Line of Work – 4th Edition
Happy post-Labor Day week to our US readers! It’s time for the 4th 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’ve missed any of the previous editions, you can check them out here.
PS: If you’d like the next edition of Line of Work delivered directly to your inbox, you can subscribe here!
👩🎓 Back to Crypto School (to prove to dad I’m not a fool) – Coinbase
Higher education and cryptocurrency are a real combo, in case you didn’t know.
According to Coinbase, 56% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on crypto or blockchain — up from 42% in 2018, with twice as many students having taken a crypto or blockchain course than they did in 2018.
Interestingly, it looks like the thirst for crypto knowledge in the world of higher education has survived the bear market of 2018 with a renewed interest so far in 2019.
Distribution among top universities for crypto education is also interesting with 40% located in the Northeastern US, 30% in Silicon Valley and the other 30% abroad. One notable leader missing in the Top 10 is the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve been to a few of their events in the past and they have one heck of a student-led blockchain organization.
💰 Open-Source Developers Get Bankrolled – Binance_X
Solving the problem of open-source development funding is really hard. I spoke about this issue in the 3rd edition of Line of Work, when Square hired Matt Corallo to contribute to Bitcoin, but the hits keep coming for some projects. In the past two weeks, Coindesk has published two articles on the challenges surrounding funding open-source development, first with Litecoin, then with ZCash, both of whom have a difficult future outlook when it comes to paying team salaries.
In comes Clark Zent (CZ) to save the day… Actually, I meant Changpeng Zhao and Binance, with their Binance X Fellowship program.
We started this program to support talented developers and researchers in creating free and open-source software that would enable new innovations and businesses in the crypto economy. By joining this program, you have the freedom to work on open-source projects that have meaningful impact but may not necessarily have stand-alone commercial viability in the near-term.
Fellowship participants receive a monthly stipend to contribute to open-source software, with Binance receiving the benefits of community goodwill and, I’m assuming, the hope that some of these developers will contribute to Binance Chain or join their team eventually as full-time employees.
There are already a few developers in the fellowship program that are building tooling for Binance Chain, think MetaMask for Binance, etc. Long term, this feels like a smart move to me as a way to inject “decentralization” into Binance’s ecosystem, while also funding developers building tooling for projects like Grin, Raven, Ethereum and Bitcoin.
🏛️ What’s your policy on lobbyists in the lobby?
Despite what the market sentiment might occasionally tell you, the world of crypto is becoming big business. And what comes with big business? Why government lobbyists of course!
Over the past week, both Facebook and Ripple have made moves to support relationships on the hill in Washington DC. Facebook’s Libra will be receiving support from John Collins of FS Vector, formerly the Head of Policy at Coinbase.
Meanwhile, Ripple has hired Ron Hammond, a legislative assistant who sponsored the “Token Taxonomy Act” which aims to provide clear guidance for cryptocurrency regulation, namely, making them exempt from securities laws. One might assume it would be advantageous to hire the legislator responsible for drafting a bill on making some cryptocurrencies exempt from securities laws, when your company may or may not have a +$10 billion cryptocurrency it created teetering on unsteady regulatory guidance.
Who said software engineering roles were the only jobs available in the crypto industry?! You can now add government relations to the list as well!
PS: Someone tell Ripple board member Ben Lawsky to repeal the BitLicense please and thank you!
🎙️ Interview Tip – Stop, collaborate and listen (to podcasts)
In this edition of Line of Work, I’m introducing a new segment, “Interview Tips”, that will provide a quick nugget of info for future job interviews in the crypto industry.
Regardless of your background and how it relates to the company you’re interviewing for, one of the most important things you can do to increase your interview success rate is to be educated on the company you’re speaking with. Typically, I’d recommend thoroughly reviewing a company’s website, checking out their LinkedIn page, and reading through the corporate blog on the latest developments. Don’t just stop there though!
Before your next interview, search the podcast app for the company and/or founders name to see if you can find an interview (you can also do the same on YouTube as most podcasts are published there too).
You can bet almost any company worth a damn has made some type of podcast appearance and they’re typically fantastic to get a feel for what the company is like, where the founding team is aiming to go, etc. It’s a relatively easy way to study up on the company you’re interviewing with, even if your sitting on the subway or driving home from work!
🔥 Hot Opportunities with Proof of Talent
In case you don’t know, I run a recruiting firm, Proof of Talent, that works exclusively with companies in the Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain industry. We currently have over 15 unique roles open, with 8 clients in the US, so if you’re interested in working in the industry, feel free to send your resume our way.
Here’s a quick run down of the coolest, most unique positions we currently have available at Proof of Talent.
Head of Engineering – A blockchain data analytics company that just received a +$3M seed round is hiring for a Head of Engineering. The ideal candidate is a an engineering leader with experience in big data and analytics product development capable of driving engineering efforts forward. The role is on-site in NYC.
Head of Trading – An established, well-respected crypto fund based in Manhattan is hiring for a Head of Trading. The ideal candidate has at least 5 years of trading experience on Wall Street trading traditional asset classes, and has either recent experience trading cryptoassets professionally (or deep personal knowledge). The role is on-site in NYC.
SOFTWARE ENGINEERS – We’re hiring across the board for software engineers. Backend, frontend, fullstack, SRE, you name it, we got it. If you’re a software engineer with +2 years of experience, we likely have a gig for you in NYC, SF or Boston.
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