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The Goldman Sachs bankers quitting for crypto aren't as welcome in 2024

Have the crypto lovers still at banks missed the train?

In previous bull cycles, crypto companies were recruiting staff from a wide variety of industries, and bankers were jumping ship. In 2024, things have changed; the talent market is more robust... and prior crypto experience is more essential.

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Michael Shlayen, founder of Blockchain Headhunter, said the industry has seen a "clear shift in employers expecting candidates to be coming in from the crypto industry and having crypto experience."  While companies had to be flexible about specific crypto experience in the past, Shlayen said crypto now consists of "probably hundreds of thousands of people," covering "most of the functions and skillsets" any crypto business would need.

Social media data suggests Coinbase, for example, has hired nearly around 500+ people in the past year. Of those, less than 40 have experience at a bulge bracket investment bank.

What if you've never worked in crypto before? It's not impossible to break into the space . In March, Coinbase hired Philip Temitayo as chief risk officer for the UK. He was an SVP at Citi without prior crypto experience. Lily Vy Pham, an AVP at Citi, also joined Coinbase's London office working on international derivatives risk. Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith called the firm's London headcount "static"; perhaps roles in the English capital are just harder to fill with crypto natives.

There can be exceptions. Shlayen says "specific technologies, programming languages or very particular skills" can still be in demand regardless of industry. No, that doesn't mean Rust or Solidity, there are plenty of those engineers with crypto experience. Rust, in particular, had an "influx of developers in the previous cycle." These skills can be very, very specific; low-latency Java development using sequencer framework is popular in the crypto space, and developers able to implement it are exceptionally rare.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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