January 25, 2022

The New Get-Rich-Faster Job in Silicon Valley: Crypto Start-Ups

Google also started offering additional stock grants to employees in parts of the company that seemed ripe for poaching, these people said. Google declined to comment.

Unlike Meta, which has embraced crypto, Google has been reluctant to jump into the movement. But Google employees saw crypto’s opportunities firsthand when Surojit Chatterjee, a vice president, left the company last year to become the chief product officer of Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

When Coinbase went public in April, Mr. Chatterjee’s stake in the company soared to more than $600 million in value. He had worked there for just 14 months.

Such vast amounts of crypto wealth have created a fear of missing out, or FOMO, among many techies — especially those whose friends bought Bitcoin several years ago and now are hugely wealthy.

“Back in 2017 or so, people were mostly in it for the investment opportunity,” said Evan Cheng, co-founder and chief executive of Mysten Labs, a start-up focused on building blockchain infrastructure projects. “Now it’s people actually wanting to build stuff.”

Mr. Cheng, 50, left Facebook in September after six years there, most recently working on Novi, its crypto effort. Of Mysten Labs’ roughly 20 employees, most of whom are scattered across San Francisco, London, New York and elsewhere, roughly 80 percent come from tech companies like Facebook, Google and Netflix.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/20/technology/silicon-valley-cryptocurrency-start-ups.html

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