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How Crypto Is Conquering Traditional Markets (While Building New Ones)

Posted September 28, 2023

Why reinvent the wheel?

After promising to be the most transformative tech in a decade, crypto seems to have lost a bit of its edge lately.

Blame some of that on a down economy, blame even more on an uncertain regulatory climate. Either way, there’s a distinct impression that the crypto engine isn’t running quite as hot as it used to.

But take a closer look under the hood, and all is not as it seems.

Crypto innovation hasn’t slowed down, as much as it has matured. Two main trends within the tech look set to drive the next wave of applications forward – and possibly set the stage for the next bull market.

Here we go.

Why reinvent the wheel?

The old marketing adage goes that if you want to know what will sell in a particular market, look at what people are buying. With crypto, entirely new markets have emerged – but old ones are also making the jump to adapt crypto and web3 principles.

We’re seeing moves in two major areas recently – one older sector that’s making big waves with blockchain tech, and one cutting-edge tech that’s coming to prominence.

Social media crypto apps

A couple years ago, the big traditional vs. crypto crossover was gaming. Axie Infinity and others dominated the discussion, and the market, drawing millions in TVL.

Crypto gaming isn’t dead, but the downturn exposed the inherent weakness of Axie’s model. In the meantime, there’s a new market that’s drawing attention: crypto social media. 

The big name to remember is Friend.Tech. Combination marketplace and social media app, Friend.Tech allows users to “buy” access to well-known influencers. The more followers an influencer has, the greater the price of new followers, thanks to a dynamic, bond-based pricing system.

Friend.Tech launched in August 2023 and immediately caught fire. Then it dived. Then it caught fire again. Then crashed again, then grew once more.

That’s a wild ride for a social media app that’s only 2 months old. But Friend.Tech is part of a rapidly-growing segment of social token-driven platforms. The idea has been around for a while, but Friend.Tech was the first to capture the imagination (and participation) of a broader audience.

The result? $14.4 million in revenue for users and influencers, on an app that’s still in beta! The app boasts a cumulative $294 million in trading volume since launch. And the competition is taking note, with imitators like Post.Tech and Words.Tech. The former notched its own victory, with over 60,000 cumulative active users in under a month.

The social media-to-web3 push comes on the back of increasing censorship concerns with current major social media titans. X (formerly Twitter) has its own issues, and OnlyFans once famously tried to ban porn, forcing a major outcry (and quick reversal).

Will Friend.Tech prove to be the model that works for everyone? It’s too early to tell, but the decision to take proven markets (social media) and integrate them with web3 tech may yet prove to be the right call.

It’s also worth noting that many of these social token-driven platforms are built on a diversity of platforms, including Solana and Arbitrum.

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Pushing the frontier

But the crypto economy isn’t just about taking existing models and reworking them. The push to create something new, and to develop the tech as far as possible, is very much alive even in a tough market.

So let’s look at zk proofs.

The idea for zero-knowledge proofs is nothing new – the principle was first proposed back in 1985.

But the advent of technology that relies on real-world application of cryptographic principles – the blockchain – moved zero-knowledge applications from the theoretical to the practical.

The upshot? Zero-knowledge proofs allow users to provide vital information (bank account details, personal identification, etc) without having to pass on that information. No more trusting a financial institution to store your info securely somewhere; with a zk-proof, you can actually meet the data requirements without sacrificing privacy or security. 

Hence the “zero-knowledge” part; at the end of the process, the institution (the verifier) doesn’t hold copies of the proof. There is no knowledge, directly, of the information – therefore, nothing to be compromised in a hack or data breach. 

As expected, zk proofs are technically complicated to conduct. But the resulting applications can be remarkably simple. The idea has strong significance for social media apps, including the crypto-based ones mentioned above.

The maturing crypto finance market continues to draw heavy investment. Now, zk-specific apps and platforms are beginning to capitalise on the push. The zk-based DEX Brine Fi just raised over $16 million from Pantera Capital. Canto, a formerly overlooked Layer 1, has pivoted to become a zk-proof based Layer 2 on Ethereum.

And in recognition of the focus on zk-proof applications, Polygon recently released a ZK-based Chain Development Kit (CDC), to make it easier for developers to build custom ZK chains. 

Going from “trad” to “crypto”

Here at Plexus, we see the shift first hand, as more and more traditional markets adapt crypto and web3 tech.

That’s why stablecoins keep growing and bridging the gap between crypto and fiat currencies.

It’s also why DeFi continues to mature as a sector, drawing increased attention from the traditional large institutional investors of the world of finance.

On the hiring side, this helps to explain why there’s a continued focus on experienced developers, even when new projects are less common than they used to be. It also highlights the emphasis on marketing professionals who can bring high-level crypto concepts down to earth and demonstrate the value of new projects with cutting-edge technology.

Crypto continues to transform even old-school industries, like traditional finance or modern social media, into web3-based platforms. And for professionals in those industries, that means the opportunity is ripe to be on the cutting edge of a move towards a high-growth environment with nearly limitless potential.


Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!
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How to structure a great CV from a recruiters perspective

Posted September 18, 2023

As a Web3 and Crypto recruitment consultancy, we receive hundreds – if not thousands of CVs everyday (okay, we may be slightly dramatic here but we do receive A LOT each day).

All of our consultants try their best to look through and respond to each applicant we receive but as you can imagine, it can be difficult to respond to all of them, especially as we don’t use AI or robots to help us. We take a more consultancy approach to helping you find the right job!

So, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd when you only have a few seconds to do so?

Our experts have shared their advice on what makes a great CV, from what to include and how to structure it – all of which will make it easier for our recruiters to notice you and find your dream Web3 job.

What to include on your CV

Let’s start with the basics of a CV, looking at what you do and don’t want to include. This may sound obvious but sometimes it’s good to take things back to basics.

Contact Information

We like to speak to our talent community on a more personal level, so we can get to know each of candidate we represent. Whether that be through phone calls, video calls or simply through Telegram messages, we want to speak to you directly.

It’s important to include your accurate contact details on your CV, so we can reach you quickly and easily. This also includes accurate location information as well. As a UK based company that is able to provide talent worldwide, knowing your time difference helps when we’re trying to contact you.

Career Timeline

Ensure that your career timeline makes sense. It’s okay to have gaps on your CV, which you can easily explain to your recruiter but you need to make sure your experience is listed in chronological order (your latest job role needs to be at the top of your CV).

Top Plexus Tip: Include the month AND the year on your timeline, not just the year. This will help paint a more accurate picture of your career journey.

Own Your Achievements

When providing an overview of your role, don’t just list the standard role description on your CV, highlight your personal achievements or what you actually did on a day-to-day basis.

This way, we know exactly what your skillsets and accomplishments are from a quick glance.

Remember this is about YOU, so it’s okay to brag a little on your CV.

Structuring your CV

When you’re structuring your CV, there are a few simple rules to follow that can help you stand out.

First off, it’s important to include a personal statement, this is your chance to sell yourself quickly and for us to pick out the keywords that align with the job they are recruiting for.

Keep your personal statement short, sharp and to the point. Much like this sentence.

Next up, ensure that you have listed the companies by their name and the dates you worked there. Including hyperlinks to the companies is extremely helpful, as it means we can quickly understand the type of business you worked for.

Be sure to include what type of business they are. For example, if they’re a consultancy include this or if you have your own company make this clear.

If you’ve been freelancing, it’s key to include a list of engagements and timelines for each of the different companies you’ve worked with.

A top tip from our experts: you don’t need to include lots of bullet points of waffle, include actual insights into what you did including any technology you used.

Finally, in the Web3 and Crypto space, it’s so important to provide examples of your projects – what have you been working on, achievements and what interests you.

This is especially important if you are looking to transition over from Web2 to Web3.

Want to know what roles are available? Speak to a consultant about our open roles.
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Analysing the Current State of Venture Capital in Crypto

Posted September 7, 2023

Where did all the crypto venture capital go?

What’s going on with venture capital (VC)? 

Start-ups generated $162 billion in VC investment in 2022. A year later, that figure is down to $76 billion – over 50% drop.

But the story with crypto is even worse.

True, there’s no year-on-year 50% drop. But that’s only because the VC market for crypto start-ups has been downright abysmal for years.

From the highs of January 2022 ($5.4 billion) to the crippling lows of August 2023 ($0.5 billion), VC investment in the crypto market has decreased by an order of magnitude.

So what’s next? Is anything happening at all in the VC market? Where does it go from here?

Where did it all go wrong?

VC investors play a high-stakes game. Venture capital firms sink capital into emerging and early-stage start-ups, giving those companies a major boost in the hopes of scaling things quickly and reaching profitability as fast as possible.

That’s where all the talks of “funding rounds” comes in. From pre-seed to seed, start-up, early stage, and expansion stage – funding rounds focus on attracting venture funds to keep a startup running prior to product launch and full profitability.

But because there’s no formal project, and therefore no track record, VC funding is a bit of a gamble.

Projects stall, never get off the ground, or collapse entirely, with VC investors losing out each time. Just looking at cryptocurrencies, over 2,300 crypto projects resulted in “dead coins” between 2013 and 2022. The months since then certainly haven’t improved those numbers.

That has led to an increasingly “risk-averse approach” by investors, according to Kyn Chaturvedi of DeFi (decentralized finance) start-up Minterest.

But even with coins collapsing, investment plummeting, and markets shrinking, there’s still room for some optimism.

“There is a discernible increase in investor interest” – Kyn Chaturvedi, Minterest

What happens next?

For starters, venture capitalists, and their money, follow the broader market. Here at Plexus, we’re seeing strong interest in developers and marketers for new projects. And with industry bellwethers Bitcoin and Ethereum having a banner year, there are good signs that sentiment in the broader market is beginning to turn.

That turnaround can also be seen in how the existing VC investment behaves. Despite the ongoing headwinds, “the latter half of 2023 has shown promising signs for Web3 start-ups,” Chaturvedi reports. “There is a discernible increase in investor interest.”

Key Events in Crypto Venture Capital Investment

Why the recent optimism?

It’s worth reviewing quickly how crypto got to be where it is. Three key events or trends have shaped the VC market as it stands today – it’s worth outlining what they are.

The fall of the FTX empire

FTX collapsed in November, 2022. At the beginning of the same year, FTX had announced the launch of a $2 billion VC fund of its own, FTX Ventures. FTX Ventures didn’t have time to develop into a major player in the crypto VC field; by the end of 2022, FTX had collapsed, Sam Bankman-Fried was a pariah, and the crypto rout was on.

Famously, investors had mostly ignored SBF’s own eccentricities in their rush to pour money into FTX. The result was a wildly over-hyped crypto exchange that eventually collapsed due to mismanagement, pulling down a number of other players along with it and leaving VC firms feeling the pain.

