Taking on debt is a complex personal decision that should not be entered into without great care and financial consideration. With Bitcoin's (BTC) recent return to all-time price highs, some moonstruck Bitcoiners have begun taking out bank loans to increase their position on the asset. While this may seem like a short road to riches for some, others view such financial moves as foolish, given the inherent volatility in the space.
In a Friday tweet from Peter McCormack, the What Bitcoin Did podcaster said he had purchased 2.55 Bitcoin using a $46,250 loan with the expectation he would have to pay back more than $57,000 within six years.
“In December 2026, if Bitcoin is at $22,669.35, I break even,” said McCormack. “I wanted to borrow a lot more. My cash flow can easily support the [$800] monthly repayments but this was the limit I could do with my bank after thinking about the idea for a couple of minutes.”
McCormack, a high-profile figure in the crypto space, has said he “can afford to lose” the money from the Bitcoin investment. Though he currently earns income from his podcast, his portfolio also took a hit in 2018 during the market downturn. At the time, he tweeted that he had “turned $32,000 into $1.2M and back to pretty much zero.”
Vitalik Buterin has come down hard against such loans. The Ethereum co-founder revealed in a tweet that he sold half his BTC holdings in 2013 when he “had only a few thousand dollars of net worth” rather than taking out a bank loan to buy more crypto.
Please don't do things like this. I would NEVER recommend anyone take out a personal loan to buy ETH or other ethereum assets. pic.twitter.com/zCbbtUlvtQ— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 14, 2020
Crypto enthusiasts in the wild appear to have split views when it comes to non-wealthy investors taking on bank loans solely to scoop up more crypto. One Redditor who claimed to have taken out a loan in late September when Bitcoin price was under $11,000 said yesterday that they were “borrowing more” now that the price is more than $19,000.
“Taking debt to buy at 11K was a good move,” said Reddit user Yung-Split in response to the investment. “Be extremely cautious about using it to buy in right now and once we go higher. [...] Your optimism could easily get you destroyed if you were to take debt and buy in at a local peak.”
“What you did was gamble and you got lucky,” said Redditor Grimeflea. “Because you got lucky you think you hacked it and you’ve done it right. This psychology will burn you before long. [...] Anyone thinking you can smartly ‘invest’ someone else’s money is an idiot.”
Cointelegraph reported in June that a flight attendant based in the United Arab Emirates risked jail time and massive debt after he was unable to pay back a $100,000 loan with the Emirates Islamic Bank.
At time of publication, the price of Bitcoin is $19,177, having risen 20.2% in the last month.