In the summer of 2011 and being only 12 years old, Erik Finman bought the equivalent of $ 1,000 in Bitcoin. At that time, it had only been two years since the creation of the first digital currency in the world; its trading value was $10, and very few people knew about its existence. In fact, those who knew about Bitcoin were associated with groups of anarchists, libertarians and cypherpunks, and even with drug traffic on the dark web.
This investment from Erik, who earned the $1,000 for a gift from his grandmother, was preceded by an agreement with his parents a month earlier: if he turned that money into $ 1 million, he wouldn’t have to go to college. In 2017, he fulfilled his mission and won the agreement.
Thanks to that investment, Erik achieved financial independence on an unthinkable scale for many teenagers. At age 15 he dropped out of high school, moved to San Francisco and founded Botangle, an online education company that he subsequently sold and bought again. Also, he worked on other personal projects, such as the creation of a robotic tentacle suit inspired by Spider-Man’s villain, Doctor Octopus, and the launch of a satellite containing pop-culture memorabilia.
However, Finman set a new challenge. He recently announced what is expected to be his next great success: he will convert all his holdings in Bitcoin into Metal. This cryptocurrency, launched in 2017, is the token behind Metal Pay, a wallet that allows users to store multiple currencies and exchange them for USD, qualified by Finman himself as an all-in-one application for cryptocurrencies.
This project was attractive to Finman for two reasons: the attractive design of Metal, and the effort of its founder / CEO Marshall Hayner to make crypto more appealing and “sexy” for the general public. After they both got in touch and had a meeting in June, Finman agreed to convert his entire cryptocurrency portfolio into MTL tokens. The announcement of this investment was made on August 19; the same day that Metal Pay finished its beta testing phase.
In an interview with Colin Harper of Bitcoin Magazine, Finman said that he has already converted a significant amount of funds to MTL, and that he still has 446 Bitcoin, whose current market value is around $ 4.5 million. This movement has its justification: a very large and immediate investment would produce an exaggerated price increase, which would damage any “actual grassroots support” for Metal.
On the other hand, Finman already has a role in the company, although he doesn’t appear with a defined title on the Metal Pay website. “I don’t believe in titles”, says. He is currently working in different areas, as he ambitiously seeks to succeed with this project, and is very optimistic about it. He has even affirmed that Metal Pay will beat out Libra (digital currency ideated by Facebook), and even that Metal will replace Bitcoin.
In the 24 hours following the announcement of Finman, the Metal token had a trading volume of 40 to 60 million dollars, which is a significant change compared to the figures for July and August, during which time the token recorded a volume $ 300,000 daily and a few million dollars.
However, all that shines isn’t gold. Although Metal Pay, according to Marshall Hayner, has 30,000 users who send dollars or exchange cryptocurrencies on its platform, MTL is struggling to find more users. This token has little practical utility, beyond working as a reward system to encourage people to use the application.
Besides, MTL has a lack of liquidity, something usual in the so-called altcoins. And it doesn’t even have its own blockchain; instead, it works on the Ethereum chain. However, “it won’t for long,” says Finman.
Can this project be a hit? Will Finman achieve this goal with the same investment success that led him to be the youngest Bitcoin millionaire in the world? Even though Finman’s efforts have given the project a boost, only time will tell how far Metal token will go.