A 39-year-old man in The Netherlands, Didi
Taihuttu, sold everything he owned in exchange for
After his father’s death, he sold his business and
spent nine months traveling the world with his wife and three
During his travels, he met people who were using
He thinks digital coins such as bitcoin and the
blockchain technology behind it are transforming the role of
money and banks in society.
Taihuttu plans to keep his lifestyle
until 2020, at which point he hopes bitcoin and
blockchain will be irreplaceable and his wealth will be worth
three to four times as much.
Didi Taihuttu believes in bitcoin, and in a big way.
The 39-year-old has put his house up for sale — selling it in
part for bitcoin — and now lives with his family on a campsite
near Venlo in The Netherlands. All of his other items are for
sale, too: the car, the motorbike, electric bikes, the children’s
toys, clothing, shoes.
With the proceeds, Taihuttu buys bitcoin and other
cryptocurrencies, betting that it will make him rich.
“People will say,’You’re crazy,’” Taihuttu told Business Insider.
“But we are an adventurous family and are going to gamble for a
moment to live minimalist lives. If you never take a risk, life
Taihuttu thinks digital coins such as bitcoin and the blockchain
technology behind it are transforming the role of money and banks
With blockchain, no third party is required to approve a payment
— a role currently performed by banks — and a network of
computers keeps a record of all transactions.
“The Internet was a revolution for information. I think that
blockchain and cryptocurrency are revolutionizing the monetary
system,” says Taihuttu. “In five years’ time, everyone will say:
‘We could have seen it coming.’ I am responding to this change
Traveling the world for nine months
In the summer of 2017 Taihuttu and his wife made the radical
decision to sell everything. The couple have just returned from a
nine-month world trip through Asia and Australia with their three
daughters. The Taihuttus’ visits included Angkor Wat in Cambodia,
swimming with dolphins near Brisbane, and relaxing on the beach
Early last year, Taihuttu’s father, John, died from cancer aged
61. A year before, it became clear that the former professional
football player was incurably ill.
“It was a difficult period,” says Taihuttu, who ran his own
company offering computer courses in Venlo for 11 years. “I had
had it. I sold my business and we decided as a family to go
During that journey Taihuttu kept bumping into people who were
using digital coins. In Bali, he met a South African exchange
trader who resigned after 17 years and went into crypto trading.
And on the beach near Noosa in Queensland he spoke to someone
from Dubai who was trading in bitcoin.
Taihuttu kept in touch with them all. They maintain contact
through Skype, analyze the market daily, and trade cryptomints
based on what they’re seeing in the price action.
“They are people who have a lot of experience in trading,” says
Taihuttu. “That is what I am still lacking a little.”
Taihuttu himself has been “in the coins,” as he says it, since
2010, when the currency was worth less than one euro.
“I am an entrepreneur, so when I first heard about bitcoin, I
said: Let’s do this.”
Minting bitcoin with dozens of computers
Along with a friend, Taihuttu set up a physical business to mint
bitcoin after buying dozens of computers and video cards. When
the value rose to several hundred euros in 2013, he decided to
sell the coins. The entire stock.
“If I had known then that four years later it would have been ten
times more valuable, then of course I wouldn’t have sold
everything,” says Taihuttu now. “But then I thought: I have to
make a profit.”
It wasn’t too much later when the value of bitcoin plunged and
its value was no longer clear. Suddenly, Taihuttu’s cost of
electricity and property rental were too high.
Taihuttu then gave Dogecoin, a smaller emerging currency, a go.
“I’ve had a tremendous amount of it, but that coin was worth
nothing,” he says. “The portfolio that I had at the time was
perhaps worth 200 euros.”
In the end, he stopped minting for two years.
Dogecoin becomes a savior
During Taihuttu’s world tour, he got a message from a friend who
had first told him about bitcoin.
“Check your coins! Check your coins!”
Dogecoin’s value had soared to ten to twenty times its previous
In the spring of 2017, bitcoin’s value rose to $3,000, and other
cryptocurrencies climbed along with it. At work, at home, in the
supermarket: suddenly everyone was talking about crypto craze.
“That Dogecoin made me realize again: There is something going on
in the world,” says Taihuttu.
The fact that he continued to meet so many bitcoin traders on his
family’s world trip was a sign for him. “This is no coincidence,
I thought. So I went back into it again.”
Selling the house
Back home, Taihuttu went to the real estate agent and told them
he wanted to sell his house for 85 bitcoin. The Venlo property
had been on the market for eight months, yet remained unsold.
The decision attracted a lot of media attention and the property
has been sold under reservation to a cryptocurrency trader.
“He came to the house with his wife and they both thought it was
great,” says Taihuttu.
“The asking price of 300,000 euros is as good as achieved,” says
What part of it will be paid in bitcoin is yet to be negotiated
with the buyer.
“It is likely that the excess will be partly paid for in bitcoin,
so that I have no problem repaying the mortgage,” he says.
The system is not equipped
At the end of the day, banks are one of the biggest obstacles to
selling a house entirely for bitcoin. Just like a conveyancer.
Without the intervention of the latter, a house cannot change
The buyer typically pays the purchase price into a trust account
set up by the conveyancer, which then passes the deed of sale. If
the transfer of the property has been registered in the Land
Registry, the conveyancer will transfer the amount to the seller.
These transactions still have to be carried out in euros, because
the conveyancer does not have a digital wallet to store
cryptocurrencies. And there is another problem: What if the
bitcoin falls in value in the few days that the purchase price is
on the conveyancer’s trust account?
“The entire system is not designed for it. I wanted to help start
changing that,” says Taihuttu. “Unfortunately, it has not become
what I had expected. We in the Netherlands have not yet reached
the point where we have complete confidence in blockchain, so the
notary will have to act.”
The new lifestyle look a while for the Taihuttu family to get
used to. Their luxury four-bedroom, 200-square-meter house has
been swapped for a chalet on a campsite. Taihuttu’s three
daughters, who had each had their own room, now all bunk in
The family’s other items are also for sale, in order to buy as
much bitcoin as possible.
The family will continue this way until 2020, at which point
Taihuttu hopes bitcoin and blockchain will be irreplaceable and
his wealth will be worth three to four times as much.
In the meantime, the family lives with fewer things.
“That was ultimately the decisive factor for my wife to say yes
to this plan,” says Taihuttu. “Education is the best for the
kids. If you raise your kids to be too materialistic, it is not
good. And that was what we were doing, to be honest.”
And if things go wrong? “Then we will be without money for a
moment. But I don’t think that that’s the worst thing that can
happen in life.”
Read the original article on Business Insider Netherlands.