"With today's rise in Bitcoin I'm officially a millionaire," writes Reddit user Bitcoinmillo. "I'm gonna cash out over the next 30 days."
This is the type of story that's been animating the incredibly active (and volatile) Bitcoin market in recent months. The currency's rapid rise to near $200 (it was once valued well below $10) has both increased awareness of the digital currency and changed how it's seen; many people have become aware of it in get-rich-quick terms rather than as an academically interesting experiment in crypto-currency.
Whether or not Bitcoinmillo is telling the truth — we've reached out for verification — people like this almost certainly exist. With the value of Bitcoin recently approaching $200, one would only need to hold about 5,000 coins to become a Bitcoin millionaire. Numerous polls conducted on sites such as Bitcoin Forum suggest that, over the last few weeks, more than a few Bitcoin wallets have passed the million-dollar mark:
This poll was taken when a Bitcoin was worth half as much as it is today:
Bitcoinmillo, who says he is 25, appears to be keeping a level head: "I was a combination miner and investor, little here little there. There were many points I considered selling, even as recent as December, but decided there wasn't an urgent need," he explains.
He plans on keeping some of his money in Bitcoin, but just a fraction: "I will pay taxes, and keep a safe amount in bitcoin, and in metals. I will also get a house for my GF (we lived in a crappy apartment for the last five years, though it is next to a great chinese restaurant) and the remaining in a vanguard growth account."
Others in the thread disagree with his plan: "You should invest in Bitcoin with that kind of money," writes one, only half-jokingly. Another admonishes him for abandoning the cause: "Remember that you made money on betting against fiat. If the fundamentals of bitcoin has not changed, you will now be betting against yourself if you hold too much fiat."
Over at Bitcoin Forums, a thread called "Future Bitcoin millionaires - will you cash out when you hit $1M?" offers a peek at how true believers would handle a similar scenario: "There really is no reason to 'cash out'. If you want to pay for something (goods, services, paying off debt) and you can't using BTC then selling enough BTC to pay for it indirectly is an option," writes one user. "I have had my eye on a boat for a while. I doubt many boat dealers will be taking Bitcoins anytime soon."
"I intend to keep 50% in BTC, 30% in fiat, and 20% in altcoins regardless of what happens," writes another.
Forum regular evoorhees, whose profile associates him with a large Bitcoin payment processor, is the most ideologically pure: "I already cashed out," he says. "I cashed out of dollars into Bitcoin."