wHO AM I?
My passion for entrepreneurship goes back to my childhood. When I was 14 years old I learned Photoshop by myself and started making logos. Soon artists and start-ups contacted me to create logos for them for a fee. I charged €25 per logo, which was definitely not bad… I did this for about a year, until I realized that such ventures were not scalable. So I realized that I needed to start doing something that was infinitely scalable.
At the age of 15, I started producing music. Despite the fact that this project was scalable, since it didn’t matter if there were 10 listeners or 1 million, the work remained the same. However I ran into a problem once again. The music industry is a very difficult industry to be successful in and to make a decent amount of money if you don’t have the right connections and network… So slowly but surely, I decided to find a new project in my life.
THE WORLD OF INVESTING
At 16, I started investing in the stock market: not only was this extremely scalable, I didn’t need anyone to be successful at this! And also, my fascination with the stock market, investing and money was always there, so it was a natural development. I started reading books, asked my parents to create an account on an investment platform on which I started practicing with a couple of hundred euros of my own and my parents’ money. Despite the fact that I turned out to be good at this, a few hundred euros was not going to give me a professional career in investing, and certainly not financial freedom.
Between the ages of 16 and 18, I started a few more projects, all of which failed. At 18, I started a second music project together with a friend from Germany whom I met during my first period as a music producer. Together with him we achieved some succes, but after 2 years I gave up again. Once more I came to the conclusion that the music industry was not for me, because you can’t get anywhere without connections and I didn’t want to depend on others for my success.
During the last months of my second music project, I started to get in touch with crypto currencies. I had never stopped investing in the years before and it was a hobby that I was actually doing very well. I was making average returns of 20% per year, which is quite a lot in the stock market. When I discovered crypto in late 2016, I was very skeptical at first, but after hearing the success stories of people who increased their money tenfold in a few months, I started to research it more and more.
THE CRYPTO REVELATION
In the end, the passion of investing prevailed over the passion for music, which I didn’t seem to be passionate enough about to be better than the rest. So I decided to throw myself completely into investing for the first time. I realized that this could be the thing for me: it was scalable, my success would not depend on others, and it had fascinated me for several years without getting boring. I started devouring books and YouTube videos about investing and crypto, until I made my first investments in early 2017. A few days after my initial investments, my investment in Ripple went up 120% overnight. I was immediately hooked. With the rapid increase in my portfolio, I began to do even more research and gain even more knowledge. I realized after only a few weeks that I was onto something that not many people knew about yet.
I also quickly saw a new opportunity to combine my passion with investing and entrepreneurship. During my first months in crypto I encountered the problem that it was very difficult to gather information on the subject. I sometimes spent days researching a crypto currency by scouring dozens of articles and forums. Then I realized that this could be easier and I asked myself the question: “why not pour all the research, which takes me days, into a 10 to 15 minute video?” Because I had also seen that there were some people making videos about crypto currencies, but they had few followers and didn’t bring the summary videos I was looking for myself….
YOUNG AND INVESTING IS BORN
I decided in April 2017 to give this idea a try and founded the YouTube channel ‘Young And Investing’. I made my first videos and they all got thousands of views, and the subscribers started pouring in right away. It was then that I realized I had found a gap in a market with huge potential, and threw myself into it completely.
I still had to combine this with the studies I was doing, but after a few months I earned enough money with my YouTube channel to do this professionally. The knot was quickly tied and in September 2017 I did not continue my next year of education, but started doing YouTube full time. After all, I already had a degree in ‘International Business Management’ under my belt and knew from the age of 14 that I wanted to do my own thing, so it was the easiest decision of my life to give it a go.
The rest of 2017 was great: my portfolio increased hundredfold, the number of views and subscribers on my YouTube channel exploded and Young And Investing even became the largest crypto YouTube channel in the Benelux. In 2018 the bear market started and the engagement decreased, my portfolio collapsed like a pudding and the YouTube revenue was completely gone after a few months in 2018.
From mid 2018 to mid 2019, I barely had any income, but I kept making videos even though I wasn’t earning anything anymore and it wasn’t actually fun to be in such a depressing environment. Still, I stubbornly kept going and came up with the idea of writing a book about crypto in early 2019, because there was no single quality book in Dutch on the market yet
THE BITCOIN REVOLUTION
After a few months of letting the idea sink in and thinking about it, I started thinking out the table of contents and started writing. This was a lot of fun to do because I gave myself a reason to explore certain topics in even more depth. Writing my book “The bitcoin revolution” was a very educational experience. In early 2020, I struck a deal with the largest and most prestigious publisher in Flanders, Lannoo, to release my book. At the end of September 2020, the book hit the shelves and quickly became the best-selling Dutch-language book on crypto in the Benelux.
In that same year, sentiment turned bullish again and the rest is history. My Youtube views and subscribers quickly started rising exponentially again, a trend that continued throughout 2021…
Brecht van Craen
With a master degree in digital currencies and years of experience in the crypto market, Brecht advises on strategic and operational opportunities.
Video editor and one of the creative engines behind the team.
Doing deep research of crypto projects and reflecting the state of the market for the team.
Social Media expert and web designer.