Why an early bitcoin millionaire now holds less than one coin

Jered Kenna says he’s not anti-crypto but doesn’t want to participate in the market

Why an early bitcoin millionaire now holds less than one coin
Steve Randall

Cryptocurrencies continue to swing between looking like an attractive bet and something that should send investors running for the hills.

And now one of those who made a fortune in the early days of Bitcoin says he has “lost love for the industry” and no longer has the desire to participate in the market.

Jered Kenna was one of the volatile industry’s early millionaires, having bought bitcoin for just cents and then heading the first cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, TradeHill Inc.

But he has told Bloomberg that things in the crypto industry have changed compared to the early days when “all we talked about was things that actually had substance, and very few people were talking about making money.”

He said that he got into the industry to change the world through revolutionizing the payments and banking systems; but now, he says making money is all the industry talks about.

“I was in Miami last week and I went to a crypto event, and it was full of beautiful models looking for men,” he said. “I was like, this has changed.”

Although he made millions from cryptocurrency, Kenna’s experience was not without disaster.

In 2010, he accidentally erased coins worth millions of dollars from his computer and then, in 2016 he lost millions more in a hack. He had already sold around half his holdings at that point.

Earlier this year, Canadian crypto investors lost millions of dollars when the Quadriga exchange went sour.

These days, he says his crypto holding is less than a single bitcoin.

From bitcoin to beer

Kenna used some of the millions he made from bitcoin to start a San Francisco co-living space for techies and artists.

But he has also moved into the beer industry, launching in Colombia, his girlfriend’s home country; and he now hopes to start exporting his product to the US.