Crypto job hunters should build personal brands and be ‘obsessed with web3’

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Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

This month was filled with announcements from major crypto firms that were laying off employees. Of course, this “trend” is not limited to this industry — there’s a broader resizing of tech workforces: Salesforce, Amazon, Meta, Alphabet and Microsoft have all conducted layoffs in recent weeks.

So, this week I wrote two deep-dive articles in an attempt to help those who were laid off (perhaps you, dear reader) stand out and find a new job in this unforgiving market. We spoke to a number of recruiters, talent heads and founders — who told us the qualities they’re looking for in candidates and what the interview-to-hire process is like.

The first piece of advice? “Be obsessed with web3,” Nate Holiday, co-founder, president and CEO at Space and Time, shared with TechCrunch. “If you don’t eat, sleep and breathe web3, this is probably not the industry for you.”

Candidates can also stand out by building a personal portfolio with open source projects, contributing to DAOs, taking on community ambassador roles or piping up in Discord conversations, Aleksi Loytynoja, co-founder and CEO of “proof-of-talent” hiring platform Kleoverse, said to TechCrunch. Publishing work publicly and building a social media presence helps candidates find new opportunities, he added.

More details below.

This week in web3

Laid off from your crypto job? Here’s what founders are looking for in new talent (TC+)

As mentioned above, layoffs continue to spread across the crypto job market amid macroeconomic volatility and bearish market sentiments, but there are still plenty of startups looking to hire fresh talent. “Now is the perfect time to hone your skills and build products to be ready for it,” Loytynoja said. “For laid-off individuals in particular, the beauty of web3 is that there are a lot of working and contribution opportunities available that help you build expertise and get exposure within the organizations you want to join.”

Crypto recruiters see opportunity to snatch up talent amid Big Tech layoffs (TC+)

As big players drop talent back into the pool, this is a good opportunity for startups to snatch them up, according to recruiters. Startups are looking for candidates who demonstrate high ownership, initiative, autonomy and accountability, Zack Skelly, head of talent at crypto-focused investment firm Dragonfly, said to TechCrunch. “A ‘no task too big or too small’ mentality.” But for people looking to pivot into crypto, it’s not an easy time, Dan Eskow, founder of web3 talent agency Up Top, said to TechCrunch. “I won’t sugarcoat it…those who really want to pursue it, though, should build out their personal brands,” Eskow added.

Web3 gaming needs to focus on sustainable economies, Immutable co-founder says (TC+)

Although the crypto gaming industry remains below its 2021 peaks, it still pulled in substantial venture funding last year. But looking to the future, the subsector may look outside of tokenomics to grow and sustain itself for the long haul. “We are less interested in exploitative primary sales or cash grabs but we’re more interested in how people build long-term economies and games where a percentage of players are trading in the economy every day,” Robbie Ferguson, co-founder and president at Immutable, said to TechCrunch.

Injective launches $150M ecosystem fund to accelerate interoperable infra and DeFi adoption

Injective, a layer-1 blockchain focused on building financial applications, has launched a $150 million fund ecosystem initiative, the platform’s CEO and co-founder, Eric Chen, told TechCrunch. Its new ecosystem fund is backed by previous investors like Pantera and Jump as well as other web3 players, including Kraken Ventures, KuCoin Ventures, Delphi Labs, Flow Traders, Gate Labs and IDG Capital. The $150 million was pooled capital from the consortium and will be deployed over “a few years,” Chen said.

DCG’s crypto-lending subsidiary Genesis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Genesis Global Trading, a subsidiary of the crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) court. Genesis Global Holdco and two of its lending business subsidiaries, Genesis Global Capital and Genesis Asia Pacific, filed voluntary petitions under the bankruptcy code for SDNY, its press release stated. “Genesis’s other subsidiaries involved in the derivatives and spot trading and custody businesses and Genesis Global Trading are not included in the filing and continue client trading operations,” it added.

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn talked with Mo Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of the layer-1 blockchain Aptos. Shaikh is a three-time founder with over a decade of experience in financial services as well as blockchain technology and crypto. He also worked on blockchain strategic partnerships for Novi (Facebook’s wallet) and was the strategy director at ConsenSys.

Last year was huge for Aptos — as the blockchain launched publicly and raised about $400 million in funding, amid a bear market. The new layer-1 got backing from major investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Circle Ventures and the now-defunct FTX Ventures, to name a few. And even though the market is down, its token, APT, has skyrocketed over 400% year-to-date, according to CoinMarketCap data. Looking forward, Aptos plans to focus on making 2023 its year of “intention,” Shaikh said.

We also discussed:

  • What it’s like to launch in a bear market
  • Builders on the blockchain
  • Business development plans for 2023
  • Onboarding people not in the space
  • Future of interoperability and the multichain world

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. QuickNode raises $60 million at $800 million valuation to become the “AWS or Azure of blockchain”
  2. Ex-FTX US president’s crypto-trading infra startup Architect raises $5 million from Coinbase and others
  3. Spatial Labs raises $10 million to create products and shopping experiences using augmented reality
  4. Blockchain sharding startup Calimero Network closes $8.5 million round
  5. Asset Reality raises $4.91 million to build a crypto asset recovery solution

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.