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Jason Fernandes never set out to be an investor, and he just stumbled into it. “I never thought I would do this,” he says with a laugh. The unlikely 38-year-old investor has quite the track record, with strategic investments and advisory 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 industries, and has built quite a formidable portfolio of international companies that he advises or invests in himself.
Fernandes was busy. Just this quarter, he announced that he has 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-counterfeiting technology). REV3AL launched on KuCoin in the last week of June and sold out its burning airdrop in 2.3 seconds. Finally, French OTA streaming company EarnTV announced their advisory relationship with Fernandes’ launch pad, AdLunam, this month.
Fernandes first started talking about cryptocurrency markets regularly in 2019 as a regular guest and crypto analyst on Malta’s 24-hour blockchain channel BloxLive.TV. He appeared in more than 100 episodes of them 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 honed his skills as an early stage investor. When asked what his investment strategy is, he simply replies: “It’s about token utility. A cryptocurrency investment performs very differently from the stock world, in that you can have a great company and still have a poorly performing token. ” He continues, “Since we’re investing specifically in the token, one really needs to study the factors that will cause scarcity and how the different parts of the ecosystem fit together.
“Scarcity always affects the price, and without a strong token structure, a project is doomed,” he added. He would know that Fernandes has been extensively featured in international publications such as CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin.com etc. is cited for his deep expertise in the esoteric subject of “tokenomics”, for which he is considered one of the leading experts in the world, to which he is sometimes referred to by other industry veterans as the “Michael Jordan of Tokenomics”. Advising numerous blockchain/crypto projects over the past decade has enhanced his ability to develop optimal operating models for crypto projects and lead them to their public IDO or IEO (a process similar to a company going public via an IPO in traditional markets are disclosed).
Most recently, he has 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 with 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 just 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.
Business seems to come naturally to Fernandes. He started his first company ZeoCities.com almost two and a half decades ago while still a teenager. The company landed Fernandes one of his earliest TV appearances on MTV’s “Web Watch.” At 15, Fernandes built a website that already had its own free email service, search engine and e-commerce store with a user base that rivaled that of giants like InfoSpace. The presenter, VJ Cyrus Sahukar, was keen to find out where he got the time. The interview revealed that 1998 was a productive year for Fernandes. The teenager wrote for India’s biggest selling computer magazine, CHIP, and had just founded LDKids (Learning Disabled Kids), a non-profit organization that would soon win him the prestigious Childnet International Award and sponsorship support from British telecoms 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 groundbreaking copyright case against Singapore’s national broadcaster MediaCorp which settled the $29 million USD lawsuit for an undisclosed amount said to be in the millions.
When he returned to India and looked for new horizons in 2012, he discovered Bitcoin. “It immediately struck me that we are seeing the evolution of finance and that the world will never be the same,” says Fernandes with a passion that is palpable. That’s when he dove head first into the Cryptoverse. Fernandes soon became one of the earliest evangelists of cryptocurrency in India, writing extensively about it in various publications in early 2013, before the launch of India’s first cryptocurrency exchange and at a time when Bitcoin was only $13 USD wash.
Asked about his future plans, Fernandes is eager to talk about Socialioi.com, a company he recently acquired a 100% stake in from West Bengal-based Binjara IT. “I can integrate it into AdLunam, or maybe spin it off as its own crypto token”, and “I have high hopes for Crypto’s ability to change the world.” He says. Interestingly, Fernandes was awarded the prestigious Karmaveer Chakra Award in 2019 for his contribution to social/financial inclusion. The award, established by the UN and iCONGO, is presented for “relentless courage”. Other laureates include former president dr. APJ Kalam, Dr.VergheseKurein and actors Anupam Kher and Kajol. It’s a list in which Fernandes seems determined to earn his place.
Note: Investing 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.