Meet crypto millionaire who traded Dh31,000 Rolex for Bitcoin to pay off debts

29-year-old remains optimistic despite March 2022 market rout wiping nearly 50% of his wealth

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Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Fri 19 Aug 2022, 3:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Aug 2022, 4:11 PM

A British crypto millionaire, who famously traded his prized Dh31,000 Rolex for Bitcoin to pay off his debts, said he remains optimistic about cryptocurrencies despite their lacklustre performance in recent months.

Kain Roomes, 29, ventured into the crypto market in 2018 after falling on hard times.

The former model, who was in Dubai recently, said he sold off his personal belongings, including his Rolex, to invest in Bitcoin as he had fallen behind on his mortgage payments.

The move described as a 'leap of faith' netted Roomes Dh443,000.

By May 2021, his portfolio had swelled to Dh12.40 million before a market rout in March this year wiped nearly 50 per cent of his wealth.

But Roomes remains undeterred. He believes the crypto market will bounce back.

"My outlook on the crypto market now is very optimistic. I know it will inevitably recover just like it always does," Roomes told Khaleej Times.

"When Bitcoin bounces back to higher prices, the majority of altcoins will follow the king. Within these four-and-a-half years I've been in the space, the market has always recovered. After every bear market in history, there is always a bull market that comes after," he explained.

Currently busy writing a crypto investing book, Roomes, urged people to invest in cryptocurrencies.

"Start small. You also don't have to invest thousands of pounds to make a good return. Look for the low market cap coins. There are many altcoins (alternative cryptos) to invest in - these are the coins which will have higher upside potential."

Roomes said this was the right time to invest in altcoins as the majority of them have plunged up to 90 per cent from their peak.

"You want to invest when everyone is fearful and be fearful when everyone is greedy - just like Warren Buffet said," he reasoned.

Roomes said those who are scared to get involved in crypto need to understand that if they don't get involved now, they will regret forever.

"If you look back at the 90s when the internet first started, a lot of people laughed at it, ridiculed it, and thought it was a joke, but the ones who invested their money and saw the vision— got rich. It's just like oil, gold and silver. The ones who believed in it when everybody else didn't, took a calculated risk prospered."

"You should invest in something you intuitively perceive will grow. Ask yourself if the product will serve a purpose and if the team behind it has a strong white paper and road map. You need to also find out about their business backgrounds what success they have had till date."

Downward slide

Bitcoin fell for a fifth day in the past six trading sessions in a continued retreat towards a key technical level as investors considered mixed signals from US Federal Reserve officials around the potential pace of interest rate increases, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The largest cryptocurrency dropped by as much as three per cent to $22,716.59, the lowest level since August 10 and close to its 200-week moving average of about $23,000t.

Number two digital currency Ether dropped as much as 3.8 per cent while the likes of Polygon, Solana and Avalanche declined 7 per cent or more.

The United Nations trade and development agency, UNCTAD, has meanwhile called for action to curb cryptocurrencies in developing nations.

Earlier this month UNCTAD said the benefits of cryptocurrencies are overshadowed by the threats they pose to financial stability, domestic resource mobilisation and the security of monetary systems.

The agency also urged authorities to regulate crypto exchanges, digital wallets and decentralised finance to ensure the comprehensive financial regulation of cryptocurrencies.


There are around 19,000 cryptocurrencies in existence.

In 2021, developing countries accounted for 15 of the top 20 economies when it came to the share of the population that owns cryptocurrencies.

Ukraine topped the list with 12.7 per cent, followed by Russia and Venezuela, with 11.9 per cent and 10.3 per cent.


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