From Zero to Hero Bitcoin

Mark told us the story of how he earned 1 Bitcoin from scratch seven years ago.

Ten years ago, my journey from zero to hero began in the most unexpected way. At 17, living in Buffalo, the concept of digital currency fascinated me, but like most teenagers, I didn’t have the means to invest in Bitcoin, which at the time (2014) was valued at around $200 if I recall correctly. Instead, I stumbled upon a world that seemed too good to be true: Bitcoin faucets. These websites offered free Satoshi, the smallest unit of Bitcoin, for completing simple tasks or just clicking a button. It was a way to dip my toes into the cryptocurrency pool without diving headfirst into an investment. One of the faucets I used is, now the best one and still active! But in 2014, each spin of the wheel at offered many more Satoshis!

The Bitcoin Faucet: first Bitcoin faucet by Gavin Andresen

The Bitcoin Faucet: earn 5 BTC just solving a capcha. first Bitcoin faucet by Gavin Andresen

If any of you saw this screen when it was active, in 2010, you are really lucky or have some regrets. Yes, because with The Bitcoin Faucet, the first Bitcoin faucet launched by Gavin Andresen, it was enough to simply solve a capcha to have 5 Bitcoins which, today, are worth around 300 thousand dollars!

So let’s summarize, I didn’t click The Bitcoin Faucet because I was too young and didn’t have a computer then. I didn’t buy Bitcoin a few years later, because with my savings I bought a used Toyota Prius and the Playstation 4. But even today I wake up with a start and the question is always the same:

Why didn’t I buy Bitcoin in 2014?!

However I still did something good with the faucets. I remember spending several times a day, every day, collecting Satoshi. It felt like a game, one that didn’t require much from me but time. Back then, the faucets were generous, dispensing thousands of Satoshi hourly. It was a slow accumulation, but it was accumulation nonetheless.

As time went on, life got busier. College, part-time jobs, and new interests took over, and gradually, my daily visits to the faucets dwindled until they stopped altogether. Bitcoin and its fluctuations remained in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t until 2020, when the world couldn’t stop talking about Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, that I remembered those old wallets filled with my diligently collected Satoshi.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I began the digital archaeology of recovering my old accounts. To my astonishment, what I had once considered a trivial amount of digital currency had transformed. Those “few coins” were now worth hundreds of dollars. It was a surreal moment, realizing that my teenage self had unwittingly made a significant investment in my future.

Now, at 26, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I look back at those days with a mix of nostalgia and disbelief. I managed to accumulate 1 Bitcoin over those years, a feat that seemed insignificant at the time but now represents a substantial financial asset.

Today, I often catch myself thinking, “Why didn’t I buy Bitcoin when it was only $200?” But then I remember the excitement of watching those Satoshi numbers go up, the thrill of being part of something new and revolutionary, and I realize that my journey from zero to hero wasn’t just about the destination; it was about the adventure along the way.

Bet with Bitcoin: the new step from zero to hero 1 BTC

Discovering that my wallet of approximately 100 mBTC was worth around $700 was a pivotal moment for me during my college years. My studies in mathematics had always given me a knack for numbers and probabilities, and my passion for sports, especially tennis, which I played at the college level, and my growing interest in Major League Soccer (MLS) as it gained popularity in the US, sparked an idea. Why not combine my analytical skills and sports knowledge to try and grow my Bitcoin savings through sports betting?

That’s when I stumbled upon, a site that offered an extensive array of sports betting events. The platform was a revelation to me, providing countless opportunities to bet on the sports I loved and followed religiously. With my background in math, I felt I had a slight edge in understanding the odds and making informed decisions on where to place my bets.

Initially, I started with small bets of 2 mBTC on events with highly probable outcomes. My strategy wasn’t just to win but to learn and understand the dynamics of sports betting without risking too much of my Bitcoin stash. The thrill of combining my love for sports with the chance to increase my Bitcoin holdings was exhilarating.

Me at college, "studying" my online bets with Bitcoin (2mBTC each)

Me at college, “studying” my online bets with Bitcoin (2mBTC each) | Pic by my roommate Frank Rocco

What truly made a difference, though, was the loyalty program offered by, which featured a high rakeback. This aspect of the platform significantly contributed to my ability to grow my bankroll. The rakeback, essentially a return on the betting fees, added a cushion that allowed me to be more adventurous with my bets without the fear of losing everything.

Over time, my cautious yet strategic approach paid off. I managed to double my bankroll, bringing it to about 0.2 BTC. This achievement wasn’t just about the numbers; it was a testament to the application of my mathematical skills, my understanding of sports, and a bit of strategic gambling. It was a perfect storm of my interests converging into a profitable hobby.

