Natasha Bazika Is 25, and Crypto Is Helping Her Work Toward Financial Independence by 30

POPSUGAR Australia is dedicating the month of October to featuring the next generation of inspired thinkers and courageous individuals who are building and manifesting a brighter future — because the next gen is unstoppable. We will deliver personal essays from young Australians who are making a name for themselves, as well as inspiring thought pieces and interviews with rising talent in the Web3 space throughout the month. Find all of our pieces here.

When I was born, my deda (grandfather) opened a bank account in my name, and he would put money in it every month. I’ve put my money in a bank for as long as I can remember.

Now, this practice is standard. Our parents taught us to save a percentage of our allowance, and then we carried this reflex into adulthood. The only difference is that we have more bills at 25 years old than at 12. Putting money in the bank is a good practice, but as the world changes, we need to adapt — something I learned in the last two years. The rise of crypto has been a saviour for young adults.

Traditionally in your 20s, you’re building your career, working your way up the ladder to that big paycheck. These days, we’re starting businesses at 20, building investment portfolios at 25 — some are millionaires by the time they’re 30. This is because we’re getting smarter with our money, and new technologies are allowing young people like me and you to lap boomers who have saved 80% of their paycheck since they were 18. If you’re wondering what those new technologies are — it’s cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is the elephant in the room. It has invaded our Twitter timelines, our Instagram feeds, and even our mindless TikTok scrolls. Crypto is the word on everyone’s lips, regardless of whether it’s met with head scratches or wide eyes. Getting your head around crypto is equivalent to telling someone with a math disability to multiply and divide.

I would know; I have dyscalculia — yes, it’s a thing. Math might as well be another language to me. I can’t read it, understand it or interpret it, but when it comes to crypto, I understand its function and its potential. Not to mention my adept mathematical boyfriend is instrumental in growing our crypto portfolio. He initiated the research and decision to invest our money into crypto, and now we wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s not to say I wasn’t hesitant at first. I thought of crypto as Monopoly money — the kind you can play with, but with no real value. Boy, was I wrong. Crypto was an easy way to grow our money.

One day, we started with $6, which turned into $600 overnight. That was a one-off, though. We invested in a meme coin that paid off, but it doesn’t always. That’s the struggle with crypto; nothing is certain. Although the same can be said for traditional investing, such as the stock market — it’s never a sure thing. At least with crypto, you control the amount you want to invest and where that money goes.

As much as I don’t want to praise marketing, as a young adult, crypto is more appealing to this generation. Everything is controlled with an app, and when you get into farming (which I still don’t quite understand fully), it becomes a video game-esque platform. The terms pancake swap and syrup pools resemble a currency or activity in Animal Crossing.

Then there are NFTs, my favourite aspect of crypto. NFT is also another word on people’s lips. Some understand it; others are still wrapping their heads around spending thousands of dollars on something you can’t hang on a wall. As I see it, owning an NFT is like owning a piece of art. Although it’s not just any art, it could be a Van Gogh or a Degas — something of value.

Not every NFT has a monetary value, though. Some come with membership perks, the ticket to join a community with exclusive access to an array of things from rare wine to clothing and dining experiences around the world. You can buy NFTs and sell them. They’re investments.

One of the most highly sought-after NFTs is the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Owning a Bored Ape these days is like owning a Monet — it’s priceless, and everyone wants to know you. Everyone wants in on this elite community. It almost seems surreal that a digital graphic of an ape sporting everything from 3D glasses to a sailor’s hat can cost $1.1M, but this is the world we live in now. Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Web 3 — it’s reality.

If you asked me, this new wave of advancement is a blessing for young people. The year before my boyfriend and I plunged into the world of crypto and NFT, we had a joint savings account. We looked at what we earned on interest when the year was up and laughed. All that saving got us nowhere. At this moment, we realised we would never be able to own a home by 30 or be financially independent until later in life.

That night, we sat down at the dinner table and wrote down what we wanted on a piece of paper. We both wrote: “to be financially independent by 30.” Our crypto and NFT investments are helping us achieve this goal, and I truly believe, it can help you too.

We threw out the book on traditional investing and the saving methods ingrained from childhood, and we’re not looking back. This is our time. Millennials, Gen Z, perennials — any generation can adopt cryptocurrency, NFT, and Web 3.0. It’s just a matter of starting and doing your research.

Whether you’re saving for a house, an international move, or want financial independence, this is your time — your time to be unstoppable. Carve your own future, set your own living standards, and most importantly, do it for your future self.

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