Executives from tech behemoths such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon are leaving to pursue careers in the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency.
Big Thing In Tech
Polygon and Circle, two blockchain platforms, have recently acquired top talent from Great Computing businesses, tempting them with the promise of working on the next “big thing” in tech – Web 3.0, or Web3.
Ryan Wyatt left YouTube earlier this month to join Polygon’s new gaming team.
Wyatt joined the Google-owned video site in 2014 to spearhead a drive into video game programming and more aggressively compete with Amazon’s Twitch platform.
“I was the first person there when I started at YouTube Gaming about eight years ago,” Wyatt told CNBC in an interview. “We didn’t have a team,” says Wyatt.
“Look at this possibility in a similar light,” he added, calling the current stage of blockchain development “early” and “interesting.”
Web3’s excitement has drawn some of the industry’s best thinkers. The Web3 movement advocates reorganising the internet in such a way that major online services are migrated to decentralised technologies such as blockchain.
Sherice Torres, the former chief marketing officer of Facebook’s crypto and payments company, Novi, is among the Silicon Valley elite who has jumped ship to crypto. Circle hired her in January of this year.
Pravjit Tiwana, a former Amazon cloud executive, has joined cryptocurrency exchange Gemini as its chief technology officer.
A Potentially Lucrative Career Move
According to data from Blind, a social network for tech professionals, bitcoin exchange Coinbase offers as much as $900,000 a year for software engineers.
Investment into crypto companies has surged, meaning they’ve got much more cash to spare on lucrative compensation packages for big hires.
Blockchain start-ups raised a record $25 billion in venture capital last year, according to CB Insight figures.
Stock option systems are also common in tech start-ups, which allow employees to own a portion of the company.
With private crypto company valuations skyrocketing, early employees may be in line for a large reward if the company is acquired or goes public.
And the tendency isn’t limited to the United States.
Crypto businesses are also targeting talent from Facebook, Amazon, and Apple in the United Kingdom and Ireland, according to recruitment agency Hays.
“We expect the market for IT talent across all levels to grow even more competitive as more crypto/Web3 companies emerge,”
James Hallahan, director of Hays’ technology division in the United Kingdom and Ireland, told CNBC.