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Adrian Rochester

Adrian Rochester on finding clarity in cryptocurrency

By Adrian Rochester

Managing Director, AGR Media Group Ltd.

Combining analytical aptitude with investment intellect, Adrian Rochester is fast becoming a leading specialist in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

Drawn to these niches by his zeal for technology and investments, Adrian has built upon his background in law and his financial experience working for Old Mutual Wealth (now Quilter), to become a largely self-taught investment specialist, diversifying across several sectors and finding clarity and insight in the world of crypto investing.

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Much of your investment knowledge is self-taught, how did you build your experience?

I previously studied Law but decided after graduating that I wanted to work for myself and lead a lifestyle that allowed me the flexibility to work remotely and travel the world. I started to make regular contributions to investments with the aim of achieving financial freedom and I also built up a business in matched betting.

My experience in matched betting gave me many skills which were transferable to investing and my progression into the cryptocurrency space. I also learnt a lot from reading books, attending lectures and webinars which I have put into practice. I am a big believer in the compound effect and believe that consistent daily action will pay off over the long term; this is why with work and investments I typically take a long-term view.

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What first sparked your interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies?

I got into cryptocurrencies because I wanted to diversify my investments. I felt that holding just property and shares wasn’t giving me as much exposure to technology and innovation as I’d like. Initially I had planned to put a very low percentage into cryptocurrencies but the more I learnt about it the more I became focused on it: I saw a huge opportunity.

Blockchain technology allows you to store, trade and own digital assets. The most popular digital assets at the moment are cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Because it’s a new technology it’s developing lots of different new use cases and it’s evolving rapidly. For example, you can now play computer games on the blockchain, which enables you to earn payment in a cryptocurrency which can then be transferred to fiat money. It’s an innovative new technology and I see it as the future.

You can also earn a yield from the cryptocurrencies that you are invested in. For example, you can earn annually 8% from holding Bitcoin and 12%+ from holding cash in Stablecoins which are essentially the equivalents of fiat money. When you compare this to holding money in a traditional bank you can see the clear benefits. I spend a lot of time researching and analysing ways to maximise the yield which can be generated on the Decentralised Finance exchanges. From the yields generated and the play to earn model I have built up a business which is automated, scalable and systemised within the cryptocurrency space and I’m exploring ways I can further grow and expand this.

What does the market of cryptocurrencies look like – is it competitive beyond the likes of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin’s use case has changed from what it was initially. It started off as a medium of exchange: you would send Bitcoin to someone to buy a pizza or some trainers. It’s become so valuable now because it has become a scarce digital asset due to its 21 million limit of how many can be mined and the fast adoption rate of people holding Bitcoin. You have billionaires, companies and millionaires investing in it: it’s become like digital gold. You wouldn’t necessarily use it as a medium of exchange anymore because it’s worth so much to hold, it’s use case has evolved and developed as the industry has grown.

There are many different cryptocurrencies out there all with their own use case; it’s a very competitive space. Ethereum is a very popular blockchain technology that is different to Bitcoin in that it allows applications to be built on top of it. In layman terms, Ethereum is like an operating system similar to Microsoft Windows enabling developers to build applications like games and NFTs on top of it. Ethereum has many rivals such as Solana and Cardano which are competing for users and application to be built on their platforms too.

The market is becoming more mainstream, the adoption rate is twice that of the internet, and businesses as well as individuals are using it. The issue the industry has is regulation because it’s an innovative new technology that is light years ahead of the existing legislation out there at the moment. In time this regulation will come and help to strengthen the industry.

"The (cryptocurrency) market is becoming more mainstream, the adoption rate is twice that of the internet, and businesses as well as individuals are using it."

Adrian Rochester - Managing Director, AGR Media Group Ltd.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse in the fast-moving field of cryptocurrencies?

I have recently enrolled on the Blockchain Strategy Programme at the University of Oxford. I am very excited about it because some of the brightest minds and leaders in the industry are behind the course.

I also gain a lot of knowledge and practical application from YouTube which is where the most up to date content can be found in this fast-paced industry. You can also gain knowledge from sites such as CoinGecko as well as Instagram and Twitter, and from webinars from investment companies such as Fidelity.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like playing basketball and I enjoy travelling. I lived in New York for a couple of months whilst playing basketball. I’ve driven across America and travelled around Asia and Europe.

Who or what has influenced your entrepreneurial journey?

I read a book while I was in my twenties called The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns. It really inspired me early on. He was a good role model because I really liked the flexible lifestyle that he lived, he wasn’t working nine to five, he was working from home and he was his own boss.
Kobe Bryant was someone I really looked up to because of his work ethic – he was very focused and he put in the work to get to the level he aspired to. He was also very open to learning and would seek out the best players in the game to learn from.

What are you currently listening to, reading, or watching?

I listen to a lot of podcasts – from Gary Vee to Jim Rohn. I subscribe to MasterClass too. I watched one recently on sleep by Matthew Walker and realised how important it is to aim to get a full 7-8 hours’ sleep as opposed to cutting back on sleep to work more which can be counter-productive.