In the aftermath, other big players – from VC hedge fund Andreessen Horowitz and a16z, to industry players like Coinbase Ventures and Binance Labs – have started to play their cards close to the chest.

Why the caution? In large part because since FTX’s collapse, US-based regulators such as the SEC have turned increasingly close attention to crypto companies, both established players and emerging start-ups.

The threat (and promise) of looming regulation

SEC regulation is typically viewed as a threat; just ask Coinbase. But at the same time, any regulation, however harsh, would at least provide much-needed clarity for projects and digital assets – and, crucially, for the VC investors who might want to support those projects.

That expectation of clarity is driving some of the recent renewed interest. Projects that are well-run and closely managed are more likely to come out on top when the regulatory dust settles; those are the same projects attracting the most attention.

It may also explain why some VC funds are finding success focusing on early-stage start-ups in the crypto space, giving them more time to adjust to changing regulatory environments. 

The AI potential

What’s changed since 2022?

In part, the continued explosion of AI.

Unsurprisingly, AI-focused start-ups outside crypto have taken a growing share of available VC capital. In the US, nearly $1 out of every $4 of VC investment went to AI-focused start-ups.

Not that crypto is without its own AI-based projects. There’s room for AI and crypto together – and future projects that blend generative AI and DeFi, NFTs, or cryptocurrencies are sure to draw strong interest.

Some projects are already capitalising on the trend; Cube3.ai recently raised over $8 million for a project leveraging AI algorithms to boost security.

File this one more under “potential” rather than “proven,” but at the very least, AI’s success demonstrates that VC money is still out there – for the right projects.

What today’s venture capital wants: strong fundamentals

Look long enough, and you’ll see VC success stories, even in today’s market. Recent raises show strong variety – blockchain scanners (Lore), traditional/crypto payments (Moneygram), and DeFi (Maple Finance, Kinza Finance), among many others.

What’s the common bond that VC investors are searching for?

Projects with a good framework and strong fundamentals.

The increase in investor interest means that certain projects “are starting to take a lion’s share,” Chaturvedi says, “particularly for projects that demonstrate strong fundamentals, which is evidenced by oversubscriptions in recent funding rounds.”

VC firms learned a painful lesson when the market dived. Blockchain companies built on max potential, but without a solid foundation and proven business models, failed hard.


For crypto firms, attracting VC investment certainly is a tougher game than it used to be, with smaller amounts of cash going around. 

But the emphasis on solid fundamentals has led to a knock-on effect here at Plexus. Solid fundamentals require a top-notch team. The crypto market is increasingly mature, and that’s reflected in everything from vastly-improved design to an increasingly sophisticated pool of potential employees. 

And according to Euan Wilson, Managing Consultant at Plexus,

A focus on customer acquisition and revenue generating products has led to a greater focus on usability, UX & customer experience. Similar to the traditional tech market 10-15 years ago, I think there will be a new appreciation of the discipline and what “good” looks like from a user perspective. 

Projects need top-tier candidates who can deliver user-focused projects to dominate a rebounding market – and to attract VC investment.

Have any questions about how to attract the right talent to your team? Reach out, and we’ll help you build a team that can guide your project and attract investment from pre-seed to expansion.
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A guide to tokens as an employee benefit

Posted September 1, 2023

Web3 and crypto is a growing market, more people are starting to realise it’s potential and slowly moving into the space – although, there is still a lot of growth yet to happen.

If you’re new to the space, you may be unfamiliar with the benefit packages that Web3/crypto companies tend to offer. Although there are some similarities, such as equity options, the main difference is the option of tokens.

New to the space? Check out our guide to transitioning from Web2 to Web3 here.

Navigating the world of employee benefits can be difficult in the space, especially when it comes to tokens.

We’ve put together a guide focusing on tokens as an employee benefit to help you with your decision making.

What are tokens?

Before we get into the reasons why tokens are beneficial to you, lets first unpick what tokens actually are.

According to Investopedia, crypto tokens are ‘a representation of an asset or interest that has been tokenised on an existing blockchain.’

It’s possible for there to be confusion between cryptocurrencies and crypto tokens but there are two very different offerings. Tokens are used as a way to raise funds for a project(s), which are usually created and sold through Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Cryptocurrencies are to be used as payment.

There are different types of tokens:

  • Utility Tokens: a token that can access a blockchain product or service
  • Security Tokens: a token representing a share in an external asset or organization
  • NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens): a digital asset that represents ownership of a specific asset (virtually or IRL), such as, artwork, videos and/or audio

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What is the value of tokens as an employee benefit?

Tokens as a benefit could seem like a riskier option for most, in part due to the volatile nature of the current Web3 and Crypto space. However, there is a lot of value in tokens, which can ultimately be very lucrative for you.

Gain earlier liquidity with tokens

Traditional methods rely on an IPO or liquidity event in order to see any gain from shares. This usually can take between five to ten years before you see any financial gain and is entirely dependent on the company’s exit strategy.

Unlike traditional stock options, tokens provide a faster route to market, allowing you to gain liquidity immediately. As soon as you are given your token, you can sell or buy these as soon as your lock-up period is over.

Create a sustainable and future-proof product

With tokens, the benefit to the employee is directly linked to the product/community instead of the financial backing of the company.

This means that the better the product, the more users it will attract, which then grows the value of the token.

