Heloise Greeff, 30, bought her first bitcoin in 2013, shortly after arriving in the UK from South Africa. “At first it was an easy way to repay friends since at that time currency exchange was painful, slow and expensive,” she said.
It was three years later, when she joined the online trading platform eToro, that Greeff began to consider crypto as an investment.
This time she was more interested in ethereum, now the second largest cryptocurrency at a market cap of $400 billion (£288 billion), “because I realised it was more than a digital currency”.
In 2016 there were just over 600 cryptocurrencies, according to Coinmarketcap, a data site. On May 5, 2016, bitcoin’s market cap was just over $7 billion and ethereum’s $745 million.