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Bitcoin, ether… Young people caught in the cryptocurrency fever

Owen Simonin, aka

He started investing in cryptocurrencies at the beginning of May, against the tide, as the market began its dizzying fall. At the age of 19, Arthur, a HEC prep student in Paris, once he had passed his exams, was looking for ” what to make of [sa] life ». He finally sets his sights on these digital currencies, which were rubbed before him by several students of his class, who switched during the year from sports betting to the stock exchange and then to bitcoin, the queen of cryptocurrencies. “Around me, those who bought them wanted to become millionaires in two hours. Me, I’m interested in it because it’s fashionable, he says, but also because bitcoin could become the currency of the future. Maybe one day it will be said that bitcoin was as important as the invention of the railway. »

The student bought for 500 euros of tether USD (USDT), a “stablecoin” (stable cryptocurrency) that aims to replicate the value of the US dollar, after spending long hours reading books and watching influencer videos. “I like to find out before playing the lotto, he says, and, to date, I’ve lost pretty much nothing. »

Before seeing their prices fall since the beginning of the year, the “cryptos”, bitcoin in the lead, experienced a peak in November 2021 (the price of bitcoin was around 60,000 euros), which convinced an increasing number of French people to try their luck. A study, carried out in January by the consulting firm KPMG, reveals that 8% of French people have already invested in cryptocurrencies. Among them, young people are overrepresented, 12% of those under 35 have bought cryptos. The phenomenon also affects adolescents.

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“We are not allowed to sell cryptocurrencies to under-18s, due to the volatile nature of these assets, says Manuel Valente, scientific director of the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinhouse, but teens can open up wallets [portefeuilles] without presenting an identity document, and get paid in cryptos or get sent. » In the UK, the fintech GoHenry, which carried out a study on the sources of income of teenagers, claims that 1.3 million British children invest in cryptocurrency. Among them, a few ministars, like Youssof Altoukhi, a 16-year-old entrepreneur who launched his own cryptocurrency, the “Y coin”.

“We see his money get bigger and then it goes down. We feel like we’re going to be able to win a lot, when in fact it’s more complicated than that. ” Joseph, 20 years old, student

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