As the value of the token is directly linked to the success of the product, there is emphasis on creating a sustainable and future-proof product that is scalable.

Fair compensation alongside base salary

No matter what your salary or package offering, tokens allow for a fair compensation as they belong directly to you, with the ability to control when you receive liquidity.

N.B. some companies may have a vesting period/lock-up for tokens, something which you need to discuss during your interview/offer stage.

Long-term advantages of tokens

As we’ve mentioned above, tokens can help facilitate product growth – the more people want to invest in your product through tokens, the more your token will be worth.

It’s simple, believe in the product and you’ll see the rewards.

Eventually, you may be able to exchange tokens with your peers. If you’re a longstanding employee, you may be able to sell their tokens to newer employees allowing them to cash in earlier.

This essentially allows individuals to buy into the success of a company without any external influence.

How do tokens as an employee benefit work?

So, how do tokens as an employee benefit work exactly? What do you need to be aware of when joining a company that’s offering tokens as part of their benefit package.

When you’re offered tokens, the company/employer will allocate you the token(s) from a reserved patch they have available. Depending on whether these are pre or post launch, their value will be different, so it’s worth finding out about this before you sign the dotted line.

From your initial start date, most tokens will start vesting, however, there could be restrictions around what you can do with your tokens initially – this is called a lock-up.

Lock-up periods usually last for around a year, meaning you can’t sell or transfer your tokens during this time.

There is a lot of financial gain to be had with tokens and it’s definitely worth exploring this further with your future employer.

As we anything to do with your work package, negotiating is key so make sure you really understand what the value of your token is, know what the growth plans are for the company and product before committing.

Ultimately, you can control the value of this by helping to create a product that people want to get involved in.

Want to know what roles are available? Speak to a consultant about our open roles.
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The Impact of Regulation and Its Effect on Crypto Employment

Posted August 18, 2023

Current state of crypto hiring

It’s hot, then it’s cold – the crypto market seems stuck in a perpetual motion machine. Every brief pause in the market is followed immediately by dramatic swings. Altcoins come, altcoins go, and only Bitcoin and Ethereum stay strong.

Even if the crypto market isn’t actually quite that volatile, it can certainly feel that way for workers in the sector. So what can you expect with the current state of crypto hiring? How is the ever-evolving world of crypto regulation impacting the crypto job market, and where will things go from here?

Here at Plexus, we obviously care deeply about what (and how) the crypto market is doing. Here’s our take on what the current regulatory framework means for the future of the sector, and for its employees.

Regulatory Framework

“Evolving” is the best way to sum up what’s happening with regulation for crypto assets.

The biggest ongoing flashpoint in crypto regulation is between the SEC and one of the industry’s biggest players, Binance. The Binance vs SEC lawsuit in the US (more properly the SEC vs. Binance, since the SEC started this whole mess) might eventually clarify what, exactly, a security is or isn’t – and just how much power the Securities and Exchanges Commission has to regulate things that look like securities.

But in the meantime, the lawsuit continues to keep everyone guessing. And it’s only one part of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s ongoing quest to bring the crypto sector to heel in the name of consumer protections. Gensler has also initiated lawsuits against Coinbase, and investigations continue against defunct exchanges like FTX.

The SEC crackdown put a damper on investor attitudes for a while. But while nervousness continues over how the fight will play out, other factors have played an arguably larger role in shaping the broader market. Everything from optimism surrounding the new world of AI-powered tools (and Sam Altman’s Worldcoin) to continued uncertainty over inflation seems to have influenced the larger market performance.

“At the market lows in early 2023 crypto was still an $800bn industry, and today sits comfortably back above $1tr again. Whilst market sentiment has flipped tentatively positive again, hiring sentiment is playing catch up.” – Shaun, Founder of Plexus

While the US is the largest crypto market, it isn’t the only one – and around the world, other crypto jurisdictions are arguably further down the road of defining and regulating digital currencies and other digital assets.

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Stablecoin regulation

Singapore set out a comparatively clear framework for stablecoins issued in the city-state, attempting to beat the SEC at its own game of bringing crypto “out of the shadows.” 

Unlike the SEC, the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) uses an incentive model. Only crypto assets that meet the framework will be able to claim to be MAS-regulated, and severe penalties will be issued to crypto firms that claim MAS approval without meeting the framework.

Regulation also hasn’t seemed to stop new players from pouring into the stablecoin space – witness Paypal’s recent splash with PayPal USD.

Regulation around the globe

In the UK, there’s at least one crypto-related sector that’s hiring. The National Crime Agency (NCA) is expanding its Complex Financial Crimes team – code for the crypto-focused side of its investigations.

In the meantime, Europe has developed into a fairly crypto-friendly theatre, albeit one with significant differences between, say, Estonia and Portugal. 

Market Sentiment and Hiring

Broader market sentiment

How has the broader market impacted crypto hiring?

Financial markets remain unsettled, but both crypto and traditional finance have avoided major meltdowns in recent months. While regulation appeared to kill some projects, others continue to gain momentum, and some have even staged surprising comebacks after legal victories (yes, we’re talking about Ripple and XRP).

What we’re seeing with crypto hiring is the sector’s maturation into a smaller but arguably more robust market. Legal developments grind slowly to a degree of clarity in most jurisdictions, with the EU and UK having recently passed landmark crypto regulation. And even the recent spate of lawsuits in the US promises to provide an answer to many of the lingering questions, whatever those answers may be.

