NFT, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies: “rich geeks” ready to invest thousands of euros

Posted on Nov 29. 2021, 16:10Updated on November 29, 2021, 6:52 PM

The pandemic has accentuated or provoked a crisis of meaning for some, but has also allowed a majority of young people to fill their woolen stockings! In the United States, 65% of 18-39 year olds believe the crisis has had a positive impact on their finances by preventing overconsumption, according to a recent survey conducted by the specialist site Money Under 30.

Above all, this generation says it is prepared to invest this savings now and in the market. What’s newer, the study authors say, especially in a hectic stock market year.

According to the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), 400,000 new investors will take their first steps on the stock market in 2020. This appetite is illustrated by the success of trading applications, such as Robinhood, which has about 22 million enthusiasts across the Channel.

The phenomenon is gradually spreading to the Old Continent. French fintech Lydia, which affects 30% of 18-30-year-olds, announced it would go on sale on November 22. Its 5.5 million users will now be able to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, precious metals, and most importantly, cryptocurrencies.

“In the United States, nearly half of millennials have crypto. The same will happen in Europe,” told “Echos” Cyril Chiche, Lydia’s boss. According to the report published in July 2021, the number of users has doubled in six months and the price of bitcoin has increased by 25% in the same period.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie is one of the recent initiates. In January 2021, his first salary as a 3D graphic designer in his pocket, he turned to cryptocurrencies, but not just for the money: “I am interested in understanding how the blockchain works behind cryptocurrencies and the solutions it will bring in the future. † On the advice of an investor friend, the young graduate bet on bitcoin and ethereum, the two most common currencies. With 2,500 euros left, his portfolio now totals 3,500.

The Rise of NFTs

Similar to the video games Charlie is a fan of, the blockchain is full of rules to assimilate and share with friends. This is even more evident for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), these unique virtual objects are resold for thousands of euros with their certificate of authenticity. Based on the blockchain, these rare gems take on forms that are easily recognizable on the Internet: drawings, pieces of music, photographs or all kinds of works of art… For example, Booba recently published an exclusive piece reserved for the owners of its NFTs.

Twenty-five-year-old Charles already had a foothold in stock market investing before turning to NFTs: “I have invested in projects that I believe in and that are followed by many people on Discord and Twitter. I’d say it’s a bit of a world of rich geeks in their twenties and thirties who are willing to spend thousands of dollars for an image. † For his part, Charlie even got a good deal thanks to Discord: “Guys said you could get Karl Lagerfeld sweaters for free in NFT by positioning yourself first. I managed to get five of them. We always want to be the first on every project. †

A virtual figurine with the likeness of Karl Lagerfeld sold by the house in the form of NFT

A virtual figurine with the likeness of Karl Lagerfeld sold by the house in the form of NFTKarl Lagerfeld

This collaborative aspect has disrupted the relationship between young people and money, analyzes Elodie Gentina, teacher-researcher at the IESEG School of Management. “Money is important, but not essential. It is not about owning, but about sharing what we are in the world, on social networks.” she specifies, going so far as to qualify this generation as “post-materialistic”.

Train on TikTok

It is also on social networks that young people learn, with the most fashionable influencers. In France, for example, Clément Youdec has more than 250,000 subscribers to TikTok. He shares his knowledge about cryptocurrencies, NFTs and provides paid training for tenfold your financial IQ. In the United States, 41% of Gen Z youth (born after 1995) say they were using TikTok to access financial information by December 2020, according to a study published by LendingTree in January 2021.

Screenshot of a message from Clément Youdec, finfluencer on TikTok.

Screenshot of a message from Clément Youdec, finfluencer on TikTok.DR

Until reaching younger and younger people. In September 2021, 12-year-old Benyamin Ahmed made more than $300,000 selling his NFTs, unique Minecraft-inspired whale designs called Weird Whales. Need for immediacy, Elodie Gentina summarizes: “This generation wants to manage their money the way they order an Uber, at the click of a button. But if young people are very good at finding information quickly, this is not always verified. †

Financial Ignorance

The (young) French, however, do not exactly stand out because of their financial upbringing. According to the Banque de France, more than three quarters of the French feel that they have insufficient knowledge of financial matters.

And almost one in five young people over the age of fifteen “have not reached the basic level of financial literacy”, pointed to the OECD Pisa study on this subject, published in 2014. Since then, France has refused to submit to the evaluation of the “financial education” component.

This ignorance, “This is one of the main reasons for avoiding investments. However, this knowledge becomes more than a theoretical apprenticeship, acquired through practice.” notes Thomas Perret, founder of Mon Petit Placement, an app that democratizes financial investment and has just raised 6 million euros. “Someone who already has several investments to his name is more likely to adopt the right behavior in the markets. †

This is also what Yoann Lopez, who created the Snowball Newsletter, a guide to better manage your personal finances and investments, notes. The newsletter, followed by 18,000 people, mainly convinces young people between the ages of 25 and 35 and 80% of the men.

“They don’t necessarily have the money to invest right now. Some inquire about the future or start with a small saving of 50 euros. Investing is not a sprint but a marathon. The more years you have behind you, the faster you will achieve financial independence.” analyzes the founder.

nice apps

And this learning can start very young, well before his first paycheck, by keeping his budget in check and saving. According to a 2020 survey by Jam, 67% of 15- to 25-year-olds say they save and three in four say they keep regular accounts.

Ninon, 24, also chose the Bankin’ application when she was still a student and in financial difficulties: “It didn’t save me much, but it mostly reduced my anxiety. It finally became fun to manage my budget because the diagrams make it easy for me to see where I’m spending my money and if I’m in trouble. †

Fun thanks to apps, but also a new identity marker and sometimes a rite of passage into adulthood, says Elodie Gentina. “We used to have very established steps to move from adolescent status to adulthood, such as military service or marriage. Today, the adolescent constructs micro-rites of risky experiences, often focused on consumption. Among them we can find financial investments, especially cryptocurrencies. †

And a shame as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are very energy-intensive. Green investing is the icing on the wallet.

Three newsletters to reconcile with the eco:

-Snowball (weekly): The entrepreneur Yoann Lopez provides information and ways to invest in the markets (stocks, crypto, NFT, etc.).

– Spak (weekly): the think tank of the same name deciphers the economic and financial issues of the moment.

– Spoon (bimonthly): Real estate start-up Virgil teaches you to be money-smart every day.

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