Tech talent migrates to Web3 as big companies face layoffs
As inflation continues to rise, coupled with a looming recession, many tech companies are having to cut some of their staff. To put this into perspective, Data from Layoffs.fyi revealed that more than 700 tech startups were laid off this year, affecting at least 93,519 employees worldwide. It has also been reported that tech giants like Google, Netflix and Apple are suffering massive job cuts.
While many of these layoffs are likely due to an economic downturn, it has resulted in an overwhelming influx of talent into start-up Web3 companies. For example, Andrew Masanto, a serial entrepreneur who has founded several startups, told Cointelegraph that he recently launched Nillion, a decentralized computing startup, to help ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of Web3 platforms.
Although Nillion is still in its infancy, the technological innovation behind the company has already proven to be attractive. Since the company was founded in October this year, top talent from companies including Nike, Indiegogo, and Coinbase have joined the growing startup.
For example, Slava Rubin, founder of crowdfunding website Indiegogo, told Cointelegraph that he recently joined Nillion as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer because of the opportunity to join a startup with an innovative business model.
“The technology behind Nillion is extremely innovative, as it focuses on advancing Secure Multi-Party Computing (MPC). MPC is known to be slow and unable to work for certain use cases. The risk of failure does not concern me. not here because it’s a huge opportunity to solve this problem,” he said.
The notion of building technology to advance the MPC also attracted Lindsay Danas Cohen to Nillion. Cohen previously served as associate general counsel at Coinbase before joining Nillion this year as the company’s general counsel.
Although Coinbase announced in June that it was reducing its workforce 18%, Cohen explained in a recent blog post that she left Coinbase to join Nillion because of the opportunity to help advance privacy and data sharing through MPC. “That would be true zero-to-one innovation,” she wrote.
As the crypto industry continues to facing a bear marketit is clear that the projects built during this period are seen as an exciting opportunity. “I built Indiegogo during the 2008 bear market, and I think we’ll see the same thing in that market. In about three to five years, we’ll see some very strong companies emerge that can use capital efficiently,” he said. notice Rubin.
Indeed, well-funded Web3 companies continue to hire, while big tech companies face layoffs and hiring freezes. Sébastien Borget, co-founder and managing director of The sandbox, told Cointelegraph that the popular metaverse platform currently has a total of 103 job postings. “The excitement of working at the front row of Web3 is great, and we appreciate that interest in our vacancies,” he said.
According to Borget, The Sandbox grew to 404 employees this year, nearly doubling in size from its 208 employees it had in December 2021. Borget added that The Sandbox’s virtual real estate known as “LANDs” is now worth over $1 billion in total market capitalization.
Additionally, as Web3 companies continue to attract new and established talent, younger job seekers seem to be showing a greater desire to learn the skills needed to join these companies.
Priyanka Mathikshara Mathialagan, president of the Stanford Blockchain Club, told Cointelegraph that she has seen an increasing number of Stanford undergraduates taking blockchain-focused courses to prepare for a career after graduation. their degree.
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“This year, we had more students enrolled in Professor Dan Boneh’s cryptography course than students enrolled in traditional computer science courses,” she noted.
Despite the bear market, Mathialagan also believes that significant improvements have been made within the Web3 space, which translates into a more positive outlook towards the sector. For example, she mentioned that the Ethereum merger that took place on September 15 helped ensure a more energy-efficient platform, creating appeal for students who want to leverage the Ethereum network for Web3 projects. Mathialagan added that although a lot of theoretical research has been done for years in areas such as computer science, Ph.D. students are considering Web3 because of new opportunities for advancement. She says:
“The mathematics used in theoretical computer science and cryptography is similar to the mathematics needed to advance zero-knowledge proof-based applications. There is now an industry that wants to pay for a Ph.D. students for their research and put these results to good use. For example, there is a high demand for distributed systems engineers because every blockchain is actually a distributed system. These are the people who can design consensus algorithms and new architectures for scalable and secure blockchains.
That appears to be the case, as Masanto said Nillion has hired 10 engineers in the past six months. Borget added that The Sandbox currently hires 17 engineers, as well as game designers, architects, and others who can support building brands in the corporate metaverse.
While it should be noted that Web3 companies are actively hiring, a number of concerns remain. For example, although companies remain focused on construction during a bear market, fundraising can be problematic.
Considering this, it is important to point out that Nillion is currently started by its founding team. A spokesperson for Delphi Digital, a crypto-focused research firm, also told Cointelegraph that while the company is currently hiring across the board, no funds have been raised.
“We’ve been completely primed so far.” While daunting, running a business based on personal finances or operating income can be a concern for job seekers. For example, Mathialagan noted that college students starting a career in Web3 want assurance that the company will be around in two to three years.
Jessica Walker, CMO of Fluid Finance – a fintech company focused on the banking revolution with blockchain – further told Cointelegraph that it’s a waiting game to see which companies have communities. and the strongest teams able to weather the crypto winter, adding:
“It’s important for organizations to build partnerships and roll out products, while being able to budget their overhead during this time.”
Additionally, Mathialagan thinks it’s difficult for students, as well as individuals in the Web2 industry, to connect with Web3 businesses. For example, while companies like Nillion have brought in people from organizations like Coinbase, Indiegogo, and Nike, Masanto shared that he already knew a handful of those people before hiring.
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Walker also noted that due to the bear market, recruiters need to pay extra attention to detail when onboarding new team members. “Some uncertainty comes from new hires about the security of their role, especially during a bear market. At Fluid, we often try to hire from our community first,” she said.
Although strategic, Mathialagan mentioned that the Stanford Blockchain Club is compiling a list of job postings to help students better connect with Web3 companies as new hires take place: “For students, hiring remains the biggest problem, even beyond the security issues faced by Web3 companies today. .”
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