New rich-fast job in Silicon Valley: crypto start-ups

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Auckland, California – Sandy Carter, who was vice president of Amazon’s cloud computing division this month, announced in a LinkedIn post that he will be joining a crypto technology company. He added a link to the open positions at the beginning.

Within two days, he said, more than 350 people – many from the largest Internet companies – clicked on the link to apply for jobs at the non-stop domain company. The start-up sells web addresses sitting on the blockchain, which is a distributed ledger system that supports cryptocurrencies.

“It’s the right storm,” Ms Carter said. “The speed we see in this place is incredible.”

Ms Carter is part of a wave of executives and engineers leaving soft jobs at Google, Amazon, Apple and other major technology companies – some of whom pay millions of dollars in annual compensation – that they chase after seeing once. – Generation opportunity. The next big thing is crypto, a cache position that includes digital currencies such as Bitcoin and products such as blockchain-dependent non-funky tokens or NFTs.

Silicon Valley is now littered with stories of humans riding ridiculous crypto investments like tokain, a digital coin based on a dog monument, to life-changing wealth. Bitcoin has risen about 60 percent this year, while more than five times the value of Ether, the cryptocurrency linked to the Ethereum blockchain.

But beyond that speculation, a team of the best and brightest in the emerging technology industry sees a moment of transformation that comes once every few decades and rewards those who detect seismic change before other parts of the world. With Crypto, they see the historical parallel to how personal computers and the Internet were once ridiculed, elevating the current status quo and creating a new generation of billionaires.

Investors are also heavily concentrated. They have invested more than $ 28 billion in global crypto and blockchain start-ups this year, four times the total in 2020, according to PitchBook, a private investment watchdog. More than $ 3 billion has gone to NFT companies alone.

Sreedhar Ramaswamy, CEO of search engine start-up Niva and former Google executive, competes with cryptocurrencies for talent, saying “a great sucking sound is coming from crypto.” “It’s like the birth of the 1990s and the Internet. It’s so fast, confusing and full of opportunities.

Crypto, renamed the Less Forecast Web 3, is said by skeptics to be no different from past speculation bubbles such as subprime mortgages or the 17th-century tulip craze. They said most of the mania is driven by the desire to get rich quick by trading an asset class that often appears to be based on internet jokes.

But growing teams of true believers claim that the crypto world can be changed by creating a decentralized Internet that is not controlled by a few companies. Despite such possibilities since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, crypto products such as NFTs only came into the mainstream this year. This has accelerated the exit of big tech companies into the crypto world.

Earlier this month, Brian Roberts, Lift’s chief financial officer, left Wright-Hailing to join popular crypto start-up OpenSea. “When something so big emerges, I have seen enough cycles and paradigm shifts,” he said in an email. “We are day 1 in terms of NFTs and their impact.”

(John Zimmer, co-founder of Lift, congratulates Mr. Roberts on his new venture.)

Last month, Jack Dorsey resigned as CEO of Twitter to spend more time on cryptocurrency and web3 efforts at his other company, Square. Approving the blockchain, Mr. Dorsey Square was also renamed Black. He underlined the transformation by converting photo portraits of Black executives into black-headed avatars, and created a software tool for others to create their own black-head avatars.

David Marcus, head of cryptocurrency initiatives at Facebook’s parent company Meta, has announced that he will be leaving by the end of this year to follow his “entrepreneurial DNA”. Mr. Marcus, 48, plans to work on his own cryptocurrency program, two people who know about his plans said.

According to a Meta spokesman, Mr. Marcus declined to comment.

The allure of crypto is so unavoidable that some large technology companies are eager to retain employees. At Google, concerns grew, including the loss of employees to crypto companies, which became part of the management’s agenda every Monday, with the company’s chief executive Sundar Pichai and two of his top representatives discussing the issue. Discussions said.

Google has begun offering additional stock subsidies to employees in certain areas of the company that appear to be ripe for hunting, these individuals said. Google declined to comment.

Unlike crypto-embracing meta, Google is reluctant to jump into motion. When Surojit Chatterjee, vice-president, left the company last year and became CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Google employees saw firsthand the opportunities in crypto.

When Coinbase went public in April, Mr. Chatterjee’s share value soared to more than $ 600 million. He worked there for only 14 months.

Such vast cryptocurrency wealth has created fear among many technologists that it will disappear or become FOMO – especially the friends who bought Bitcoin many years ago are now super rich.

Evan Cheng, co-founder and CEO of Maisten Labs, a start-up that focuses on creating blockchain infrastructure projects, said, “After 2017 or so, people were mostly there for investment opportunities. Now people really want to create products.”

The 50-year-old Mr. Cheng left Facebook in September after six years, most recently working on its crypto initiative Novi. Of Mysten Labs’ approximately 20 employees, most of them are based in San Francisco, London, New York and elsewhere, with approximately 80 percent coming from technology companies such as Facebook, Google and Netflix.

Companies focusing on blockchain technologies have proliferated, including cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitpanda, Gemini and CoinList; Art collection companies such as NFT and OpenSea and Dapper Labs; And infrastructure companies such as Dfinity and Alchemy.

The brain drain in crypto was triggered by concerns about the control and dominance of the own employees of some large technology companies. Many joined to create something new on Google, Facebook and others, only to face the setback of working in the bureaucracy and behemoths.

Those who leave Big Tech payroll do not have to wait for pay at crypto start-ups, as is the case with traditional technology start-ups.

While employees in tech start-ups generally accept small salaries, workers in crypto start-ups are given the ability to “cash in” or monetize their shares much earlier, in the hope that the company’s stock will one day hit big. According to Dan McCarthy, a recruiter for investment firm Paradigm, which writes about the potential of crypto start – ups for tech workers, they can often do so in the form of trading their company’s cryptocurrencies.

In some cases, crypto start-ups offer compensation packages on par with larger technology companies because employees can easily cash in on their company’s “tokens” – or the basic cryptocurrency that supports the startup.

“You no longer have to take a third of your Big Tech salary because these companies have a lot of good capital,” Mr. Cheng said.

Ms. Former Amazon Vice President. Carter said people are more interested in working for crypto companies than money. Some were inspired by web3’s protocols that seek to decentralize power and decision-making. This is an alternative to how Google and Facebook dominated the Internet by absorbing personal data from users to sell targeted ads.

Ms Carter said she was more interested in web3 on Amazon, but did not hire there because she agreed not to ask her ex-colleagues.

So will the expulsion of technical staff to crypto continue?

“The answer is absolutely yes,” she said. “It’s time to dump her and move on.”

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