Silicon Valley talent goes for crypto jobs

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Investor, Chris Burniske and AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant have been tweeting about how “Blockchains are now sucking in top-tier Silicon Valley tech talent faster than any boom since the Internet.” Tinder investor Jeff Morriss Jnr, agrees with them and even started Chapter One, a venture to back crypto projects he finds exciting.

As Coindesk reports, people are leaving jobs “not just at notable tech companies but at the most notable ones,” being FANGS, or Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. Here are five who have escaped FANGS!

Kahina van Dyke

Now Ripples senior vice-president, spent years focused on payments at Facebook, Mastercard and Citibank. In June 2018, she left for Ripple, saying “There is a reason you have only a handful of major money transfer operators in the world today. Without question, cross-border transactions are one of the most complex and multifaceted problems in payments.”

Evgeny Kuzakov

Former Facebook and Google employee, Kuzakov is now a software engineer at Near Protocol, which aims to bring blockchain to low-end devices by taking advantage of sharding. He said: “I’ve worked on backend infrastructure at Google, so I know how to build distributed systems. I understand security and privacy of large scale projects to make sure users are in the best interest of the overall system.”

Leo Chen

Chen left Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Seattle-giant’s cloud service to start Harmony, an upcoming consensus platform designed for very high throughput. He said: “I, myself, am also pretty interested in building the infrastructure and distributed systems. I felt blockchain is the technology I am interested in and I can contribute to.”

Alex Kotharai

Kotharai is a co-founder of Harmony with Chen. He left Apple in June after working there for nearly three years. As a machine learning specialist, he had been working on Apple’s voice assistant, Siri. He said: “I had become convinced that blockchain would transform the world. To unleash all the usefulness of the data being created in the world, access to data should be democratized and decentralized.”

Alex Feinberg

Feinberg started at Google in 2011, serving in a number of roles on the business side before leaving in March, working at the time on Google Search and Google Assistant. Now he’s Director of Business Development at OKCoin. He said: “I thought to myself, ‘The people with whom I share a similar world view outside of Google are doing much better financially than the people with whom I do not at Google, so let’s see where this takes me.’”

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