Brenda Gentry is a mother and a finance person. In her previous life, she worked as a mortgage underwriter at USAA. While working on her 9 to 5 job, she took up cryptocurrency as a side hustle.
In October 2021, after more than 10 years at USAA, Gentry resigned from her day job and pivoted to cryptocurrency full-time. The decision to go into full-time cryptocurrency was fueled by her desire to accumulate and pass on generational wealth.
“Crypto is about financial freedom,” Gentry told CNBC Make It. “Most people who couldn’t access loans with traditional finance because of credit limitations can now invest in crypto and be able to borrow from it.”
Gentry started her crypto journey small and eventually started investing more and by early 2021, she began seeing substantial returns on her investment. “My investment portfolio surpassed my 401(k) — which had taken 11 years to get to $200,000 — in six months,” she said.
The San Antonio resident and her family are excited about the “unprecedented opportunities offered by crypto.” She now runs a crypto consulting firm, which she launched after leaving her job, with her family. She runs Gentry Media Productions with her daughters, Cynthia, 23, and Imani Gentry, 19, although she continues to invest in digital assets. And because of her crypto exploits, she is widely known as the “crypto mom” online.
Cryptocurrencies have generally been found to be risky as the digital currency has no central bank backing. Nonetheless, it continues to attract celebrities and ordinary people. For Gentry, her background in finance comes in handy for her. She relies on her experience to feel comfortable investing in the space.
According to CNBC Make It, Gentry’s firm advises decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) projects, and she typically makes between 10 and 20 ether, which is around $40,000 to $80,000, from the business each month. In comparison, she made about $75,000 annually in her past job.
Aside from the tangible changes crypto brought to her life, Gentry said she was able to help her parents retire. And her next goal is to assist her siblings to retire.
“This is something I always wanted to do,” she said. “My dad retired before but had to go back to work — the pension wasn’t cutting it for them. My mom had been working as a cleaning supervisor for many years. The hours were brutal and taking a toll on her health.”