How I Lost Nearly 200 Bitcoin trading this past month

An instructive story by Reddit, who wished to remain anonymous.

So, long story short, I started trading a year ago, been margin longing the whole run from 1k to 19k ( sometimes closing the top, sometimes closing too early or too late, but always making profit)

I turned 3 lowly btc which I had from playing poker (at the time 3k) into nearly 200 BTC which was almost 4 million at the top and would be 2 million at current prices.

I thought I was a trading genius, a god, whatever. Anyway, this is where the sadness starts.

After the dump from 19k to 11k I went long at the bottom, and kept adding to my position on the bounce to 12k 13k, 14k. Then, at the 16k dead cat, my position was a further 100 BTC in profit. Instead of closing then and having a total 300 BTC, I increased leverage and increased my position size. This entire position was liquadated on the drop back to 12k, because my entry had moved up so much. I lost 100 btc paper profit and nearly 50 BTC margin. I was devasted, and down to 150 BTC total.

After evaluating the situation, I came to the conclusion that the pump to 16k was a dead cat and that we are going lower. Therefore I shorted. At 12k. Added at 13k. Added at 14 and 15k. Got liquidated at the top at 17k. Another 50 BTC loss. Down to 100.

Think, ok we made a higher high at 17k, uptrend back on. Went long. Got liquidated at 13k.

50 BTC left. Devastated, unsure, no clue whats going on. Sat through the drop to 9k, when we bounced I thought it could be the bottom. Longed at 11500, panic closed 10500. When we went to 13k I was kicking myself for panic closing, went long at 12800.

Liquidated this morning for my last bitcoin. How I Lost Nearly 200 Bitcoin

3 BTC to 200, to 0

At this time I am still in shock, the last few months Ive neglected relationships and school, and Ive been daydreaming about living the high life rich as fuck with my millions.

Now, I am nowhere.

Posting this so others dont gamble away life changing money. Dont want donations or tips not posting an address dont PM me. I never want to hear the word btc again because I want to forget

Best Comments

gypsytoy I don’t seem to be coming back. I basically have the same story as OP except that I went from investing everything I had (as a college student) to buy 60 BTC in 2013 and holding strong for a solid 4 years. Then having a mental health crisis during 2016 and giving 20 BTC away to strangers online who took advantage of me, never to be seen again. Then in December, days before the top, I learned what margin trading actually was. Mad a tiny bit. Lost a good amount while falling asleep during a drop and then chasing the whole thing (40 BTC) down to 0.02 BTC.

I’m beyond devastated. I’m confident that I’m going to end my life over this and I’ve already begun separating myself from the world and getting my affairs in order. I feel weird revealing and admitting this on reddit, but this post hits home, as does the one of the main sub about the guy’s brother who killed himself over the same situation.

I admire those who can weather setbacks of this kind but I’m not one of them. I knew from the minute I read the white paper that Bitcoin was a game changing idea. I poured my savings into it, confident that my stack would be worth a million (20K) within 5 years (I called this almost perfectly). It’s not even like I want to live an extravagant lifestyle, I just wanted to feel financially safe for once in my life and wanted to share the wealth with those close to me and help build positive businesses and a better world. The pump and dumpers and Lamborghini memes are so obnoxious, as if the world needs any more mindless hedonistic consumerism. I grew up pretty poor and bounced from foster home to foster home and from school to school. I barely made it through college and have no marketable skills. I lost my dead end sales job a few months back and can’t bring myself to go back to barely getting buy. I held strong throughout the years, even though I could’ve certainly used the money at times. I always brought my own lunch to work and always took the subway when I could instead of paying for Uber. I invested a few thousand dollars back in 2013 and never saw a penny of it. OP is much more honorable than me because I certainly don’t have the self respect to turn down donations but I’m also pretty certain that people aren’t donating to the small army of people who are in the same situation and I obviously don’t deserve it anyway. When I run into friends, they always ask about how well I must be doing because they know I’ve been a Bitcoin proponent for a long time. Smiling and looking at them in the eye while talking positively about Bitcoin is incredibly taxing and I immediately want to throw up in the nearest trash can afterwards.

I know somewhere else in the universe, there’s a ‘me’ who decided against margin trading or stopped after a few losses or didn’t start playing bull at the beginning of a bear market. Not me though, I’m a fool and I squandered the only thing going for me in life. I hope others heed the warnings, but I know most won’t. Either way, I don’t have the type of mind to let something like this go and I can’t stand to watch Bitcoin moon again and be left behind. It’s sad that money can have such power over people. I know many have had their lives dramatically changed for the better but I suppose there are two sides to the coin.

