How a Teenage Entrepreneur Built a Startup on Bitcoin Riches

What happened when 15-year-old Erik Finman invested a $1,000 gift from his grandma in Bitcoin. Hint: Big money. New business.

learn more about Kim Lachance Shandrow

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When 15-year-old Erik Finman turned a $1,000 Easter gift from his grandma into $100,000 after cashing in on his Bitcoin investment, he wasn't all like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece. He was all business.

The Idaho robotics champ and early North Idaho College student used his Bitcoin riches to launch Botangle.com, a burgeoning online video tutoring startup, according to Mashable.

The fee-based e-learning service currently offers 59 impressive subjects, including, of course, Bitcoin and entrepreneurship, along with a wealth of other "resources that just do not exist in a normal classroom setting." Botangle students can also enroll in computer programming, advanced mathematics (stochastic calculus!), 3D special effects and, oddly, equine nutrition courses.

Related: The New Cool Kids: Teenage App Developers

Finman credits his older brother for turning him on to Bitcoin back in 2012. As reported by CoinDesk, he received 0.2 bitcoins from his sibling and bought more using the $1,000 from his grandmother. He sold them a year later for $100,000, when the price per Bitcoin was about $1,200. Smart move, kid.

Like so many other "Bitcoinians," Finman expects the cryptocurrency to be as big of a game-changer as the Internet itself. He's going all in, paying his staff of 20 in the digital cash most of the time.

"I'm sharing the wealth of bitcoin because I have no doubt it will be huger [sic] than anyone can imagine right now," he told Mashable. "Bitcoin is like the Internet in the 90s."

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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