If you’re considering getting rid of your Bitcoin, you can sell out with a few easy clicks. Getting rid of a Bitcoin tattoo though? Not that easy.
But then, devoted fans who mark their skin to express love for the digital currency aren’t ones to be racked by tattoo regret. Nor are they likely to dump their crypto stash even as prices tumble. On Sunday, as Bitcoin was retreating from last week’s record levels, veteran Wall Street money manager and crypto maven Mike Novogratz had some words of admiration for a Twitter user who showed off a Bitcoin emblem inked on his neck.
“Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow,” Novogratz said. The tattoo was posted by @Mikey_Mach with the hashtags # HODL, #BTC and #4Life — a call to stick with the currency rather than sell it.
Novogratz himself got a Bitcoin tattoo a few weeks ago as prices were breaking record after record. “I said when Bitcoin broke 20,000 and made new highs I’d get a tattoo, and I’m living up to my word. It’s been a long journey for Bitcoin and for me,” he said on Twitter on Dec. 19 while on his way to a tattoo parlor in Brooklyn, New York.
The enthusiasm illustrates why, in spite of the current selloff fueling concern that the crypto bubble may be about to burst, some investors are holding on to Bitcoin. Prices had zoomed to almost $42,000 last week, with everyone from individual traders and Wall Street pros piling in for fear of missing out on the action. The currency plunged as much as 26% over Sunday and Monday to as low as $30,324, but has since pared some losses to trade at around $33,400.
“I don’t think the story has been dented one iota” by Bitcoin’s drop, Novogratz, 56, said in a interview on Monday. “In some bizarre way it’s healthy. It allows people to feel like they didn’t miss the whole thing. It tells you how markets are frothy, and you’ve got to be careful. It doesn’t change where Bitcoin ends the year or where it is in two to three years; most people are not buying for two to three weeks. They’re buying as a long-duration asset.”
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Spencer Fails, 32, from South Carolina, has also been on a long journey involving a tattoo with Bitcoin. He got inked in Savannah, Georgia, back in 2014 — way before the cryptocurrency gained cachet in the financial industry.
“I’d never really heard of anyone getting a Bitcoin tattoo, so I decided to get that Bitcoin B and pay for it with Bitcoin,” Fails said. “I was the first person there to pay for anything with a Bitcoin.”
Back when Fails got his tattoo, Bitcoin was trading at less than $1,000, and predictions that it would top $40,000 may have seemed like fantasy. But now, the currency isgetting more mainstream acceptance, and U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. said this monthit has the potential to reach $146,000 in the long term as it competes with gold as an asset class.
Fails doesn’t regret getting the tattoo, and says he may even consider getting another one. Holding on to Bitcoin through its jumps and crashes paid off during the pandemic, when he lost his job. Fails was able to cash in his holdings to keep paying his bills. He says the currency’s gains over the long run have already proven skeptics wrong.
As for Novogratz, he expects Bitcoin could reach $500,000 in 2024. And when it does, he plans to commemorate the occasion with another tattoo.
“When it gets to $500,000, I’m going to get a dragon on my left forearm,” Novogratz said. He was born in the year of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac, and the animal is next due to appear in 2024. “I figure that’s when it will get to $500,000,” he said.
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