Are People Leaving Their Tech Jobs for Web3?

Big tech is losing some top talent to blockchain companies


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • By combining technology and ideology, Web3 is attracting big tech’s top talent
  • 94% of crypto investors are Gen Z and Millennials, and many believe that Web3 will play a significant role in their future

Just as Big Tech companies lured top talent away from Wall Street in the early 2000s, today’s Web3 companies are catching the attention of senior executives in the tech industry. 

Google’s former vice president, Surojit Chatterjee, now serves as Coinbase’s chief product officer. Amazon’s Pravjit Tiwana left his position as general manager of AWS Edge Services to become the chief technology officer at Gemini. Lyft’s former chief financial officer, Brian Roberts, joined non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea, and the former head of gaming at YouTube now leads Polygon Studios as its CEO.

Loading Tweet..

Perhaps the most well-known of them all is Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, who has now stepped down from his position as the company’s CEO to focus on his crypto-oriented payments company, Block (formerly known as Square).

Senior executives are not the only ones moving into the space. Studies reveal that 94% of crypto investors are Gen Z or Millennials, a demographic that skews toward a view of cryptocurrency as a retirement asset and perhaps a career option. 

“The most attractive thing about working for a crypto company is obviously the opportunity to work on the forefront of bleeding-edge [innovation]. We have heard many times before that the space right now is akin to what the internet was in the late 1990s or early 2000s,” Duy Cao, senior consultant at CryptoRecruit told Blockworks. “A lot of us were too young back then to capitalize on the opportunity or to meaningfully contribute to an exciting space.”

“Crypto is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity industry of our generation,” Cao said.  

Although Web3 can appear to be an exciting area to explore, the crypto market is also known to be quite volatile. Recent inflation rises and stock market downturns have led the bitcoin and ether market caps to decline by over 50% over the past six months. TerraUSD’s crash further crushed the market, wiping off $200 billion in just a day. 

“Recruiting has seemed to slow down a little bit. We don’t get as many incoming leads as say six months ago,” Cao said, adding that despite this, “some of the best projects are built during bear markets, whilst the hot air projects tend to disappear.”

The market downturn has not yet deterred venture capitalists from investing in the space. Andreessen Horowitz last week went ahead with the previously planned launch of its $4.5 billion mega fund, targeting Web3 startups from decentralized finance (DeFi) and social media to gaming and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), among others.

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of cryptocurrency exchange company Binance, also announced its plans to allocate $500 million to blockchain projects in incubation, early-stage and late-stage growth startups. 

Compared to the 2017-18 ICO craze, Cao said, “this time around it’s very different — there is more clarity around regulatory and compliance procedures, more institutional adoption and most importantly, there is a lot more money coming in from VCs.”

As a result, Web2 veterans are flocking to an industry in need of their experience and guidance, he said.

Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your email every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.

Want alpha sent directly to your inbox? Get degen trade ideas, governance updates, token performance, can’t-miss tweets and more from Blockworks Research’s Daily Debrief.

Can’t wait? Get our news the fastest way possible. Join us on Telegram and follow us on Google News.


upcoming event

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Digital Asset Summit (DAS) is returning March 2024. This year’s event will be held in our nation’s capital, where industry leaders, policymakers, and institutional experts will come together to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency. […]

upcoming event

MON - WED, SEPT. 11 - 13, 2023

2022 was a meme.Skeptics danced, believers believed.Eventually, newcomers turned away, drained of liquidity and hope.Now, the tide is shifting and it’s time to rebuild. Permissionless II is the brainchild of Blockworks and Bankless. It’s not just a conference, but a call […]

recent research

Cosmos Hub: ATOM Economic Zone


Replicated Security, the Hub’s Validation-as-a-Service offering that went live in March, is the first step in bringing value accrual to ATOM stakers.



Bitcoin price predictions are meaningless, so let’s expend our prediction energy on something that actually matters


A new complaint against Elon Musk and Tesla alleges that Musk manipulated both bitcoin and dogecoin


Kenya’s central bank doesn’t seem enamored by the idea of a CBDC but hasn’t slammed the door shut yet


Both Ethereum and Solana have enjoyed vibrant DeFi environments, but this has not yet been the case for Cosmos


As Japan takes important step forward on stablecoins, industry participants say, proposed US laws around such crypto assets remain in flux


Stablecoins offer global financial access and on-chain transactions without limitations, while FedNow falls short in terms of utility, global reach and inclusivity