How Barstool Sport’s Dave Portnoy Lost Over $600,000 to Bitcoin

This Is the One and Only Thing that Could Kill Bitcoin

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy encountered an unfortunate incident with his substantial $1 million Bitcoin investment after FTX collapsed in 2022.

The media personality chronicled the events surrounding his foray into cryptocurrency via a video on X (formerly Twitter)

Dave Portnoy’s Failed Bitcoin Journey

Dave Portnoy began his journey in 2017 via an educational meeting with the Winklevoss twins, during which they assisted him in setting up an account on the crypto exchange Gemini. Despite making a significant purchase, he swiftly sold off his holdings due to Bitcoin price volatility.

In 2022, armed with a better understanding of the leading cryptocurrency, Portnoy invested over $1 million when its value dipped to approximately $32,000. However, FTX’s subsequent collapse and rumors suggesting Gemini might follow led him to test the withdrawal feature on the platform. He intended to “cash out a little” and leave the rest in there because he considered himself “diamond hands.”


As BTC surged past $43,000 after the recent approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund), Portnoy’s attempt to review his portfolio revealed a critical error — he had inadvertently converted all of it to cash.

“What am I supposed to do now? Buy it at $44,000? I bought at $32,000… I accidentally cashed out at $20,000, and I didn’t mean to cash out. I wouldn’t have left the money just sitting there… I cannot win with Bitcoin; somebody owes me BTC,” he said.

Read more: Top 10 Cheapest Cryptocurrencies to Invest in January 2024

Portnoy’s involvement with cryptocurrencies extends to a $40,000 investment in SafeMoon. This investment resulted in legal complications, and the value of his investment plummeted to around $2,300, all without a single token withdrawal.

Crypto Community Reacts to Portnoy

The cryptocurrency community responded with mixed sentiments. While some labeled Portnoy as having a weak hand in the market, others encouraged him to re-enter.

MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor advised Portnoy against selling Bitcoin, emphasizing its long-term potential. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyyfart found the incident both distressing and humorous.

Samson Mow, the CEO of Jan3, suggested Portnoy secure additional Bitcoin in a hardware wallet for a decade.

“’ll teach you how to put it on a hardware wallet. Then you sit your ass on that wallet for 10 years. That’s how you stop getting face f#cked. You’ll tell your grandkids that Samson saved you from getting face f#cked,” Mow said.

Bitcoin Price Performance. Source: TradingView

Conversely, crypto analyst Dave the Wave anticipated Portnoy’s sale, expressing doubt that he would have held onto Bitcoin at $15,000 after buying at $11,000 and witnessing its growth to $60,000. The analyst speculated on a potential strategy involving selling a portion near the peak while retaining the rest, guided by the LGC model.

“The LGC model overlaid on the chart [since 2018] might have helped, where he may have decided to sell a portion near the top while continuing to hold the rest… and not panic at the bottom,” he added.


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