Did I ruin my life by trading crypto?

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  • Source: Dapnet
  • 08/23/2019
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Apologies if this topic has been covered before or is breaking any rules. Throw away for obvious reasons.

I feel like I ruined my life by dabbling into cryptos as a clueless college kid.

I first caught wind of it when a buddy of mine said he was going all in on ETH in May of last year. I said hell with it, signed up on Coinbase and threw $5000 into crypto. Mind you this is like half of my life savings, but in the grand scheme of things it's not too much to lose.

Well, I went down the rabbit hole and struck gold a few times, hitting 10x's on multiple alt coins... I brought my 5k initial all the way up to a $880k portfolio in December 2017.

Now I should have listened. I should have cashed out, yes. Once I hit $1 million I was going to... I would have been set. And then, JUST like that the market tanks going into the new year.

I didn't know anything about taxes so I never bothered to set aside anything. They really never do teach this stuff. I gambled in more than a few bad ICOs to start 2018, had some money in coins that absolutely plummeted with no chance of recovering, etc. Today my portfolio sits at $125k, a far cry from my $880k . My estimated tax liability for 2017 is about 400k (live in California).

I'm a student and I work part time making $12/hr as a retail associate at Barnes & Noble. I haven't paid any taxes or filed any returns for 2017. I wanted to but I have no idea where to begin.

Here's the 1099-K Coinbase reported this spring

Is my life over?

tl;dr: poor college kid invests 5k in crypto last year, ends up with 875k short term gains for 2017, lost most of it in 2018, hasn't paid taxes or filed any returns yet


EDIT: Yes, these were crypto-to-crypto trades (i.e. Bitcoin for Ethereum, Ethereum for Litecoin). These are considered taxable events from what I understand. At no point did I ever cash out to fiat and transfer any USD into my bank accounts from these tradings.

EDIT 2 (11/2/2018): Thank you all so much for the support and advice. I realize I can't reply to all of you but I am definitely reading each and every one of your comments. I've scheduled a consultation with a tax attorney that specializes in cryptocurrency and alternative investments. I appreciate it all very much, these last few months have been mentally trying.
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