Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak bought bitcoin at $700—and cashed out when the price shot up

Steve Wozniak speaking at eMerge in Miami on June 12, 2017.

For bitcoin enthusiasts, it's been a tense few months watching the price of the cryptocurrency rocket to shocking highs and crash to worrisome lows.

But not for Apple co-founder and bitcoin-curious Steve Wozniak. That's because the inventor bought bitcoin when it was trading at $700 and pulled out at just the right time.

"I remember getting interested in bitcoin some time ago," Wozniak told CNBC in 2017. "It was $70 for a bitcoin, man and I went online and you had to have a special bank account at a special bank and I couldn't buy any bitcoin so I gave up. Eventually I got some of them at the $700 stage...."

That means Wozniak made a lot of money. But ironically, his reason for getting out at a high point had nothing to do with profit. "The Woz," as the inventor is affectionately called, sold his bitcoin because riding the roller coaster stressed him out.

"I had bitcoin to experiment with and when it shot up high, I said, 'I don't want to become one of those people that watches it, watches it and cares about the number.' I don't want that kind of care in my life," Wozniak says to an audience at the Nordic Business Forum in Sweden on January 24.

Indeed, Wozniak has saved himself a whole lot of heartache. The digital currency has been all over the place. Friday, bitcoin traded as low as $7,695.10 according to CoinDesk. That was the first time it has fallen below the $8,000 level since November 24.

In December, bitcoin hit a high of $19,340 on the Coinbase exchange.

NFL star Richard Sherman had to talk his grandma out of buying bitcoin
NFL star Richard Sherman had to talk his grandma out of buying bitcoin

The Woz didn't want to deal with riding any of those swings.

"Part of my happiness is not to have worries, so I sold it all — just got rid of it — except just enough to still experiment with," Wozniak says. He is interested in using bitcoin to pay for things, he explains.

Wozniak, a lifelong engineer, wrote his own formula for happiness when he was 20. Back then, even before he came into his own significant wealth as the co-founder of Apple, he decided that laughing and being happy is more important than gathering wealth and having yachts, he says.

"It if I died and had all this wealth and yachts and all this stuff, would I be as happy as when I laugh? And I thought about pranks I played and jokes I had told and music I would hear that would make me smile, and I came up with my formula that life is about happiness," says Wozniak.

Wozniak says he does what he can to minimize frowns. He doesn't fret about bad things happening, doesn't argue and, apparently, doesn't trade bitcoin.

"This kept me so happy, to this day. My mind just kind of floats in a state of happiness and I just don't really have a lot of always being upset," he says.

See also:

Bitcoin price drops below $8,000 for first time since November 24

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: 'I don't believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says'

Tesla superfan with stage 4 cancer gets surprise visit from Elon Musk

50 Cent 'forgot' he had bitcoin—now it's worth over $7 million
50 Cent 'forgot' he had bitcoin—now it's worth over $7 million

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