Kitten Mittens Interview
Eirik Ulversøy (27) is a multi-millionaire on crypto currency - and owns over 100,000 virtual cats
Eirik Ulversøy went from zero to 83 million in fortune in one year, but still rents an apartment.
It was early in bitcoin’s life hat Eirik Ulversøy (27), from Nittedal in Akershus, heard about the digital currency. He doesn't remember exactly when, but he was around 20 years old. He saw the word "bitcoin" for the first time when he played poker online.
“I played poker for a small period of time and there were often many people who thought of some new and strange things,” he says.
Within the poker sites, people bought bitcoin from other players for despoti payments.
“You almost had to know someone to get this,” says Ulversøy.
Ulversøy bought some bitcoin, but it was only many years later, in the summer of 2017, that he went really heavily into crypto currency. It turned out to be a chess move.
In 2017, the value of one bitcoin increased by 1353 per cent. One of the other crypto currencies Ulversøy invested heavily in was "Nano". The value of this rose in 2017 by as much as 135,884 percent.
The tax return for 2017 shows that Eirik Ulversøy had a capital of NOK 83 million at the end of that year. The year before, his wealth was zero. He takes the big increase in wealth with crushing calm. “I haven't really thought too much about it,” he says. While still a student, Ulversøy had an income of NOK 2.5 million in 2017 after selling some of the stock. Of this, he estimated NOK 1.3 million.
- Eirik Ulversøy (27)
- From Nittedal in Akershus.
- Has a master's degree in computer engineering from NTNU.
- Has had two internships. Has worked as a programmer in the Directorate for Administration and ICT and as a developer in the fund manager Skagen.
- Now working as a developer in the Scout Gaming Group in Bergen.
- Found in the tax return list from 2017 listed with a fortune of NOK 83 million after investing heavily in bitcoin, nano and other crypto currencies that summer.
- Most of the wealth has vanished since the value of crypto currencies has fallen sharply since then.
- Now estimates that he has about one sixth left, that is, around NOK 14 million.
“I haven't used it on anything special. I buy what I want from food and such everyday things,” says Ulversøy, who is still renting an apartment in Bergen where he has now lived for half a year. He says he will wait to consider buying an apartment until the tax settlement for 2018 is over. “It is okay to wait until all of the tax settlement is clear so I actually see what I can use in case one has counted wrong,” he says. Since the summit in December 2017, bitcoin has fallen in value.
Has 100,000 kittens
Many people have heard about bitcoin. Those who have followed it closely have perhaps also heard of the crypto currency ethereum. Even fewer know about "CryptoKitties."
These virtual kittens have previously been sold for over a million kroner. Ulversøy says that he has a "good deal" of wealth placed in such kittens.
“I bought a cat for 100,000 kroner,” says Ulversøy.
“How many do you have?”
“Too many. I have over 100,000 cats,” says the 27-year-old, who says he also has a lot of rare cats.
Basically, the marketplace CryptoKitties.co is a game where you can buy, collect, breed and sell cats. It works in the same way as other crypto currencies and is built on blockchain technology, where each kitten represents some value. Currently, they have no real practical function. “It is probably the kind of collectible, I think,” says Ulversøy, who also has a real cat at home with his family.
Will sell the cat "Vulcat" for $ 100,000
“One hopes that a system will be built around it eventually. I program a little around it,” says Ulversøy, who works daily as a developer in the Scout Gaming Group in Bergen.
When DN met him in Bergen he showed one of the kittens he owns - the cat "Vulcat". This is cat number one million in the game. Ulversøy bought the cat for NOK 30,000, but has now put it out for sale for $100,000 - that is, NOK 860,000 with today's price. The problem is that the market is very illiquid and the kittens are therefore difficult to sell, according to Ulversøy.
“If this game takes off, then I earn a lot, but it's probably a bit risky,” he says.
“How do you rate these cats?”
“People have agreed that specific kitties are valuable, such as a special kind of attribute. For example, the cat that made the first type of a certain fur. Just something that looks cool or good,” he says.
“If you are lucky you can make lots of money - albeit on the paper - almost without lifting a finger. Two virtual cats can mate and breed a new kitten that can be sold off.”
The wealth is sharply shaved.
The value of bitcoin peaked around $20,000 on December 16, 2017. Since then, the crypto market has slipped down. A bitcoin is now worth $4,000.
Ulversøy has not realized the stock of crypto currency and estimates that he only has left one sixth of the 83 million kroner he had listed with in the 2017 tax return list. This corresponds to approximately NOK 14 million. He is no longer acting in the crypto currency market and says it has not seen many practical applications out of the [blockchain] phenomenon yet, but believes the technology has opportunities.
“Digital ownership is something that already works. I think it can get better,” he says.