The Fortune of François Martin, or How to Become a Crypto-Billionaire
The origin of the fortune of François Martin is the two thousand US dollars he spent to buy Bitcoins in August 2010.
François was born in 1960 in Angers, a city on the Loire in France. He grew up happily with his five brothers and sisters in a big house in a village 20 km from Angers. His father was a civil servant and his mother a homemaker.
François excelled in his studies, especially in mathematics and sciences, and graduated from high school in 1997, with an average of 16.4 out of 20 at the baccalauréat exam.
He spent the next two years in Paris, living with relatives of his father, in preparatory classes.
In June 1979, he took competitive exams to different grandes écoles and was admitted to the engineering school Télécom Paris. There he got a solid technical education during the 3 years at the school and he focused on software engineering.
He met his future wife, Borbala [Borcsi] Kovacs, during his second year at the school. She was born, like himself, in 1960, and was the single child of a Hungarian couple that had emigrated to France in 1956.
In 1982, after graduation from Télécom Paris, they both started to work in two different software companies in Paris.
And in 1984, after four years of dating, they got married.
Both François and Borcsi wanted to have children, but they were not successful biologically. So, they decided to adopt children and in 1990 they received three siblings from Haiti: Clovis, 5 years old, Joséphine, 4 years old, and Charles, 2 years old. François immediately nicknamed them the King, the Empress and the Emperor.
Borcsi stopped working for a year to take care of the children when they arrived in Paris.
Every year, the family spent three weeks on vacation in different countries: Scotland, Canada, Senegal, the United States.
François and Borcsi were always trying to learn new things, and in 1992 they discovered the Ada programming language and started to learn it and to develop some software with it. They also got in contact through the internet with other Ada enthusiasts.
In summer 1995, during their vacation in the USA, they visited the CEO of the newly founded Ada company Ada Core Technologies in New York.
And in 1996, both François and Borcsi started to work for AdaCore. They worked at home, each in a different home office.
As they could work at home in any place in the world (as long that they had a good connection to the Internet), they decided to emigrate to British Columbia, in Canada, which they had visited several years before. The children were young enough (11, 10, and 8) so it would not be too painful for them to leave their friends, and the whole family was ready for a new adventure.
In July 1997, when they arrived in BC, they rented a 5 bedroom house in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver.
François started to invest in the stock market in 1998, but he was not really successful and, in 2001, he decided to put all his savings in an index fund inside his RRSP, a type of financial account in Canada for holding savings and investment assets, with various tax advantages.
The whole family became Canadian citizens in 2001. They now had two passports, and that allowed them to travel to most countries in the world without a visa.
In 2007, they bought a bigger house in Abbotsford, 70 kilometers east of Vancouver.
François and Borcsi believed that they had the best jobs in the world: they were interested in their work, they could work whenever they wanted and they were getting good money.
In August 2010, François who was always curious about new things, technical or other, learned about something that intrigued him very much: Bitcoin.
He downloaded the white paper, read it several times over a week, and looked for any information about Bitcoin online. He thought that this could have a bright future, but he did not want to invest too much, in case it did not succeed.
So, he decided to use only US$2,000. It took him several days to find a way to transfer this amount to the new exchange Mt. Gox. And on August 30th, 2010, he bought 28,532 BTC at 7 cents each.
François did not tell immediately his wife about the BTC he had bought. He did so in January 2011.
He told her that he thought that it could be a big success, he was not 100% convinced, as many things could happen over the next years. And he promised her that he will get his money back as soon as Bitcoin reached a decent level.
And he did so, selling 132 BTC on June 7th, 2011, at around US$25 per BTC.
So, in June 2011, he still had 28,400 BTC, which did not cost him a dime.
Continue to Part 2
Remember that this is a work of fiction. François Martin does not exist (at least not the one in this story). But everything that is described could have happened IRL.
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