Birmingham's self-made crypto-millionaire giving back – BBC News
Birmingham’s self-made crypto-millionaire giving back – BBC News
Birmingham’s self-made crypto-millionaire giving back Published
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Hanad Hassan made an investment of $50 (£37) in a cryptocurrency last year and within three months it was worth $1m (£738,000).
He then dropped out of university to focus on trading in the field, becoming a multi-millionaire.
Mr Hassan now wants to use his wealth to help people.
A cryptocurrency he set up to support charity has already seen more than £200,000 spent on causes, and he is looking to use further funds raised by his currency to realise his foodbank plans for his home town of Birmingham.
Although he has been successful, Mr Hassan knows trading in cryptocurrencies is not without risks. Cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to hacking and in January Bitcoin prices fell by $5,000 (£3,690) following remarks from the US Federal Reserve.
So far, though, he has only known the upside, turning 20 with a net-worth of almost $8m (£5.9m).
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“Fifty dollars turned into $500 (£369) three days later,” Mr Hassan said of his financial journey that began at the age of 19. “Two more days later, it was $5,000 (£3,690).”
He said he called his parents to discuss what he should do, but during that half-hour conversation, his investment had more than doubled in value again.
“It was crazy money,” he said, adding he decided he was going to become a millionaire while he was still a teenager.
Mr Hassan has since allowed himself a few luxuries: a £30,000 Mercedes and a city-centre apartment. But he said: “I don’t want to be spoiling myself too much – I like spoiling my friends and family more.”
It has not always been this way. Born in Somalia, his family left the African nation to provide a different future for Mr Hassan and his five younger siblings. He arrived in Birmingham aged 14 and described his background as “modest”.
His father Omar said: “I tried to bring my family to a better place to give them a better life that we didn’t have there. Our life in Somalia was like no life in the UK. There was a lot of wars and fighting going on, it was not a safe place to see your kids growing up.”
Image caption, Mr Hassan says he now only needs to spend about two hours a day trading Despite his soaring wealth, Mr Hassan is conscious of the struggles of others. He and his friend Ahmed Mohammed set up a special cryptocurrency together, donating all the profits to charity. In less than a year, that has totalled more than £200,000.
While “it makes me more fulfilled,” Mr Hassan said, he also wanted to help in a more hands-on way.
To gain an insight into how to support people locally, he and Mr Mohammed teamed up with Imran Hameed, a charity worker who founded community group Bearded Broz and the Salma food bank in Smethwick, just outside of Birmingham.
There are about 2,200 food banks in the UK and in 2020, 7% of the population had accessed one. When it comes to families with children, 15% had relied on a food bank that year.
“It’s an eye-opening experience, seeing first hand what people are going through,” Mr Hassan said. “It’s given us a lot of ideas – we hope to be able to help a lot of people.”
Watch We Are England: The Crypto-Millionaire on BBC One in the West Midlands at 19:30 BST on Wednesday, or catch up on BBC iPlayer .
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