Line of Work – 2nd Edition
Welcome back to the second edition of Line of Work, a bi-weekly newsletter discussing the more human elements of the Bitcoin, crypto & blockchain industry. Our goal with this newsletter is to track key hires and departures, rising stars in the industry, growing companies and all elements related to talent. If you happened to miss the first edition from July 24th, you can check it out here.
PS: If you’re viewing this on our website but want the next edition straight to your inbox, you can subscribe here.
🙌 Welcome to the Show, Mastercard
Do you have the courage to look into the eyes of disruptive forces without fear, and maneuver them to your advantage?
Do you have the desire to work at the cutting-edge intersection of payments and crypto-currencies?
Do you have the ambition to build something which you can narrate to your grandchildren?
If you answered yes to the questions above, Mastercard may want to to speak with you. Mastercard is currently building out a cryptocurrency team and seeking Senior Blockchain Engineers, a Director for Product Development and Innovation, a VP of Product Management and a Director of Product Management for Cryptocurrency and Wallets.
As Mastercard is a part of the Libra Association, I wonder how much these hires will interface specifically with Libra/Calibra when it launches SOON™️, or if this work will interact with public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. My hope is for the latter.
📢 “Keep Tweeting Until Someone Hires You” – Neeraj K. Agrawal
Tony Sheng, an independent crpyto analyst, tweeted something recently that really resonated with me. In his tweet, Tony highlights the scrappiness required to find a job in the world of crypto, which I think is especially applicable to individuals in non-technical roles.
I'm so impressed with the young talent in crypto.— Tony Sheng (@tonysheng) August 1, 2019
Part of what makes them special is they found a way in w/o recruiting "rails" (e.g. consulting, big tech). They have to be scrappy and entrepreneurial to find opportunities.
I would point a younger me to what they're doing.
The process of starting a career in the traditional world of finance, consulting or tech isn’t rocket science. You need to attend the right school, perform well, go to the job fair, meet the corporate recruiters and nail the interview process during campus recruiting.
For the most part in the world of crypto, there is no established recruiting process like that. Candidates need to be scrappy with how they approach the job search.
While I’m sure Neeraj K. Agrawal was (at least slightly) joking when he replied to Tony’s tweet, “Keep tweeting until someone hires you”, the point remains valid. There are only so many people with existing experience within the blockchain & crypto industry, so what is the best way for someone to demonstrate an interest to potential employers if they don’t have existing professional experience within the industry? Sharing thoughts on Twitter, writing on Medium, contributing open-source code on GitHub, attending MeetUps, networking and just generally hustling your butt off.
Over time with Proof of Talent, I hope to alleviate the need to treat a job search in crypto as a full-time job by serving as a vital connection point between candidates and employers, but for now, it still pays to hustle!
🌐 Q2 Quarterly Macro Outlook – Delphi Digital
If you don’t subscribe to Delphi Digital’s research, I highly recommend you do so, they’re a top notch team. I currently pay $25/month for the Delphi Insights and I think it’s well worth it, given the quality of the research.
I was lucky enough to guest contribute to their fantastic Q2 Quartlery Macro Outlook, with my own “Crypto Recruiting Outlook”. I’ve included my portion below, but definitely recommend giving the entire report a read (Twitter thread on the report)!
With the US unemployment rate under 4%, hiring quality talent is not an easy task. The task is even more difficult when hiring the type of technical talent required to build a company in the blockchain industry.
While Bitcoin is down about 50% from it’s all time high, competition for software engineers among tech firms feels like it’s reaching new all time highs on a daily basis. Whether it’s public goliaths like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or deep-pocketed venture startups, the competition blockchain companies face for top talent is severe.
So what are job seekers looking for? Here are two quick anecdotes from my conversations with talent interested in working in the industry.
1. Sustainable Business Model:
While there are a number “decentralized dreamers”, the vast majority of job seekers I speak with are interested in working for a company with a sustainable business model. Candidates considering leaving a F500 company behind want to know their future startup has, at the very least, a fighting chance of being around in 5 years with plans for sustainability.
Not only has the market moved past the irrational exuberance of 2017, I believe job seekers have as well. It’s no longer sufficient to simply pitch “The Decentralized version of XYZ” and garner top talent. Candidates have a better idea of what is likely to succeed and what companies in the industry have no chance at product/market fit.
2. (Articulate Your) Upside
I was having a conversation the other day with a highly qualified software engineer who works at a public tech company in the Bay Area. This person has an incredible passion for Bitcoin, Ethereum and the technology being developed in the industry. The only catch? His RSU (restricted stock unit) grant has nearly tripled since he joined the company.
I referenced the candidate above because he is the exact type of person who desperately wants to combine his personal passion with his profession. Yet to “sell” a candidate like the one previously mentioned, companies need to be prepared to accurately articulate the potential upside of the opportunity presented.
Why is the role at your company worth ditching six figures worth of unvested RSUs? Is it the equity, the growth of the company, the innovative technology you’re building? Understand the upside to improve the quality of candidates you can bring onto your team.
Trends in Geography
One thing I’m personally keeping close tabs on are the emerging work locations for the blockchain industry. In the United States, both San Francisco/Silicon Valley and New York City lead the way by a wide margin, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC. The majority of my clients have locations in either SF or NYC, with some covering both locations to maximize on-site exposure to talent.
However, with regulatory uncertainty for companies in the US, some have started to look for workplace locations elsewhere. Is this just a strong-arming scare tactic to force regulators to bend on favorable regulations at the risk of “losing innovation” to overseas jurisdictions or are these real threats to move abroad.
🔄 Over the Counter, Out of Sight – The Block
Over the Counter (OTC) trading has long-been one of the most profitable ventures for big players like Circle (via Circle Trade) and Cumberland. However, both firms have seen a recent exodus of staff, with turnover on Cumberland’s end earlier this summer and more recently, notable departures from Circle Trade.
It will be interesting to see if Circle Trade and the established OTC players continue their industry prominence, or give way to newer players.
🔥 Hot July, Hotter Job Opportunities
This July might have been the hottest month ever recorded, but Proof of Talent has even hotter job opportunities. Okay, maybe they’re not burning forests in Siberia or melting ice sheets in Greenland, but they’re great roles with companies in the blockchain industry that are hiring NOW. Adding to that, we have both technical AND non-technical positions!
If you’re interested in one of the opportunities below, or know someone who is, I’d love to hear from you (we pay a $1,000 referral bonus for successfully placed candidates!). Here’s a preview of some of the roles we have available right now👇
Lead Full Stack Engineer – NYC: +5 years experience with C++, Java or Go for a data/API company
Infrastructure Engineer – Boston: Seeking a Kubernetes ninja in Bahston
Lead Engineer – NYC: Management level engineer who still enjoys hands-on coding for an onchain data analytics company
Business Development Lead – NYC: First sales hire for a blockchain analytics data company
Technical Community Developer – NYC: Engineer interested in building out a 3rd party developer ecosystem
Product Marketing Manager – NYC: Experienced B2C Product Marketing Manager for a crypto exchange that launched in the US in 2019
If you’re interested in pursuing one of the roles above, you can submit your resume here!
Until next time
If you have any tips, stories or information regarding talent in the crypto industry, please send it over and we’re happy to evaluate and include it!
If you found this newsletter helpful or enlightening, we’d be grateful for you to pass it along to your friends!
Founder of Proof Of Talent – A blockchain & crypto focused recruiting firm