Stock Market what it takes to get hired at crypto 4x3

From left to right: Genesis Trading’s Leon Marshall, TD Ameritrade’s Sunayna Tuteja, and Galaxy Digital’s Veronica Baird.

TD Ameritrade; Galaxy Digital; Genesis Global Capital; Grayscale; Skye Gould/Insider

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  • Crypto trading firms are hiring at a fast clip, and they’re not only looking for candidates with finance backgrounds.
  • Insider spoke with seven execs at firms like Grayscale, TD Ameritrade, and Galaxy to understand what they are looking for. 
  • Sunayna Tuteja, head of digital assets at TD Ameritrade, said candidates should be “relentless” and hone their quant skills.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There are a wealth of job opportunities in the world of trading cryptocurrency.

Indeed, dealing in the emerging asset class provides a host of employment opportunities for both finance industry veterans and newcomers alike, insiders say. It’s little wonder why it’s been attracting increasing attention of late: Cryptocurrencies have been on a wild ride.

The price of Bitcoin, the most widely traded cryptocurrency, surpassed the $40,000 in early January, before losing a bit of its heat as the month unfolded. As of Monday afternoon, its price has dropped to around $34,000. Still, that’s up more than 330% since the beginning of 2020 thanks to wider adoption from traditional firms, such as PayPal, and fears over inflation of fiat currencies in the wake of the pandemic. 

Still, that hasn’t slowed mainstream investors interest. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently authorized two of its funds to invest in bitcoin futures, according to SEC filings.  

And while Bitcoin has the largest market cap of any digital currency, other coins have also gained popularity among traditional players. The CME Group plans to roll out futures contracts this year tied to Ethereum, the industry’s second largest coin by market cap. 

As a result, general interest for jobs in trading crypto remains high from those betting that they’ll find lucrative career prospects by pursuing a role working with currencies of the future.

And crypto jobs aren’t just for Bitcoin miners with whiz computing skills. Insiders at companies like Grayscale Investments and Galaxy Digital say that the cryptocurrency industry is looking for people with good judgment and the ability to assess and manage risk. Ultimately, it’s an industry seeking people with a collection of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

See more: Cryptocurrency salaries revealed: From $60,000 to $400,000, here’s how much you could earn working in cryptocurrency

It’s also an industry that has become all the more lucrative as cryptocurrencies have grown in stature and price. Insider previously reported roles in cryptocurrency, either at startups or established firms, can pay as high as $400,000, according to an analysis of data from the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

Here’s the especially good news: They’re hiring.

Companies told Insider that they’re increasing their headcounts, with Grayscale saying it plans to double its workforce in 2021, and Galaxy noting that it will hire its first-ever analyst class starting later this year, creating 10 available positions. Firms are looking to recruit for roles in areas that range from sales and trading to engineering and marketing. 

The bottom line is that landing a job in cryptocurrency has never looked quite so appealing. We asked seven industry insiders from top firms to spell out the job prep and interview tips you need to know to stand out from the crowd.

Stock Market Grayscale’s Michael Sonnenshein said candidates need to be ready to test their “curiosity” and “confidence” in cryptocurrencies.

Stock Market Michael Sonnenshein Michael Sonnenshein is the CEO of Grayscale Investments.

Grayscale Investments

Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, began 2020 with $2 billion in assets under management and ended it with $20 billion in AUM, a remarkable increase and a testament to the surge in the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin this year.

Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s CEO, said the firm doubled the size of its team in 2020 and is planning on doing the same in 2021. 

Grayscale serves institutional investors, family offices, and some private investors, offering access to cryptocurrency markets via multiple different funds. 

But Sonnenshein, who joined the firm in 2014 after working at Barclays and JPMorgan, said that the development of cryptocurrencies is still in its early phase. Job seekers have to be curious and comfortable with risk. An open mind and adaptability are also key requirements that the firm looks for when recruiting new employees given the pace of change in the world of digital currencies.

“People need to be kind of testing their own curiosity as well as their confidence in digital currencies as a whole. It is early days for the development of this asset class and we’re exceedingly excited about its prospects that ultimately are where we think it can go,” Sonnenshein said.

See more: The world’s largest digital currency asset manager took in $1 billion in new investment in the third quarter. Here’s why investors are feeling so bullish about bitcoin and ethereum.

Grayscale, based in New York, is one part of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group. DCG investments in the space include digital-currency exchange Coinbase and crypto news site Coindesk.

The firm is currently actively recruiting for roles in digital marketing and social media, according to Linkedin

Employees at the asset manager are “a tight-knit group,” Sonnenshein said. When interviewing, Grayscale prioritizes assessing how a candidate’s personality meshes with that of the broader team. But job-seekers can also expect to complete case studies that reveal how they might approach solving the problems they’d face in a crypto-focused role.

Sonnenshein said that the goal of the case studies is to “see how someone thinks versus whether product is right or wrong. It’s more what their process is and trying to understand how they approach and kind of tackle problems.”

Stock Market Galaxy Digital’s Veronica Baird said that candidates shouldn’t be afraid to embrace their non-traditional backgrounds.

Stock Market Veronica Baird Veronica Baird is the head of human resources at Galaxy Digital.

Galaxy Digital

Galaxy Digital, founded and run by former Fortress partner and president Mike Novogratz, is an investment management firm that deals in an array of crypto- and blockchain-related offerings. The company has four key business lines including trading, asset management, investment banking, and principal investments.

Galaxy aims to position itself as “the bridge between the institutional and the crypto world,” Veronica Baird, the firm’s director of human resources, told Insider.

That means that the firm is comfortable hiring and promoting talent who have both prior cryptocurrency experience or experience from different financial services sectors, she said.

“We’ve had interns and analysts who have fallen in love with crypto and have decided to forego the traditional four-year college program and just get right into hands-on work experience and learn as much as they can about this field,” she said. “There’s room for people who have that traditional background … and also that non-traditional background.”

Getting hired at Galaxy also doesn’t depend on studying engineering, computer science, or math in college — or even going to college at all.

Candidates can thrive at Galaxy even if they come from non-traditional backgrounds, she explained.

“Sometimes one of our businesses might be looking for someone who didn’t necessarily go to college, or didn’t necessarily major in one of the majors that you would traditionally think would fit into a financial institution,” Baird said.

As far as hard skills to show off, some crypto roles in industries like investment-banking or asset management might benefit from strong proficiency with tools like PowerPoint or Excel, Baird said, but other positions in areas like cryptocurrency mining require their own unique set of knowledge. 

“There’s opportunities to do things that don’t have you tied to an Excel spreadsheet or financial modeling or putting together a presentation,” she said.

The firm told Insider that it grew from 80 to a total 115 full-time employees in 2020 through its acquisitions of Draw Bridge Lending, a lender that issues loans secured by cryptocurrency, and Blue Fire Capital, a crypto-focused trading firm.

Going forward, Galaxy expects the growth to continue by an additional 40%, with primary areas including client-facing personnel in its sales, advisory, and asset management businesses, a Galaxy spokesperson said. What’s more, the firm is planning to bring on its first analyst class with 10 full-time analyst positions.

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