Students Betting Big on Crypto


Tomás Herrera, Grade 11, checks his investments in the TCS cafeteria.

Samuel Perez, Discoverer Staff Writer

11th grader Pablo Franco wanders through Twitter as he looks for his next investment. In the comfort of his own home, and with his financial advisor, who also happens to be his younger brother, Pablo finds a new crypto coin to invest in, and hoping for the best, he jumps in.

Like Pablo, multiple high school students are involved in the cryptocurrency market, looking for income and a way of making money on their own.

“I began investing in crypto mainly because I was in search of a source of income. I chose crypto because it has a great return, even though it also has a great risk,” Matias Agudelo, Grade 9, said.

In the past couple of years, cryptocurrencies have gained popularity mainly due to social media influence and platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Each day, more and more ‘influencers’ and celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Stephen Curry, and Tom Brady, get publicly involved in the crypto market, many of which recommend their followers crypto as a way of earning money rapidly.

Students, mainly from HS, are the most exposed to social media on a daily basis, which has increased the number of high schoolers investing in crypto. Additionally, there’s no legal minimum age to own cryptocurrency, meaning teens can technically start investing at any age. Recent surveys by Junior Achievement International have shown that when teens are asked their preferred investments, crypto came up as the second most popular one with 25% of the votes.

Tomás Herrera, Grade 11, got involved with crypto for reasons other than economics. Blockchain is one of the topics Herrera has gained interest on. A blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitcoin claim that is this technology that makes transactions in crypto safe and private.

“I first invested in crypto because I was interested in blockchain technology and how it is going to affect the future,” Herrera stated.

Similar to others, and because of the big ‘boom’ of Bitcoin, Franco first heard about crypto back in 2020. He had already come into contact with the world of investments, business, and stocks.

“Like most, I began seeing on the internet that people were earning a lot of money,. Some said it was a scam, and others that it was a good business. I decided to believe the later and began investing,” Pablo Franco, Grade 11, said.

Since then, Franco has become more and more involved with this market and now acquired enough knowledge to know what to invest in. His current investments are ‘alt coins’,  these are the lesser-known currencies, not the big boys like Bitcoin or Ethereum. They are the lowest-value currencies and the most volatile.

“I always try to invest in alt-coins that are based on different markets such as gaming, applications, companies, and innovative things that have growth potential,” Franco said.

Although Franco has profited from his actions, he always keeps in mind the high risk of investing, especially in times when crypto finds itself in a downturn. Franco says that he hasn’t invested again because the market is in a recession and the risk of losing money is very high.  When asked about the risks, he responded that they are not so important for him since he’s very young and has time to recover any loses.

“With the risk of recession I believe investing in crypto is not a good option at the moment. I think that it’s risky because people can lose money and investments will continue to fall. What I always say is that if you want to invest in crypto it is important to investigate very well before making an investment, and to assume the risk of losing money,” Franco said.

For Tomás, crypto is more than just earning quick money. He is interested in how the whole system works and the various utilities and benefits that owning crypto provides. Herrera currently holds various tokens, with most money invested in Solana, a crypto coin popular for its involvement NFTs.

“After looking at various investment options, I chose Solana because its one of the crypto-tokens that is useful for buying digital assets such as NFTs. When I invest, I try and prefer that my investments have utilities, and with crypto I think that this is very important,” Herrera said.

Matias Agudelo, Grade 9, has invested in cryptocurrencies for more than 2 years after his uncle introduced him to this world. He began investing mainly because he was in search of a source of income.

“I chose crypto because after doing some investigation I started to like the way all the market works and it has a great return, even though it also has a great risk,” Agudelo said.

Matias is a strong believer that investing is not only a practice for adults, and that other young students like him should be seeking ways of earning their own money.

“I think that other students should invest because investing your money and diversifying is always good, even if it is not in crypto,” Agudelo said.