Dodgers minor leaguer retired to start a cryptocurrency firm just for athletes

Up until a few weeks ago, Tyler Adkison was a 22-year-old minor league baseball player in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. He’s a product of San Diego State, and he’s been coached by legendary hitter Tony Gwynn. But he decided to cut his baseball career short to merge his two passions: baseball and technology.

[Still not too late to join a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league]

J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register interviewed Adkison about what he’s doing now, and it’s very interesting. Adkison has launched his own cryptocurrency investment firm, and it’s specifically for athletes.

Adkison said he is the first cryptocurrency hedge fund CEO to focus exclusively on athletes.

“I met a venture capitalist and explained what I do: that there’s a need for pro athletes to have that investment vehicle,” he said.

There was nothing stopping athletes from investing in cryptocurrency before, but having a firm that specializes in athlete clients could make the whole thing friendlier. Adkison has experience as a professional athlete on his side, and he’s got the connections in the baseball world to make this happen.

RELATED: A look inside the world of cryptocurrency

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A look inside the world of cryptocurrency
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A look inside the world of cryptocurrency
Workers prepare a new installation of miners, at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. Picture taken February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 16: In this photo illustration, a visual representation of digital cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethernum, Dash, Monero and Litecoin is displayed on February 16, 2018 in Paris, France. Digital cryptocurrencies have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
A worker checks the fans on miners, at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Farnham, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. Picture taken February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Representation of the Ripple virtual currency is seen in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. Picture is taken February 13. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
A customer of an Australian bank withdraws money from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) next to a Bitcoin ATM at a shopping mall in central Sydney, Australia, October 1, 2015. Australian businesses are turning their backs on bitcoin, as signs grow that the cryptocurrency's mainstream appeal is fading. Concerns about bitcoin's potential crime links mean many businesses have stopped accepting it, a trend accelerated by Australian banks' move last month to close the accounts of 13 of the country's 17 bitcoin exchanges.Picture taken October 1, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray
A worker checks the fan on a miner, at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Farnham, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. Picture taken February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul, South Korea December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A monitor shows various cryptocurrencies' exchange rates against Japanese Yen including NEM coin (middle in the top) at 'nem bar', where customers can pay with NEM coins, in Tokyo, Japan January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A miner waits to have its fan replaced, at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Farnham, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. Picture taken February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 16: In this photo illustration, the icon of the the Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange application is seen on the screen of an iPhone on February 16, 2018 in Paris, France. Victims of one of the world's largest cryptocurrency hacks are suing Coincheck, the Japanese company whose network was breached in a theft worth more than dollars 650 millions. Coincheck is a bitcoin wallet and exchange service headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, founded by Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka. It operates exchanges between bitcoin/ether and fiat currencies in Japan, and bitcoin transactions and storage in some countries worldwide. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Representation of the Ripple virtual currency is seen in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. Picture is taken February 13. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
A view of Romania's first bitcoin ATM is seen in downtown Bucharest June 27, 2014. In a well-lit office with red window frames in downtown Bucharest, Romania's first bitcoin ATM attracts many who until it opened in May had to buy or sell the digital currency face-to-face or through wire transfers. The interest in bitcoin in Romania stands out in a region where national currencies are widely seen as poor substitutes for the euro. Tech-savvy and still deeply distrustful of officialdom 25 years after the end of communism, many Romanians are unfazed by warnings about the cryptocurrency. Picture taken June 27, 2014. To match Feature ROMANIA-BITCOIN/ REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. Picture is taken February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Eoh Kyung-hoon, leader of a club studying cryptocurrencies, checks a chart after a meeting at a university in Seoul, South Korea, December 20, 2017. Picture taken December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Eoh Kyung-hoon, leader of a club studying cryptocurrencies, attends a meeting at a university in Seoul, South Korea, December 20, 2017. Picture taken December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. British authorities have come out in support of digital currencies in the name of promoting financial innovation, while proposing that regulations should be drawn up to prevent their use in crime. But it is technophiles who are leading the drive to make London a real-world hub for trade in web-based "cryptocurrencies", of which bitcoin is the original and still most popular. Picture taken May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Publican Grant Fairweather places a beer on the bar next to a Bitcoin sign as he serves a customer in Sydney, Australia, September 29, 2015. Australian businesses are turning their backs on bitcoin, as signs grow that the cryptocurrency's mainstream appeal is fading. Concerns about bitcoin's potential crime links mean many businesses have stopped accepting it, a trend accelerated by Australian banks' move last month to close the accounts of 13 of the country's 17 bitcoin exchanges. Picture taken September 29, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray
A Bitcoin (virtual currency) hardware wallet and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. British authorities have come out in support of digital currencies in the name of promoting financial innovation, while proposing that regulations should be drawn up to prevent their use in crime. But it is technophiles who are leading the drive to make London a real-world hub for trade in web-based "cryptocurrencies", of which bitcoin is the original and still most popular. Picture taken May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
George Rotariu uses Romania's first bitcoin ATM in downtown Bucharest June 27, 2014. In a well-lit office with red window frames in downtown Bucharest, Romania's first bitcoin ATM attracts many who until it opened in May had to buy or sell the digital currency face-to-face or through wire transfers. The interest in bitcoin in Romania stands out in a region where national currencies are widely seen as poor substitutes for the euro. Tech-savvy and still deeply distrustful of officialdom 25 years after the end of communism, many Romanians are unfazed by warnings about the cryptocurrency. Picture taken June 27, 2014. To match Feature ROMANIA-BITCOIN/ REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 16: In this photo illustration, a visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency Monero is displayed on February 16, 2018 in Paris, France. Monero is an electronic currency that has experienced an incredible surge in 2017. Monero is one of the first 15 cryptocurrencies on the market. The success of Monero is explained by its popularity in 2016 with users of the site AlphaBay, an illegal darknet platform on which were selling drugs and weapons. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Monero and Litetcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
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Adkison’s time in professional baseball was brief. He played in high school and at San Diego State (which is where he studied business), and was drafted by the Dodgers in 2017. He had promise as a hitter, but struggled after he was promoted to the Class-A Great Lake Loons, and a bone spur in his elbow didn’t help things.

His first season as a pro was rough, but it helped him realize that his true passion was technology. In fact, it was Tony Gwynn Jr. who helped him realize it. The two have known each other since Adkison was coached by the elder Gwynn at San Diego State, and he remembers a conversation he had with Adkison over dinner during spring training.

“I was a little taken aback but after he got talking about cryptocurrency, you heard the passion he had about it,” Gwynn said. “I asked him if he saw himself in the big leagues. He said, ‘no.’ I asked him, are you passionate about what you do? He said ‘yes.’

“I said, it sounds like you already have your mind made up.”

You need to be passionate about baseball to dedicate your life (not to mention your body and mind) to it, and Gwynn knew that Adkison’s true passion wasn’t in baseball.

Adkison started working on his new venture even before he officially retired, which he did on March 30 through his Twitter account. He formed a company and attracted investors during the offseason. When he launched, his first client was Joe Kelly, who is a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. Now he has around thirty clients, made up of professional baseball and football players. His post-baseball career is off to an excellent start.

The future of cryptocurrency is far from certain, since it’s almost wholly unregulated. But Adkison is doing what every baseball player has to do in order to succeed: bet on himself.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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