derryn Shrosbree, 42
OCCUPATiOn: Founder of a life insurance start-up CRYPTOCURREnCY Of CHOiCE: Bitcoin HOW mUCH HE’S invESTEd: “More than $1 million” BEST dAY: “The day I sold my condo for $445,000 in Bitcoin” WORST dAY: “June 24, 2018, when Bitcoin lost 20 per cent of its value” InvestIng motto: “Buy low, sell high” THE BACKSTORY
As a high-risk derivatives trader on Wall Street throughout his 30s and a life insurance employee after that, Derryn Shrosbree was accustomed to the stress of taking leaps of faith. Financial ventures today feel comparatively risk free, he says. That includes dabbling in cryptocurrency, as Shrosbree has done since 2013. He credits his daredevil nature to family: his grandmother liked to tell him, “If you don’t take risks, you’ll never drink champagne.”
Shrosbree’s initial Bitcoin investment was worth $1,000. By February 2017, its value had grown tenfold. By then, he had traded various cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Monero and Dash, to grow his portfolio. A month later, he listed his one-bedroom condo in Mississauga for around 35 Bitcoin. Someone accepted and handed over $445,000 worth of the stuff. Within weeks, the currency plummeted, and Shrosbree lost more than $100,000.
He was rattled by the drop and assumed that he’d sustain a major loss. But Shrosbree was otherwise financially secure and was willing to ride out Bitcoin’s fluctuations. Eventually, the currency bounced back, and he broke even. His next pursuit is a life insurance start-up that runs on cryptocurrency and blockchain—the technology that underpins Bitcoin—and sidesteps institutional fees, in theory making life insurance more affordable.