A 2014 Bitcoin experiment conducted in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has reportedly yielded a 13,000% profit for some of the participants.
In 2014, when bitcoin was still in its infancy, about 3,100 MIT students were opportune to be part of a grand experiment dubbed The MIT Bitcoin Project.
Dan Elitzer and Jeremy Rubin were the brains behind the experiment as they were both interested in what Bitcoin had to offer for the future.
At the time, MIT students were offered the chance to be owners of a fraction of bitcoin. To claim ownership, they had to follow some long procedures. Most importantly, they were required to own wallets where they could store the keys needed to access their share of bitcoin.
About 3,100 of the undergraduates accepted the offer and were each given one-third of a bitcoin worth $100 at the time. Most of them unfortunately didn’t keep theirs for long and they learned an expensive lesson.
According to Christian Catalini, one of MIT’s professors who monitored the project, one in ten of the 3,100 students cashed out in two weeks and one in four had cashed out by the end of the project. They spent them on what seemed more important at that time, food, shoes, etc.
But those who still hold onto their fraction of BTC have no regrets as the $100 worth of bitcoin has now turned to $13,000 in the space of seven years.
Mary Spanjers, 24, is one of the fortunate few who didn’t lose or sell their BTC. She calls this windfall a remarkable experience.
At one point though, she almost spent hers on a T-shirt, remembering how she and a good number of other students thought it was a joke.
Although it wasn’t easy for her to keep it, her patience and self-control was worth it as she can now spend her bitcoin on something worth more than a T-shirt.
Erick Pinos, another MIT student, wasn’t so fortunate. He sold his share of BTC and now regrets it. However, he made amends by taking a deep dive into the cryptocurrency industry. Pinos said he currently works with a crypto-related company and he spends 100% of his savings on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Despite the remarkable turn of events, some participants said they don’t regret spending their bitcoin. Selam Gano, who spent hers on food, said it “was free money” and she has “no regrets.”
Whatever the case, there is no doubt that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have made millionaires out of many early believers.
In another report, Yung Chen, a restaurant owner in San Francisco, revealed that the $10 worth of bitcoin which he received as payment from a customer in 2013 is now worth over $390k
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