I don’t even know why I still obsess over Bitcoin and this sub. I literally can’t think of anything else most of the time. I guess I keep hoping that it will drop to some very low amount and that I’ll be able to buy back in but that doesn’t make sense because I don’t have $10 to my name to put back in. I’m going to lose my unemployment benefits and housing in a few months and really have nowhere to turn once that happens.

I know most people would pull themselves up by their bootstraps and carry on but I know that I could never escape my mind. Sorry to rant negatively on your kind and reasoned comment. I wish OP the best and he seems to have a much better attitude towards the ordeal than I do, even with the stakes being that much higher.

edit: I mostly regret posting this. I sort of figured it would get buried, didn’t realize that this thread was still pretty active and that I posted on the top comment. Thanks for the comments, PMs and kind words. I’m not in immediate danger of anything and wasn’t trying to start a pity party for myself. Nonetheless, thank you all for your concern.

JungleSumTimes  I’ve been there. Lost my empire in its entirety 10 years ago. Back to square one. You’ll be bitter and angry for awhile. Try a change of scenery. A change of latitude.

Just learn to be grateful for what you DO have. Still have your eyesight? Your hands still work? You’re good at telling jokes? The basics. Thank your ever-loving stars above for these things.

Because having money or not having any money doesn’t really change WHO you are. Work on that guy. Give him some slack. You’ll be back. Just takes time and a lot of forgiving yourself.

Rabbit0123 It’s going to be ok.

There is a story about a Chinese guy who had a beautiful horse and everyone was jealous about her, saying like “dude you are so rich”. He was smiling and replying “haha we’ll see”. At some point she ran into the woods, so people were saying “oh you were right, she’s gone and you are done man !”. He replied “We’ll see”. In a few month the horse went back with some other horses – boys she found in the wild. People were stunned “wow now you are the richest person in the village, should be so happy!”. He was replying “we’ll see” again. Then his son while trying to ride the wild horses fell and broke his leg… which was a very bad situation in the medieval China . “Oh this all wealth turned out to be a curse”. “We will see!”. In a couple of moths the Chinese emperor started the war and took all the healthy boys from the village, except the one who had a broken leg of course. People were devastated. “Oh how right you were old man , now we have nothing, our beloved sons are gone to fight in a stupid war, and you kept your horses and your child !“. Guess what he answered!

It’s a very very sad situation and we are all here to share your pain and suffering. The important thing to remember though is that you lost only a few BTC, and life is not only ups and not only downs, it is a mix of both. It is really in your power not to get too excited on ups and too devastated on downs, after one there is the other following , stay open.

It’s going to be okay dude, it is okay even now. You’ll see.

Edited: spelling

gypsytoy Thanks, man. That’s actually a pretty compelling allegory and I haven’t heard it before. It’s true that things are always changing for better or worse and there are certainly many things to live for, i just know it will be tough or impossible for me to let go of this whole ordeal. My mind already tortures me and now it has a bunch more fuel to do so.

Thanks again, I am taking these comments to heart.

doc_samson If you like that story you may enjoy reading some books on Zen. There was one in particular, can’t recall the name of it, but it was very small and very thick and just had one parable on each page or two. Especially some Zen books on warrior spirit. Lots of things like accept death so you can truly live each day to its fullest, etc.

Also Tao te Ching the Chinese philosophy book. And maybe some Buddhism.

And Marcus Arelius’ Meditations, lots of Stoicism which is very similar to Zen.

Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Fontas Your first fortune, made and lost. I’ve been there too.

There are only two possibilities. Was this all luck, or was it skill?

If it was luck, then you had an unbelievable night at the casino, but never cashed out. In the end the house won, as they always do. Put it behind you, make a meme about it, and it’s a story to tell at bars. The blue pill.

If it was skill, you’re taking the red pill. Gather up another 3k, and do it all over again. Just repeat what you did the past year – in fact, it’ll be easier and faster the second time around. You’re a year behind, that sucks, but you’ll end up making it all back and more. That is, if your strategy is truly sound.

Many people who make and lose their first fortune never try again, and never find out if it was luck or skill.

I ended up jumping in the rabbit hole after losing my first trading fortune. Best decision of my life. My second came even faster than the first, and was much larger – the original sums seem miniscule now.

It’s up to you, if you want to find out how deep your rabbit hole goes.

zksnugsI understand your pain. I really do.

Sometimes I wish I never came to know of crypto. It’s both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can get ‘mad gainzz’, but at the same time, you get trapped in this eerie world, where your mind wanders to thoughts like how you could retire a millionaire if you hadn’t sold early / made that wrong trade / bought in earlier etc. I don’t think we can never escape this. As long as we live we will forever be a slave to these thoughts, which will always come back to haunt us of what we could have ‘done differently’. We can probably never walk away and forget about it, like what we can do from an embarrassing situation. Because while other people can forget, we will never forget our own actions.