The NFT world mirrors the broader crypto economy; smaller, but remarkably resilient. A handful of blue-chip projects and creators (hello, Yuga Labs and Frank DeGods!) are clear market leaders, while smaller projects come and go without much of a splash.

Crypto hiring trends

On the project side, the Wild West days are gone.

Graph of crypto jobs

Engineers dominate, demonstrating that the actual underlying blockchain technology is going nowhere. Developers remain in high demand. Education is a growing focus, reflected in a demand for product developers and people with market savvy to explain a raft of increasingly technical financial products, including emerging Bitcoin ETFs like the ones on offer from Valkyrie and Proshares. Researchers are also increasingly important, to stay on top of important projects and delve deep into on-chain data.

The boom in regulation has also led to a corresponding increase in regulation and compliance officers on crypto projects.

It’s true that the market downturn last year led to more jobseekers on the market, but we’re seeing an increasing number of talented workers with the experience and skills to help the market rebound and grow.

According to our team, there is now a focus on usability and the customer experience. Creating products that are user centric is key for wider adoption, with this, we’ve seen a need for more product focused roles. 

The Plexus Takeaway

Crypto is in a buyer’s market. There’s a growing pool of crypto users, but protocols and projects can’t assume that crowds of users will flock to their platforms. Users have to be earned – so employees who can help their companies demonstrate credibility and a superior product will be in the driver’s seat.

Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!
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Top 4 priorities for candidates joining a new team

Posted August 14, 2023

Attracting the best talent can be a difficult task especially in the current market. It’s not quite as simple as offering a normal base salary anymore, candidates are looking for more from their prospective employers.

Using insights from our global talent community, we’ve complied the top 4 priorities that candidates look for when joining a new company.

  • Career progression
  • Company culture
  • Equity in the business
  • Continued innovation

Let’s dive in and unpick these 4 priorities.

Career progression

Providing candidates with a clear path for career development and progression is key to attracting top talent.

Many candidates want to know what growth is available at a company, how this growth is facilitated e.g. learning & development programmes and how long it may take for them to reach their goals. By providing the opportunity for candidates to progress, you’ll not only create a better culture but also be able to retain your staff for longer.

In order to clearly communicate what progression is available for candidates, you’ll need to understand what jobs you’re hiring for, how those roles can progress within their own hierarchy and how long it could take to get from a junior to senior level.

Spend time putting together a clear plan, with key targets your candidate/employees need to hit so candidates understand what they need to do to progress.

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Company culture

We spend the majority of our time at work, so creating an enjoyable environment is important. And this doesn’t just mean having an active social life down the pub. It’s about creating more ways for the team to be included and feel valued.

Frist start by having a clear company value and mission statement, this way candidates know what you stand for as a business and if this aligns with their own values/thoughts.

Be transparent about what type of culture and benefits you’re offering, this could be anything from:

  • Working remotely or ability to work anywhere in the world
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Share/equity options

Equity in the business

As Web3 continues to develop, candidates are becoming more interested in receiving equity and shares in the company they join. They want to be part of something they know will reward them for their longevity.

It creates ownership amongst employees as they now have a vested interest in the company.

Offering equity alongside the base salary will help you to secure the best candidate for the role you’re looking to hire for.

Continued innovation

Candidates don’t want to join a company that will remain stagnant, they want to be able to continually innovate and grow a product offering. Having a clear business and product roadmap for the next 3+ years will show perspective employees that you’re serious about the continue growth of the company.

If your company is continuing to innovate and grow, candidates will also be reassured that there is career progression for them as well.

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Final Thoughts

If you want to secure the best team to help your business grow, you need to be listening to what candidates are looking for. Be open about what opportunities from a personal and professional perspective that you can offer them.

Provide an environment that has flexibility, trust and innovation.


Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!
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The Evolution of Design in Crypto

Posted August 3, 2023

It’s no secret that the crypto world has been notoriously complicated to navigate in the past. Unless you’ve been apart of the space from its infancy, it can be a minefield to understand and use. As crypto, web3 and blockchain become more mainstream, people are slowly starting to realise its potential and want to be part of the action.

As the market is maturing there has been an evolution of design in crypto, which is helping to shape the visual identity of some of the top companies and lead the way for the development of the technology.

This evolution has seen an influx of companies putting the user experience at the forefront of design, making it easier for people to access and get involved.

Crypto’s design in the early days

Back in its infancy, when crypto technology wasn’t quite as developed as it is now, crypto’s interfaces were seen as complex and uninviting.

Think clunky wallets and awkward trading interfaces that made the whole user experience overly complicated.

This is to be expected in the early days of any new product or technology, as we’ve seen with Web2 over the years. But now that the crypto community has expanded, so has the importance of design – highlighting the need for UX, UI and product designers.

There is a large recognition that the crypto space needs to create more user-friendly experiences in order to expand the user base and create a place where it’s easy to understand and partake in crypto.

How has design changed the user experience

Web3 and crypto is here to transform the internet and financial infrastructure but without a good user experience, this is unlikely to happen. As new users enter the market, the interface needs to be sleek, clean, and easy to navigate.


Designers were faced with presenting complex financial mechanisms in a digestible manner. The idea is to ensure there are not many blockers for new users, so they are able to navigate the product easily, without confusion.

The easier the experience, the more users you’ll gain and keep.

To achieve this, designers have created clear visualisations, interactive dashboards and user-friendly tutorials, meaning that users can use the interface with confidence.

