Mike Novogratz Got His First 500,000 ETH from Vitalik, Planning to Buy Jet Plane with 30,000 BTC

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Yuri Molchan

In a recent podcast, BTC billionaire Mike Novogratz shared the story of how he got his first Ethereum and Bitcoin in crypto’s early days and why he did it


  • Getting 30,000 and 1 Bitcoin to buy a jet
  • Buying half-a-million ETH at less than $1

In an interview with the Nuggets News, the head of Galaxy Digital crypto bank, Mike Novogratz, told the story of how he first got into Bitcoin and Ethereum in the early days of crypto, when Bitcoin was worth $99 and Ethereum $0.99.

During the conversation, Novogratz joked that he is the second oldest man in crypto, with the oldest man being John McAfee.

Getting 30,000 and 1 Bitcoin to buy a jet

Mike Novogratz proved to be an early investor in the two major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The story he shared on a podcast episode of the Nuggets News has it that his partner at Fortress fund persuaded Novogratz to risk acquiring Bitcoin, which back then (in 2012) was trading at $0.99.

At that time, Dan Morehead from Pantera Capital bought 30,000 BTC, so Novogratz and his partner decided to buy 30,001 so as to not have fewer BTC than Morehead.

The Galaxy Digital CEO confessed that he believed Bitcoin would rise much higher, and he expected to sell it at $1,000 in order to get himself a jet. However, the partner from the company persuaded him not to do that.

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Buying half-a-million ETH at less than $1

His story of entering ETH is slightly different in that Novogratz acquired half-a-million coins instead of 30,000, and he got them directly from Vitalik Buterin via Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys.

Lubin was a college mate of Novogratz, so Mike went to meet him to discuss the purchase of a 25 percent stake in ConsenSys. Back then, in 2015, ConsenSys had 25 staffers. By that time, Novogratz had already left Fortress and Goldman Sachs and was now working with his own portfolio, trying to find new investment opportunities.

He also decided to lay his hands on Ethereum, which was trading at $0.99 in 2015 directly from the cofounder. At that time, Vitalik Buterin decided that it would be good for the community to have an ETH purchaser from Wall Street.

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Later on, Novogratz gradually sold his BTCthough but he still has some leftand he started cashing out his ETH as soon as the coin went from $1 to $130, despite advising others not to do so.

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Mike Novogratz Got His First 500,000 ETH from Vitalik, Planning to Buy Jet Plane with 30,000 BTC

by Alex Dovbnya
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