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Ben Yu: Becoming a Millionaire Crypto-Investor

Most things people regret in life are the things they didn’t do.

Admin Nas Academy

18 Dec · 5 mins read

We all tend to follow the mainstream path of life – we grow up, go to university, get a job, and we fall into the routine of what’s expected of us to reach “true success”. 

But, for some people, following this plain structure of life just doesn’t work. 

An example of one of those people is Ben Yu. 

Ben Yu NFT art

Ben Yu is a crypto-investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Curious Addys – by the time he was just 26 years old, he had become a millionaire through investing in cryptocurrency. 

But while this millionaire has grown himself over the years into someone standing as one of the most qualified technical voices in the NFT and crypto space, with highly regarded articles from Cryptocurrency 101, to the most comprehensive article ever written about NFTs – it wasn’t always an easy ride to accept his vision, and forge his own path.

An Endless Life in Plainfield

Ben was born in New Jersey, but grew up most of his life in Plainfield, Illinois, USA. His parents had never been wealthy, and saving money was always at the top of his mind. Much of his childhood depended on getting subsidized meal plans at school, and cutting coupons from the paper every morning.

But growing up like this left Ben with a conscious mindset towards saving money – something that would pay off big-time years later.

But money wasn’t his only setback growing up. Ben revealed how he had always struggled with mental health in his teen years especially. His confidence and insecurities particularly affected his view of himself, his potential, and navigating love. 

But a true game changer that really inspired Ben to take control of his life – and something he even claims helped save his life in his darkest times – was a book called The Game, and Nomadic Life written by Neil Strauss (who he’s now great friends with – and even owns an island with!).

The protagonist of The Game was shown as this out-of-the-box guy who lived his life just doing his own thing. No one really understood him, he bought too many weird things on eBay, and he managed to become a millionaire through gambling – and Ben thought this guy was really cool. And after looking into him further, he found out that he had also become an extremely successful entrepreneur. 

Neil inspired Ben, and his later book, Nomadic Life, was all about traveling the world, and would inspire him to do the same.

Ben’s longing for change was still around even when he left Plainfield to go to Harvard, and take on the world in the Ivy Leagues. He thought getting out of his small town, and pursuing one of the biggest, prestigious schools in the country would give him what most people assume you get at these places – a plentiful, successful life.  

But – it didn’t. 

Instead, it gave him the same claustrophobic feeling that his hometown did. His mental health worsened, and Ben realized that he needed a change. 

In an article he wrote for Fast Company, he mentioned how he felt stuck at Harvard. How he had entrepreneurial dreams to do big things, create, and experience the world. But Harvard was nothing else but a “bubble” keeping him trapped.

These were the peak years of my life–I would never be so vigorous, so energetic, so passionate and mentally capable ever again, and I was spending them in mere preparation of the future, not participating in it.”

ben yu with a bill of money

So, after just 1 single semester in the ivy covered walls of Harvard University – he dropped out. 

He took what he learned from Nomad Life and Neil Sauss in The Game, and he followed his interests. He left the Ivy Leagues, embraced his individuality, and went to travel the world. 

After having a taste of adventure through hiking the Appalachian trail when he lived back in Plainfield, he set out to hike another mountain – but this time he was ready to take on something much bigger, and much farther away:

Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Ben jumped on a plane to Tanzania, and fell in love with the wildlife, incredible monuments, statues and completely new cultures that he met trekking through the mountains of eastern Africa.

And this was only the first of many adventures ahead.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Ben had always had an entrepreneurial dream, and this led to his applying to the Thiel Fellowship – a 2-year fellowship and $100,000 grant offered to up and coming entrepreneurs. Right before Ben’s life-changing hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, he found out he had been chosen as a finalist.

And not long after, right as he was about to hike up another mountain in China, he landed the fellowship. 

From then on, Ben had officially begun his career as an entrepreneur.

Ben’s first companies – one for a topical energy spray, and the other, a tech company called Stream that helped content creators monetize through blockchain – didn’t end up lasting. But it was a chance for him to realize his strengths and weaknesses. And come back, to build a bigger and better idea later on.

Ben yu working to pay his small room

Even through building these businesses, Ben was living a very frugal life with the money he had left in his fellowship. He started living in an RV on the side of the street for a few years, and bought his groceries and paid for Uber rides by using referral codes and running cheap ads to get people to use them.

He also profited of his wife’s position at the time at Google, and parked on their campus and took advantage of their free food and perks.

But all along, Ben had been investing in Bitcoin – and he held onto his Bitcoin like many other early investors. And it paid off. 

Although his first investment lost him 90% of what he put in he kept investing. 

Little did he know, a later investment of just $10,000, would soon grow to be worth half a million. And then, in 2018 when he was just 26 years old, his investments in cryptocurrency finally made Ben a millionaire. You may have seen him in one of Nas Daily’s videos – which helped him gain a lot of recognition and expertise within the crypto space.

And yet, after all this accomplishment, he continued living out of an RV.

But that’s not the only reason Nas Daily was so intrigued by him – Ben’s lifestyle, money saving tactics, and unique life-hacks are quite something. Ben was living off of half-a-century-old canned food and saving 50k a year living in San Francisco living in his RV.

He even used to spend his days working at an airport where he got free food and drinks using credit card rewards. He’s bought an island, and whenever his car gets stolen (and apparently it happens often) he actually chases down the thieves himself in an Uber, using a GPS he’s installed in the car. 

And each time, he’s managed to catch up to them and get them arrested. 

Not only this, but Ben gives away $5 to every single homeless person he walks by. Without fail. He’s a pretty interesting guy – and something a lot of people could learn a thing or two from.

Oh, and he also married his current wife, Mai, after meeting her just 1 time.

Ben Yu with his wife

The couple got married, and landed jobs as software engineers on the same day. But now, Ben has retired from his desk job and is dedicating his life to investing in crypto, and educating other beginner crypto-investors with his and Mai’s company, Curious Addys.

To this day, Ben has invested over 7 million in crypto, and has now dived deep into the world of NFTs with over $1 million invested already – and plans to invest much, much more.

You could chalk up Ben’s great accomplishments to many things, but one large player was that he strongly believes in the mindset of not asking why you should do something, but rather – why not? 

Because most things people regret in life are the things they didn’t do.

And had he not left Harvard, and taken his own path to fit his unique personality, he never would have gotten to where he is today: a millionaire crypto-investor, and one of the most trusted and highly-regarded in the space.

But most of all – he never would have found his own version of true success.

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Ben Yu NFT art

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