The Accidental Crypto Investor

Jason Fernandes spent years evaluating investments in the Defi, NFT and metaverse industry, and has today built a portfolio of international companies he advises or has invested in himself

By Hardik Kundu • Dec 27, 2022

Jason Fernandes speaking at the International Blockchain Congress event in 2018

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Jason Fernandes never set out to be an investor, and he just stumbled into it. "I never thought I'd be doing this," he says with a laugh. Today,The 38-year-old investor has made strategic investments and advising relationships with 18 crypto companies, many of which have had successful launches and are today multimillion-dollar projects. Fernandes has spent years evaluating investments in the Defi, NFT and metaverse industry, and has built up quite a formidable portfolio of international companies he advises or has invested in himself.

He recently joined the board of advisors for New York-based Omnia Markets LLC. (a cryptocurrency AI/ML analytics platform), also Miami-based music NFT marketplace GrooveUp.com and REV3AL (a first-of-its-kind digital copyright protection and anti-counterfeit technology). REV3AL launched on KuCoin in the last week of June, selling out its burning airdrop in 2.3 seconds. Finally, French OTA streaming company EarnTV announced their advising relationship with Fernandes' launchpad, AdLunam, this month.

Fernandes first began speaking regularly about cryptocurrency markets in 2019 as a frequent guest and crypto-analyst on Malta's 24-hour blockchain channel BloxLive.TV. He was featured in over 100 episodes of their New on the Block and Crypto Now series, where Fernandes proselytized blockchain and dissected the crypto markets.

Crypto Investing became his core focus in 2021, with his appointment as CBO of NFT Tech (NEO: NFT | Frankfurt: 8LO | OTC Pink: NFTFF), a publicly traded portfolio company with significant cryptocurrency assets. While at NFT technologies and over the course of listening to hundreds of pitches, Fernandes sharpened his skills as an early investor. When asked what his investment strategy is, he simply replies, "It's about token utility. A cryptocurrency investment performs very differently from the equity world, in that one can have a great company and still have a poorly performing token." He continues, "Since we are investing in the token specifically, one must really study the factors that would cause scarcity and how the various parts of the ecosystem fit together.

"Scarcity always influences the price, and without a strong token structure, a project is doomed", he added. He would know that Fernandes is quoted extensively in international publications like CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin.com etc. for his deep expertise in the esoteric subject of "tokenomics", for which he is considered one of the foremost experts in the world, sometimes referred to by other industry veterans as the "Michael Jordan of Tokenomics". Advising scores of blockchain/crypto projects over the last decade has honed his ability to develop optimal working models for crypto projects and guide them toward their public IDO or IEO (a process similar to a company going public via an IPO in traditional markets).

Most recently, he's been in the news for his latest project AdLunam, the industry's first NFT (non-fungible token) integrated crypto-launchpad. The company (which he co-founded alongside Nadja Bester and Lawrence Hutson) facilitated investments in the web3 space and was itself valued at over $22 million by institutional investors who pumped $2 million USD into the company in a mere five days. The company's innovative solution uniquely focuses on smaller retail investors and building communities that champion projects, rewarding investors for being 'good actors' through its Engage-to-Earn and Proof-of-Attention models.

Fernandes started his first company ZeoCities.com almost two and a half decades ago while still a teenager. The company earned Fernandes one of his earliest TV appearances on MTV's "Web Watch". At 15, Fernandes had built a site that already had its own free email service, search engine and e-commerce store with a userbase that rivalled those of giants like InfoSpace. The presenter, VJ Cyrus Sahukar, was keen to learn where he'd found the time. The interview revealed that 1998 had been a productive year for Fernandes. The teenager was writing for India's largest-selling computer magazine, CHIP and had just founded LDKids (Learning Disabled Kids), a non-profit which would soon win him the prestigious Childnet International Award and sponsorship support from UK telecom giant Cable and Wireless.

While a student at the University of Texas, Fernandes co-founded the web-streaming platform RecordTV, earning a patent for the technology. RecordTV went on to fight (and win) a ground-breaking copyright case against Singapore's national broadcaster MediaCorp which settled the $29 million USD lawsuit for an undisclosed sum rumoured to be in the millions.

Returning to India and scanning for new horizons in 2012, he discovered Bitcoin. "It immediately struck me that we were seeing the evolution of finance and that the world would never be the same," Fernandes says with a passion that is palpable. That's when he plunged headfirst into the Cryptoverse. Fernandes soon became one of the earliest evangelizers of Cryptocurrencies in India, writing extensively about it in various publications in early 2013, prior to the launch of India's first cryptocurrency exchange and at a time when Bitcoin was a mere $13 USD.

Asked about his future plans and Fernandes is keen to talk about Socialioi.com, a company he recently acquired a 100 per cent stake in from West Bengal-based Binjara IT. "I may integrate it into AdLunam, or perhaps spin it off as its own crypto token", and "I have great hope for Crypto's ability to change the world," he says.

Note: Investment in cryptocurrency and crypto assets is subject to financial risk and readers should do their own due diligence. Entrepreneur Media does not endorse any such investment.

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