FontasThe zen way of dealing with making and losing a fortune – there are only 2 possibilities. It was luck or it was skill.

If it was luck, then I had an unbelievable night at the casino, but never cashed out. In the end the house won, as they always do. Put it all behind me, make a meme about it, and it’ll just become a funny story to tell at bars. The blue pill.

If it was skill, I’m taking the red pill. Gather up a small base, and do it all over again. Repeat what I did the first time around – in fact, it’ll be easier and faster the second time around. That is, if the strategy is truly sound.

Many people who make and lose their first fortune never find out if it was luck or skill.

I ended up jumping in the rabbit hole after losing my first dotcom trading fortune. Best decision of my life. My second came even faster than the first, and was much larger – the original sums seem miniscule now.

My only regret is wasting 2 long poor years in mommy’s house before it all clicked in my head – luck or skill, I might never know – unless I try again and see. Turns out it was skill.

It’s up to you, if you want to find out how deep your rabbit hole goes.

gypsytoy Yeah it’s tough definitely. I guess the only answer is to find more value in other aspects of life. Relationships, hobbies, giving back. There are a lot of ways to try to mend your mind after something like this, I’m just worried I don’t have the tools or the will to do so. Thanks for the comment.

AjaxFC1900 I thought I was a trading genius, a god, whatever

Forget about the riches, boats, hotels etc…at the end of the day it’s all about that feeling, everybody deserves to feel like that at least once in life…you experienced that feeling extremely young…not bother too much, at the end of the day we’re all basically already dead, in the great scheme of things it doesn’t matter that much if you made or lost 5 millions , tell you more in the great scheme of things our existence doesn’t matter that much and, like I said we’re all already dead anyway.

It is complicated, sometimes, in the past it used to be easier… like going to war and either win the world or get a bullet in the head or die on the battlefield…now we don’t do those things anymore and we actually have to deal with failure which is way worse than death for our brains/minds. It was way easier back then, when we were less intelligent and more aggressive

Cinnamon_Twist I really dislike this logic. People in the past were incredibly intelligent just because they didn’t sit on the accumlated knowledge we have today doesn’t make them savages. You could still go to war if you wanted nobody is stopping you.

That life philosophy is also really sad. It’s not self evident that because life will eventually end for you that you should find it so meaningless and petty.

JungleSumTimes I think there is some sort of freedom achieved from recognizing that we are all just little blips on the big screen. When you accept the insignificance of your existence it really frees you up to just be yourself and like that person and pursue the things you love rather than worrying all the time about how society is judging you.

Guys get it bad this way because your bankroll is a big part of how you are viewed and determined to be a success in life. There are so many better measures.

pepe_le_shoe  Poker has an element of skill, but if a gambling addict antes up, he will gamble. He may play tight for 2, 4, maybe 6+ hours, days even, but at some point, before he goes home, he will gamble. He will have that momentary lapse in discipline, he will, just once, go against the odds and bet all in on an inside straight draw, or push too hard with bottom set when he knows deep down that he got out drawn.

There are poker players who win all the time, maybe they’ve got skill, the maths, or reading people. But none of these people are true gamblers. Gamblers always go home with nothing.

That was me for a while. I don’t play for money anymore.

SamAiken  I didn’t have 200 BTC, but I’ve been in similar tilt situations at least two times. You are not the first one to get rich fast and then lose all your money. Luckily, you didn’t end up in jail as many “get rich fast” people do.

According to what you said, you have big knowledge gaps about importance of diversification and risk-management, so please spend some time researching it. Now you are disgusted with BTC and I know this feeling very well, but it will pass.

There is a chance that we will have a bearish market for a few weeks or even months, so you have time to calm down, educate yourself about investing and join us later on the next wave. You have much more experience and knowledge, than average crypto investor.

And now the important part – you still can rebuild your portfolio from scratch! It will take much longer, than a few months, but you can make it. I did it. Many people did. You can do it, too.

And trading is always risky, stressful and doesn’t add any value to the society or community, so investing and hodling is a much safer way to get rich, rather than trading. The older you get, the more dangerous stress will be for you, it can even kill you (e.g. heart attack). So take your time, learn about risk-management, never play with your whole portfolio, and when you get many cryptos again, don’t forget to rebalance your portfolio by moving some funds into fiat money, real estate or stocks.

Apart from investing, please don’t forget to focus on what you want to do in life except for being a rich guy flying jets. How you want to help people and contribute to the community? And invest your time in this direction. Your experience, knowledge and reputation won’t just vanish like BTC did.

Be wise and stay calm!

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