Companies like Aave and Loopring are great examples of how design as completely transformed their product and business.

Mobile Apps

The development of crypto apps has meant that products have become more accessible and convenient for users by giving them easy access at their fingertips.

Designers took complex concepts, such as private keys, blockchain technology and simplified them through clean layouts, streamlined processes and visual cues.

In general, designers tend to lean towards darker backgrounds with bold colours and graphics – a visual staple in the crypto/web3 space.

What is next for design in crypto?

As the crypto and web3 space continues to evolve, the future of design in crypto has great promise and will be at the forefront of innovation for more advanced businesses.

Designers will continue to make crypto more accessible, engaging and inclusive for everyday users by ensuring the user experience is always at the centre of product development, ensuring that UX and UI is taken seriously.

Over a short period of time, we have seen constant iterations and improvements in design for the crypto space, redefining how we interact with digital assets and financial systems. As the crypto space continues to develop, so will the role of design where blockchain will seamlessly integrate into our daily lives.

My predictions for the future?

Although still early on, I predict that AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will continue to carve a space for immersive and interactive experiences in web3 – bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds.

By Jay Stiles, Consultant.

For more information on our services and how we can help with your hiring, contact jay.stiles@plexusrs.com

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How to transition your career from Web2 to Web3

Posted July 24, 2023

As Web3 becomes more mainstream, we’re often asked how candidates can transition from Web2, and what the challenges/barriers are that could stop someone from entering the space.

The good news is… it isn’t impossible to transition.

Web3 companies do accept talented people from the Web2 sphere, as there are some transferrable skills between the two.

That being said you can definitely make your transition smoother by following our top 3 tips on how to transition from Web2 to Web3.

  • Be involved in Web3 communities
  • Make sure you have personal projects in the space
  • Highlight your relevant skills and technologies
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Be involved in Web3 communities

Web3 communities play an important role within the space. They’re an environment where likeminded people can get together to collaborate and shape the future of Web3, Crypto and blockchain.

Not only are communities a great opportunity to expand your knowledge on new projects and developments, but also to help build your own personal network. As you know, professional relationships are key – especially when entering a new space.

So how do you find communities to join?

There are multiple ways you can join a community:

  • Social Media, such as, Twitter, Reddit and Telegram
  • Blockchain conferences
  • Online courses and forums

Make sure you have personal projects in the space

Web3 is complex. Especially for people who are new to the space, meaning that it can be a minefield to navigate. But throwing yourself in the deep end (so to speak) will fast track you to understanding the lingo and learning the necessary skills.

The best way to do this is to have your own personal projects. Not only will it help improve your skillsets but it will show companies that you’re serious about the space, its development and your involvement in it.

Web3, Crypto and blockchain’s popularity is growing fast, so being able to showcase your own personal projects means that you can stay ahead of the crowd.

Highlight your relevant skills and technologies

This may sound obvious but before you apply for a job, make sure you’ve highlighted any relevant skills and technologies you’ve used. Include any transferrable skills that are an added bonus to the role your applying for.

For those wanting a role in development/engineering, skills such as, react, type scripting and up-to-date front and back end coding skills are key.

If you’re looking for a role in marketing or community, be sure to include metrics on how you’ve helped a company grow and any product launches you’ve done as well.

Why make a move to Web3?

Web3 offers endless possibilities for innovation and development, with some hailing it the future of the internet. As with any new technology, there are still teething issues, which can result in a volatile marketplace.

However, with any new adventure comes risk. But sometimes you need risk in order to a part of something exciting.

Education is key! Learning more about the space and spreading that knowledge will help to build mass adoption of Web3 – something you could be at the forefront of.

Key Takeaway

Prove that you’re interested and keen in developing the space. Yes being part of Web3 can be a lucrative adventure but that can’t be your only motivation to wanting to be involved.

Showcase what you can bring to the table by following the 3 tips above.

Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!
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Solana’s Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?)

Posted July 14, 2023

On November 10, 2022, Solana seemed like the future of the crypto industry. By November 11, that wasn’t so clear anymore. Many labeled the chain dead following the FTX crash, but the fall of Solana didn’t happen overnight. 

Over half a year on, we can already see signs of Solana’s resurgence.

So how did Solana rise, and fall, and rise again?

Let’s dive in.

The Rise of Solana

In the crypto beginning, there was Bitcoin. Then, Ethereum came around, proposing a faster, more environmentally friendly blockchain technology. A few years later, the idea of an “Ethereum killer” was introduced; a competitive Layer One blockchain that offered increased transactions per second and lower gas fees – Solana.  

Solana’s transaction speed is up to 65,000 TPS as opposed to Ethereum’s 10,000 TPS; at its creation, it was easily the fastest blockchain. Like Ethereum, Solana supports smart contracts and NFTs, allowing for diverse application development. Raydium, Serum, Solend, and Star Atlas are only a few follow-worthy Solana projects. Magic Eden competes with OpenSea as an NFT marketplace, and Audius, a Solana-based decentralized streaming platform, is often dubbed as Spotify killer. 

But the real reason behind Solana’s skyrocketing success wasn’t solely its speed and versatility. Solana provided crucial crypto network scalability, supporting the increasing load of nodes without affecting performance. How? By using an innovative consensus mechanism known as “Proof of History.”

Proof-of-History allowed nodes to verify transactions without communicating directly with each other. This enabled many more transactions per second.