This phase of my journey with Bitcoin taught me valuable lessons about risk management, the importance of research, and the benefits of leveraging loyalty programs. It also showed me that with the right approach, it’s possible to turn a passion into a profitable venture, all while enjoying the process. My adventure in sports betting with Bitcoin was just another chapter in my “from zero to hero” story, reinforcing the idea that sometimes, taking a calculated risk can lead to rewarding outcomes.

Roland Garros Champion!

In the spring of 2020, amidst the rigorous demands of my college tennis program, I found myself at a pivotal moment that would etch itself into my memory as a highlight of my “from zero to hero” journey. My performance on the court was commendable; I had battled my way into two semifinals and clinched a few victories that were nothing short of significant. Yet, my coach, a tactician at heart, always emphasized the cerebral aspect of tennis. “Powerful shots alone won’t clinch matches,” he’d often remind me, his voice echoing off the court walls, “Victory belongs to the player who wins with their mind.

One balmy evening, after a particularly grueling practice session that tested every fiber of our endurance, my coach and I found ourselves engrossed in a deep conversation about tennis. The topic? The Roland Garros finals, the crown jewel of clay court tournaments, was fast approaching its crescendo. With the conviction of a seasoned veteran, my coach posited that Djokovic, with his unparalleled physical freshness and mental fortitude, was poised to dethrone Nadal.

However, I harbored a different perspective. Having meticulously followed the tournament’s every serve and volley, I had dissected the players’ performances through a mathematical lens, my academic pursuits intertwining with my passion for the sport. I understood the nuances of their playstyles, their historical performances, and most crucially, the significance of the clay surface—a domain where Nadal reigned supreme.

Driven by a blend of youthful audacity and analytical confidence, I proposed a wager to my coach—a pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, the stakes of our debate. Emboldened, I allocated half of my Bitcoin bankroll on Nadal clinching the victory in straight sets, 3-0. The odds, standing at a daunting 8 to 1, mirrored the audacity of my bet.

The match unfolded with the intensity of a grand epic, each point a testament to the prowess of these titans of tennis. As Nadal dominated the clay, a realization dawned upon me—this was more than a mere bet; it was a validation of my analytical acumen, a gamble that intertwined my love for tennis with the burgeoning world of cryptocurrency.

When Nadal’s victory was sealed (6-0 6-2 7-5), the triumph was not just his but mine as well. The pepperoni pizza I savored two days later was imbued with a flavor of victory, each bite a reminder of the half Bitcoin it represented. This wasn’t merely a delicious meal; it was a feast of validation, a tangible reminder that with the right blend of passion, analysis, and a dash of daring, even the most improbable bets could yield extraordinary rewards.

Roland Garros 2020 Final

Roland Garros 2020 Final

This chapter of my journey, seemingly trivial in the grand tapestry of life, stands as a testament to the power of trust—trust in one’s analysis, instincts, and the courage to act upon them. It was a moment that transcended the realms of tennis and Bitcoin, teaching me invaluable lessons about risk, reward, and the sweet taste of victory, both on the court and in the digital world.

The final step is a X

This is the final chapter of my journey to earn 1 BTC. Sure, I could have bought it for $200 a decade ago, but perhaps this path has been more enjoyable. The last part of my story features “X,” a symbol that, for reasons both peculiar and inexplicable, has become particularly dear to Elon Musk.

However, in the world of sports betting, “X” represents something else entirely: the draw. In 2021, I noticed that draws were a frequent outcome in MLS matches, and the odds for each were at least 3X. So, I devised a system focusing on four matches, betting on draws for each. With two correct outcomes out of four, I could recoup my investment. With three out of four, my multiplier increased, reaching significant figures with four correct results.

The magical “4” occurred only once, but in seven instances, my three draws, chosen simply through mathematical reasoning, came true.

From zero to hero: earn 1 BTC from scratch

From zero to hero: earn 1 BTC from scratch

By the end of 2022, I had achieved my goal of owning one Bitcoin. Today, I watch the charts climb higher and higher, reflecting on the journey that got me here. It wasn’t just about the destination; it was about the adventure, the strategy, and the thrill of the gamble. Betting on draws in MLS matches wasn’t just a random choice—it was a calculated decision based on patterns and probabilities. This approach, blending my love for sports with my analytical skills, not only made the journey to 1 BTC possible but also infinitely more rewarding.

Looking back, I realize that every step, from collecting Satoshi on Bitcoin faucets to making strategic bets on sports events, was a lesson in patience, analysis, and risk-taking. Owning 1 BTC is a milestone, but the knowledge and experiences gained along the way are what truly enrich my story. As I now observe the ever-ascending graphs of Bitcoin’s value, I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment and wonder about the future possibilities that lie ahead.

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