Buying NFT’s: How cryptocurrency enriched a student


Carter Smith strikes a pose in Cottell Park

Ryan Flecker, A & E Editor

He hunches over his low-battery laptop plugged into the wall. The room is dark, illuminated only by the computer screen and his eager eyes. He scans hundreds of text chats as they appear and disappear through a Discord chat log. All of these people share the same goal as him; to make some money. His arms shoot into the air, tipping his laptop over. One sold virtual monkey picture and hundreds of dollars in profit later, this crypto-connoisseur is paid.

Carter Smith made more money in one week than he had in his whole lifetime. It felt too good to be true, but it was. 

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are essentially digital collector’s items. Utilizing cryptocurrency, NFTs are bought through unique platforms that connect the traders to the market. People buy the NFTs using a cryptocurrency such as Etherium and receive the claim to original ownership of the image. For example, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of cartoon monkeys, each uniquely designed. The most expensive BAYC NFT sold for $3.8 million.

 The NFT ‘space’ as traders call it is nuanced and hard to master, as Smith has come to learn.

“Knowing what to buy is a bit of luck, but just having the experience, reading the community,  seeing what trends are happening, and talking to people. I have failed countless times and taken many losses, but those failures have given me knowledge for the future on what I should be buying and what is going to flop,” Smith said.

Smith has a handle on the game, having now made thousands of dollars from his initial one hundred dollar investment. His best investment thus far has been a bear NFT.

“The best NFT I have ever purchased was Okay Bear #3013. This project completely changed the NFT space forever. I have never seen a project with more backing and hype in my time in the space and people who have been in for longer than I have will tell you the same. The NFT multiplied one hundred times in value and skyrocketed to a price that no one could’ve ever predicted,” Smith said. 

Smith spends hours a day studying the market. Although the market is unpredictable it is undeniable that Smith’s money can be attributed to hard work. 

“Carter’s work ethic when it comes to crypto is a work ethic I’ve never seen out of him. He truly has a passion for it, constantly talking about it in regards to NFTs and such,” Carter’s brother, Jaxon Smith said.

Money isn’t the only thing Smith has gained from NFT trading. Smith enjoys the social aspect as well. NFT values are communally dependent and having outlets to share and receive market information is imperative, creating success for everyone. 

“We have a group of  around six to eight guys trading, and to be honest the money I make is great but the best part is seeing the wins my friends are making as well. Knowing that we are all making money and having a great time together is truly awesome,” Smith said.

Daniel Georgesen is a long-time friend and new trading buddy in Smith’s inner circle and it seems the feelings are mutual.

“Me and Carter’s crypto bromance runs deep. We’re constantly calling each other and discussing different things in the space. Another big help is Colin Shultz, we like to invest into the same projects and pull at the same times. It creates a lot of fun for us because we’re making money, but also having fun while doing it. I’m a little less experienced than those two so I take their advice all the time,” Georgesen said.

Smith reveres Shultz as a competent partner that works well with him.

“I think he is very determined and smart. Paired with my riskiness and work ethic, we work well together,” Shultz said.

As Smith continues to make financial gains he always makes sure to stay humble. Smith doesn’t prioritize flashiness or excess.

“It’s kind of like walking a tightrope where on one side there’s the greed, jealousy, and negatives of money. And on the other there’s the not-being-able-to-support-yourself pit. And I never want to fall into either side,” Smith said.