The Lingering Issues with Solana

Solana seemed poised to fulfil its title and steal market share away from Ethereum. And for a while, it did, reaching nearly 6% of total DeFi TVL in late 2021. 

Unfortunately, by 2022 a number of problems emerged. Solana suffered recurring power outages – first in December 2020, then nine more in 2022. And if 2020 Solana had barely any users on the chain, 2022 disruptions caused major inconvenience to investors, keeping their funds locked for up to 17 hours. In one such instance, SOL fell by over 12%. 

Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s co-founder, responded by promising a long-term fix. But in the meantime,  Solana developed even bigger issues to worry about. 

Hacks plagued the network throughout 2022. In August, over $5 million worth of Solana-based tokens were stolen from approximately 8,000 users’ wallets. In October, over $100 million were drained from Mango Markets in a flash loan attack. In that case, hackers borrowed funds without collateral, then bought a huge amount of crypto to artificially raise its price and offloaded the coins.  

In May-June 2022, Solana’s on-chain clock drifted about 30 minutes backward, resulting in annualized staking rewards. Solana transaction confirmation times surged to 15-20 seconds, nullifying the chain’s main advantage over the likes of Ethereum.  

Place Solana’s troubles against a backdrop of increasing crypto doubt and a bear market, and the chain faced ever-stronger headwinds. 

That could be seen clearly in the SOL token’s performance. Late 2021, SOL cruised to record heights, peaking at $258. Then came a string of bad news, and by early 2022 SOL had already lost half its value.

An Overview of Solana’s Market Crash

Fact is, Solana was in decline well before the broader crypto crash. But one particular bear-market blow nearly proved to be a knockout punch for the supposed crypto-killer.

During Breakpoint 2022 conference in Lisbon, Yakovenko talked about the challenges faced by Solana. Little did he know what was to come. Less than two weeks later, over $500 million was drained from Solana following the collapse of FTX. As of November 14,2022, the TVL in Solana’s ecosystem stood at $330 billion. By December, TVL dropped to $10 billion, an astounding 96.75% decline.  

Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged FTX fraud prompted questions for Solana’s founders. SBF was a large investor in the chain and had even founded the Serum project. How much did Solana know about the troubles at FTX, and when? The Solana Foundation was quick to share the details of its financial ties with FTX and Alameda Research, and has so far avoided any investigation. 

Regardless, the FTX disaster knocked SOL down another 50%, from around $30 to under $15.   

What does the future look like for Solana?

The depths of late 2022 turned into the grim realities of a crypto bear market in 2023. Despite the prevailing headwinds, Solana has gone through the first half with some surprising signs of life. There are several reasons to be optimistic.

First, Solana has a large treasury estimated to last for another two years, taking it well into 2024/2025.

Second, Solana’s developer community is massive. Solana remains a fast blockchain with low fees, an accessible programming language, and many developer tools. Want proof? Take a look at how many recent projects are still adding functionality to the Solana network. 

Third, despite the dip, Solana is the second largest NFT ecosystem, right after Ethereum. Solanart, Magic Eden, DigitalEyes Market, and Solsea are standing strong, even if DeGods and y00ts will migrate to other blockchains. In fact, in January 2023, Solana NFTs reached $158,000,000 in sales – twice the previous month, and the highest level since May 2022. And in June, Solana’s NFT market briefly surpassed Ethereum, showing that in NFTs, at least, Solana may yet prove to be an ETH-killer, with AI-powered NFT tools set to make their debut on the network. 

Lastly, SOL’s price is already recovering. After dropping to just over $9 at the end of 2022, SOL has surpassed a mark of $23 by mid-January. Many of those still believing in Solana saw the dip as an opportunity to buy low.  

Tweets from the Solana community prove users aren’t yet ready to give up on the chain. What’s more impressive, Solana continues to attract new users – daily active wallets have tripled since FTX collapse.

Tweet from CoinMarketCap about Solana's market share

Source: https://twitter.com/CoinMarketCap/status/1623494390843944962?s=20&t=2WYFK6-ZoEm3NaV5eDwA5Q

None of those reasons by itself guarantees Solana’s success. But together, they demonstrate a continued case for Solana – and proof that the network lives on. 

Keep an eye on Solana for the rest of 2023.

Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow! 

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Crypto Regulation: The Current Landscape

Posted July 10, 2023

Crypto began – and thrived – in an unregulated market. That lack of regulation spawned an explosion of crypto applications and steadily-increasing adoption.

But as we’ve seen recently, crypto’s rampant growth fuelled both technological innovation and numerous instances of fraud. Meteoric growth brought an increasingly sharp eye to the crypto market from regulators and government agencies.

Market turmoil has continued into 2023, and regulators and industry leaders continue to look for some kind of framework for crypto.

One problem? No two frameworks are the same. Some authorities are seeking to ban crypto activities completely, while others welcome and support them. Even classifying “crypto” has proven to be a challenge.

One thing is becoming increasingly clear, both to regulators and the crypto industry itself. Simply applying existing financial laws to the crypto market hasn’t worked. The new market requires a new regulatory framework. 

That said, let’s take a dive into the current and upcoming crypto regulations in the US, EU, and beyond.  

What are the crypto regulations in the US?

A crackdown, but how far?

The current US regulatory framework – whatever it is – began in 2022. That’s when the White House released the first-ever framework for digital asset regulation, aimed at preventing insolvencies resulting from coin crashes and fraud, and reinforcing the US leadership in the global financial system. But what’s in it, exactly? 

