortly after selling some Pepe, the trader realized they were the 14th largest holder at one point.

“You don’t want to be the first out, but you don’t want to be last.”

The trader said investing in Pepe was a risk, but one they thought made sense as there wasn’t a meme frog coin yet.

“That was the risk worth it in my head.”

Related Link: How To Buy Altcoins 

What’s Next: The trader told Benzinga they would keep investing in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, despite the returns of Pepe being a potential once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“This stuff doesn’t happen often, it never happens.”

The trader referred to cryptocurrency as “the casino that never sleeps.”

The trader has had several huge hits in the years of investing in cryptocurrency. Along with buying into Pepe and Azuki NFTs early, the trader was also early to Shiba Inu SHIB/USD, investing in the coin on one of its first days. An investment in Shiba Inu gave the trader a 2 ETH gain, but would be worth millions of dollars if they held.

“My portfolio is probably worth more now than it was during the bull market.”

The trader said that everyone is looking for a leg up through side jobs and hustling.

“Crypto’s kind of that for me. I like to invest in crypto, because I think the multiples are there. That’s the beauty of the space.”

For Pepe and other crypto investments, the trader still preaches caution to others.

“You have to preach caution on this stuff.”

The trader recalls getting messages from friends and traders as Pepe was rising and thinking it's already up over 40x when it started, why would you buy now?

“You don’t want anyone to lose money.”

The trader continues to hold a small position in Pepe and hopes it goes up over time.

“Everyone knows Pepe, probably the oldest meme there is. Hope it becomes something bigger than it is today.”

The trader wouldn’t mention by name any cryptocurrencies or NFTs they were holding, outside of Azukis.

As for the future of Pepe and what could be next, the trader shared their final thought.

“Hopefully it goes higher one day.”

Read Next: 21,000% In 3 Days, Pepe The Frog Meme Coins Skyrocket As Crypto Twitter Shifts From Dogecoin 

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org

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