At the end of last year, Yousuf made it onto the prestigious “30 under 30” list, which is published annually by the US magazine Forbes. The list honors young people who have the potential to make great things happen in the future. How did Yousuf manage to get to where he is now? With investments in cryptocurrencies. Probably with a lot of luck, too. And with great ambition.
Yousuf was born in April 2000 in a Kurdish village in northern Iraq. His father fights for the Peshmerga for an independent Kurdistan, then flees to Switzerland. When Yousuf is three years old, his mother also follows with her then three sons. In Switzerland, they are tolerated as refugees and live in cramped conditions.
The family grows to eight children, and the father works for years in a restaurant, including as a dishwasher. «I think the first time I realized that we were really poor was when I was 14. I was standing in our living room and thought: I know that sofa, it was at a friend’s house before. And the shelf, too, it had been at a friend’s house,» Yousuf recalls. His family often scoured the streets for bulky waste or collected bags of old clothes that other people had left on their doorstep. They also found computers and game consoles that way.
He bought his first Bitcoin at the age of eleven. He had heard his parents arguing – his grandmother in Kurdistan needed money for an operation. But how to send the money to her? «We didn’t have much ourselves – and the only option was obviously to give the money to someone traveling to Iraq. But what if the money then disappeared with that person?» says Yousuf. That’s when he did some research on the web, he says, and eventually came across digital money – and Bitcoin. « thought it was already accepted worldwide. I was totally naive. I walked into a kiosk and said I wanted to buy Bitcoin. But the saleswoman didn’t know it at all,» he says. Yousuf takes his toys, sells them on a carpet in a parking lot in his home town of Ipsach – and buys his first Bitcoin with the help of his father’s credit card, who thinks his son is crazy. Ten Bitcoin for a total of 15 euros. Current value : just under 200,000 euros. The beginning of his “crypto career” has been made.
Later, Yousuf verifies all his Bitcoin purchases since 2012 with reputable journalists in Switzerland. At the time of this writing, Dadvan Yousuf has long been a well-known and respected figure and size in the crypto industry in Switzerland.