Crypto office hours — March 2018

Linda Xie
Linda Xie
Mar 23, 2018 · 3 min read

I started scheduling weekly 1:1 calls with women who were interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies. I received hundreds of inbound requests after my tweet.

It was exciting to see the amount of interest. Since I couldn’t connect with everyone, I’m sharing the themes from the calls each month.


Investing

Q: Where should I go to buy cryptocurrencies?

A: I recommend my friends and family to start with Coinbase. It’s easy to link up a payment method and start purchasing cryptocurrencies. You’ll need to be careful about how you store them. I recommend moving the coins off to a hardware wallet like a Ledger or Trezor. If you don’t feel comfortable with that then I suggest keeping it in Coinbase Vault along with having a strong password and two-factor authentication.

Q: Can I buy part of a bitcoin?

Yes! Bitcoin is divisible to 8 decimal places so you can always buy a fraction.

Q: There’s so much noise in the space. How do you filter out for good investments?

I rely heavily on my network to find good projects. You can build yours up by going to your local meetups and conferences. A quick filter to see if an event is good is to check if the speakers are pitching a token sale. If that’s the case, generally you want to stay away. The meetup should be focused on education and technology. The quality of the speakers can reflect the quality of the audience and thus people you end up meeting. I also recommend Token Daily and the Token Economy newsletter to filter out some of the industry noise.

Industry trends

Q: What is the difference between a centralized and decentralized exchange? How do you see this space evolving?

A: One of the main differences is centralized exchanges store cryptocurrencies on behalf of their users. This makes them prone to getting hacked, running away with user funds, getting shut down, etc. Decentralized exchanges allow users to trade cryptocurrencies without having the exchange in control of funds. The tradeoff is the user will have to store their own cryptocurrencies.

I think that centralized exchanges and decentralized will coexist. Centralized exchanges provide the easy fiat on-ramps, caters to users who don’t want to store their own funds, and act as a legally accountable entity for institutions that need this. Grey area centralized exchanges that users and regulators don’t trust will have a hard time competing with both regulated centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges.

Career

Q: Where should I start if I want to get a job in the blockchain industry?

You should first narrow down if you want to join a larger company in the space like Coinbase and ConsenSys or a newer crypto project. You can always go directly to their careers page and apply there (that’s what I did to join Coinbase). My friend Eric Meltzer also created Proof of Work Common App where you can apply to many top blockchain projects at once.

Q: How can I join the blockchain industry as a non-developer?

There are many opportunities for non-developers especially at the larger companies like roles in compliance, legal, finance, operations, business development, product management, etc. At the newer crypto projects I know many of them are hiring for roles like business development and community management. You can go to the careers page of a project you like or follow them on social media to see what they are hiring for.

Q: I’m a college student. Where are the best places to look for an internship?

It depends on what you are looking to get out of the internship. If you want plenty of mentorship I suggest joining a larger company so there are more senior colleagues available to mentor. In this case they will likely have internship opportunities posted on their careers page. If you’re looking to hit the ground running and don’t need as much mentorship I would consider joining a smaller startup. If there’s nothing on the careers page about an internship you can always try emailing the team directly. Just remember that the good projects get inundated with requests so make sure you can separate yourself and showcase why you are passionate about that specific project.


Hope this was helpful! Stay tuned for next month’s highlights.

Written by

Linda Xie

Co-founder @ScalarCapital. Previously Product Manager @Coinbase. Advisor @0xProject.

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