Joining a bitcoin exchange startup - what is career path ? - Seedly
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Kelly Trinh

Asked on 24 Nov 2019

Joining a bitcoin exchange startup - what is career path ?

At the recent FinTech festival, had a nice chat with CEO building up a bitcoin exchange in Singapore and got me wondering how he does recruitment. For the folks just graduating in the Seedly community, what is the considerations on career path and what learnings would be expected from such a high risk job compared to the more standard job in a DBS/PWC etc...

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Victor Tan
Victor Tan, Marketing at Crypto.com
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 19 Dec 2019

Hi Kelly,

I'm a (relatively) fresh grad here in a Crypto exchange startup. Gonna try to answer your question in 3 parts.

1. Being in a startup

This will require you to learn fast and be comfortable with working in a role that requires you to be versatile and resourceful as there much less structure compared to a corporate. You also (probably) get paid less, but you make it up from employee benefits like casualwear and flexible work time and ESOP - as mentioned by Adrian (you get shares/tokens). #startuplyfe

2. The job role

The second part is you didn't specify what job role you are looking for - is it tech or business? Regardless of which, you will probably need to have some experience in that function within the Fintech industry - https://blog.seedly.sg/singapore-fintech-landscape/.

Myself, I was lucky to get an internship at a Fintech and I subsequently converted to full time. With my experience in my first job, I managed to get my current job. My advice if you're still a student is to do as many internships within the industry as you can.

3. Crypto

Crypto is still in the adoption phase for sure and I personally think it's an exciting space to look out for. For me, I think it's about choosing the right company. Make sure you do all the research on the company before joining - the product, its users, the ICO and funding rounds - these will definitely help you in your decision making.

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Adrian Goh Jun Wei
Adrian Goh Jun Wei, Product at Nodeflair
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 24 Nov 2019

Hey Kelly, can't really comment much without understanding the different factors like company size and the type of role!

However, I can share that generlly when you are comparing between a career in a strtup and more stable MNC like the one you mentioned, the main few differences are

  • Career progression: Startup tends to have less progression (or rather, unstructured progression) especially so if they are a fairly early/young. MNCs have well-structured plans that after XX years, you will proceed to a certain position etc.

  • Learnings-wise, you tend to be able to learn have a wider view of things and become kinda a Jack of all trades. In MNCs, you are mostly likely going to specialised in one area and be really good at it. (This isn't really a bad thing though)

I would say that althought most startups are more risky in general, the degree of risk varies a lot from one to another, depending on factors like the size of the startup, funding, revenue and industry. However, given the volatility of cryptocurrencies and it being in the early phase, I would have to agree that it's definitely going to be riskier. This is also why most startups compensate their employees in terms of ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan) that are way more lucrative than that of a MNC!

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Hegion
Hegion, A Human Bot at Hegion.com
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 12 Feb 2020

As per many startups in other industries, there are numerous roles that are available in a Bitcoin/Crypto Exchange. We will simplify the terms for your reference:

  1. Sales

  2. Design

  3. Programming

  4. Admin

  5. Operations

  6. Events

  7. Marketing & PR

  8. Coffee Boy/Girl/Binary Intern

  9. Ambassador

  10. Management

and the list goes on, depending on the team size of the Bitcoin Exchange that you will be joining.

The risk of joining a Crypto Startup include, but not limited to:

  • Uncertainty

  • Potentially Long hours of work

  • Likely sudden salary structure changes (happens to bonuses too)

  • High likelihood of Performing tasks beyond your job scope

These apply to all startups actually, not just Crypto/Blockchain Startups.

Meanwhile, the Perks include, but not limited to:

  • Often Young and Vibrant Team

  • More flexibility in the way you work

  • Good Prospects as the first batch of employees

  • Learn to be Independent and a Self-Starter

  • Flexible requirements for Attire

  • More interaction opportunities with your higher ups (likely to work next to him/her)

And the list goes on.

DBS/PWC are way too 'corporate', with many departments. However, to each of its own, there are perks and downsides working in a corporate environment too. However, its likely that you will not get to enjoy the Perks of working in a Startup in DBS/PWC/UOB, etc..​​​

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Exposure to the real world. No point working in a small confined work environment where my learning is limited.

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