The dare­devil

der­ryn Shros­bree, 42

Toronto Life - - Editor’s Letter -

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.”

gET­Ting in

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.

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