On the Daily: Trading a Bachelor's for Bitcoin?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - 6:10pm

Engineering senior Kyle Winstanley is choosing Bitcoin over his bachelor’s degree.

Winstanley plans to pursue cryptocurrency trading full time instead of graduating college. Partnered with his classmate, LSA senior Spencer Porter, the pair amassed around $15,000 by Dec of last year, and have now collected almost $70,000 to date to contribute to their trading hub.

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, a digital form of currency that utilizes cryptography for security purposes. It is not tied to a government entity, and due to the private nature of transactions, can be used for illegal purchases.

In an interview with Forbes, Winstanley emphasized he hopes to one day return to school and finish his degree but did not want to miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on the cryptocurrency market.

“I’m not opposed to trying to finish school and I’d love to have my degree at some point and come back and get it,” Winstanley said. “But I couldn’t let this market happen again without my full attention on it.”

The housemates said they became infatuated with Bitcoin in August 2017 when they joined a cryptocurrency discussion group on Facebook. From there, they began networking with other students — sharing various market predictions and analyses between each other.

In the same interview, Porter said he spent an immense amount of time — from August to December — researching Bitcoin exchange and keeping track of data. He plans to reduce his course load and graduate next year, rather than in the spring, in order to devote as much time as possible to the exchange.

“I logged over 2,000 hours in the last four months in research, charting analytics and data, and it’s really become a passion,” Porter said. “I wake up every morning and I’m excited to begin to learn.”

In fact, rather than using his apartment as a quiet study area, Winstanley will convert his apartment into a Bitcoin trading space for the new semester — replete with a large projection screen and up to 12 monitors displaying the fluctuations of various cryptocurrency exchanges occurring around the world.

Porter emphasized the number of opportunities to profit off of Bitcoin exchange is decreasing, as various “big money” institutions have entered the market.

“For those that have not stepped in yet, the window is closing,” he said. “Wall Street and the big money has begun to enter. They are moving very, very fast.”