A CEO of a major Watford-based retailer has made himself around £4million in cryptocurrency.

Vladislav Vassiliev, who lives in Rickmansworth and owns Vape Club based in Watford Business Park, has found himself successful after years investing into the digital currency world.

After launching Vape Club in 2012, Mr Vassiliev was intrigued by the emerging bitcoin trend and decided to make his initial cryptocurrency investment in 2013.

The CEO, who calls himself an “e-commerce entrepreneur”, says he has always been invested in new technologies and understanding them. In fact, even before launching Vape Club, he was already experienced with e-commerce by running a number of websites selling candles, jewellery, clothing, adult toys and more.

He believed there was potential to “revolutionise” digital global payments through cryptocurrency, and at the time believed it could significantly reduce the cost and time it takes to make transactions.

Talking about his inspiration to invest in cryptocurrency, he said: “I recall at the time, frustrations with the existing banking system that took days to send bank payments in the UK and often required you to pay extortionate fees to the banks and payment providers.

“I then realised that cryptocurrencies can do so much more than just allow payments, in effect it is a smart currency that can do many things that traditional currency can’t do.”

But with it being such a new platform, the multi-millionaire admitted there were initial challenges in understanding it.

Watford Observer: Vlad is now pursuing his life long interest in car racingVlad is now pursuing his life long interest in car racing

He said: “Trying to get your head around the process and find out which providers you could trust at the time was difficult and frustrating. So I did a lot of research and only invested small amounts of disposable income which I could afford to lose. Things are much easier and secure now.”

By 2016, Mr Vassiliev invested around £15,000 into about 20 different crypto coins – including Etherium, Ripple and DogeCoin.

“I am not an active trader, so I simply bought the coins and kept them in digital exchanges like CoinBase,” he said.

“My plan was to keep track of the market and ensure I had a good spread of coins that were in the top 20.

“I will never outguess the market, but if the market thinks these coins are the top 20, then I will invest in them. It’s similar to ETF investment funds, which simply track and invest in the best companies like the FTSE100.

Just four years later in 2017, Mr Vassiliev reached crypto millionaire status.

He credits the achievement mainly due to his Etherium investment, where he bought the coins for around £5 each, which are now worth nearly £1,500 each.

With such a dramatic increase in value, Mr Vassiliev says there were pressures to cash in by early 2018, however remaining optimistic he kept going.

Since then the crypto values have reduced as the market adjusted, but adamant that the currency is “the future of money”, Mr Vassiliev continues to invest.

Sharing advice to potential investors, he said: “When looking to invest, don’t just look at the headlines. Look at the bigger picture and how money and trust will be used in the future.

“We’ve already seen a huge shift away from physical money and I think it’s only a matter of a few years before we start transacting without the need for banks or physical cash.”

Watford Observer: Vlad (right) with his Vape Club carVlad (right) with his Vape Club car

He continued: “My advice for people looking to get involved is first to understand a little about cryptocurrencies and what their potential is. There are plenty of resources online, including YouTube. Start small and stick to main coins which have real-life use and utility.

“Don’t get obsessed by daily fluctuations and gains, think of this as a long term investment for at least a year. While you can make huge gains on alternative coins, you can equally make huge losses, so I tend to stay away from these riskier investments.”

After reaching a crypto multi-millionaire status, the investor is trying out his lifelong ambition of becoming a racing driver and is competing in the FunCup Endurance Championship this year with his colleague Matt Dorkings.

The team has managed to finish the first two races of the season and are now closing the gap between themselves and the winning teams to only a second or two per lap.