  • The framework suggests that authorities might amend the Bank Secrecy Act to raise penalties against unlicensed money transmission. This change would allow the DOJ to prosecute digital asset crimes wherever they occur.  
  • The US government continues to show interest in a CBDC or a digital form of the US dollar. While electronic dollars already exist in some commercial bank accounts, a CBDC could, in theory, provide many of the same use cases as crypto.
  • Regulators would certainly prefer a central-bank-controlled CBDC over independent stablecoins. But numerous issues remain, since CBDCs lack the trading opportunities and diverse applications of crypto.   
  • The overall tone of the framework was aggressive, calling on existing regulators (the SEC, CFTC, and FTC, among others) to take a tougher stance on crypto bad actors.

In short, the Biden administration clearly wanted to bring the crypto market under the auspices of the US-led financial system. In the long run, that means applying many of the same rules to crypto that currently hold for other aspects of finance, including the stock market.

One example? Existing rules that require US-based crypto exchanges to verify user IDs before allowing them to trade. US citizens must also pay property tax on cryptocurrency transactions. Some crypto assets are considered a security if they pass the Howey test, and US regulators look like they’ll apply that standard more stringently in the future (notice the language about securities in the SEC filings against Sam Bankman-Fried). 

The key player in US crypto regulations is the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC). The SEC has made it clear that part of its job is to bring even major crypto exchanges like Binance to heel. Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman, hinted at future actions back in April, when he appeared in front of Congress to argue for tighter enforcement. 

But everything became much clearer in June 2023, when the SEC formally announced charges against Binance for trading unregistered securities.

Those charges, which will take some time to play out in the courts, hold the potential to clarify exactly where US regulations stand. In the meantime, arguments continue to swirl over the SEC’s uneven approach.

How will the crackdown impact the growth of crypto in the US? It’s still impossible to say. Some analysts think that ultimately even tighter restrictions won’t drive the market away, although investors looking for more favourable regulatory climates might be better served in the UK.

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An overview of the regulations in Europe

Uneven Ground 

The EU hasn’t yet found a middle ground in the crypto regulation debate. Since 2015, the exchange of fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies are exempt from VAT under the Court of Justice of the European Union directive. In 2020, crypto exchanges came under the EU anti-money laundering legislation, requiring them to perform KYC on users. Cybercrime (which includes crypto) is now on the list of money laundering offenses. Member states have different regulations for exchange registration and liability.  

Current EU crypto laws aren’t too strict, but what’s in the works? In 2022, the EU introduced MiCA – the new Market in Crypto-Assets Regulation. Unlike the Biden-proposed framework covering all digital assets, MiCA focuses specifically on cryptocurrencies. Europe accounts for roughly a quarter of the world’s crypto activity, which explains the need for a comprehensive regulatory regime. And crypto adoption, at least in Europe, has seen a publicity boost with high-profile uses like donations to Ukraine.

MiCA defines cryptocurrencies and categorizes them into three groups: exchange, utility, security and e-money tokens, and provides for three interconnected regulatory frameworks. Regimes were developed for offering stablecoins and non-stablecoins to the public and carrying out crypto-asset services. MiCA’s final text hasn’t yet been published, but the EU Parliament, Council, and Commission have reached a provisional agreement. Interestingly, NFTs are only mentioned once in the proposal, and they don’t fall under MiCA regulations. Moreover, the proposal doesn’t cover crypto lending and borrowing.  

Note that the EU Parliament voted against the PoW ban – good news for Bitcoin miners. 

What are the current UK crypto regulations?

At the beginning of the month, the His Majesty’s government published a consultation and call  for feedback on a new proposed crypto framework – the lovingly-titled “Future Financial Services Regulatory Regime for Cryptoassets.” Eighty pages long, the document makes for fairly dry reading.

But what stands out is the UK’s apparently liberal approach to crypto. The UK government clearly believes crypto will be a major part of finance in the future, and is interested in controlling, rather than curtailing, any crypto evolution.  

That attitude was born out by the recent passing of the Financial Service and Markets Bill, which operates similar to the EU’s MiCA proposals. The bill lays out some basic regulations for exchanges and stablecoins, among other crypto-related items, and establishes regulatory authority for those assets. Now that the bill has passed, it could come into force as soon as autumn 2023. 

Regulation in Australia – Finally, a Crypto Classification System!

Australia – not necessarily the biggest crypto player – made big news last year with their own regulatory proposal. Interestingly, Australia’s document, which comes in at a solid 60 pages, spends a considerable amount of time defining key terms. 

Crypto networks, crypto tokens, and smart contracts form three layers of crypto. Any financial services built on those layers take one of four forms:

  • Crypto asset services
  • Intermediated crypto assets
  • Network tokens
  • Smart contracts

The paper, titled simply “Token Mapping,” provides what few others do: a detailed potential definition for crypto assets and crypto financial services. 

Crypto regulations across the rest of the world?  

The rest of the world doesn’t seem as concerned with setting crypto regulations in stone as the above regions. Still, each region has differing laws regarding crypto. For instance: 

  • Canadian crypto exchanges fall under the same regulation as traditional money services. Crypto issuers must follow disclosure procedures outlined by the Canadian Securities Administrators. Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, but crypto transactions are taxed as property.  
  • Singapore taxes crypto as goods and legally allows crypto trading and exchange under the Payment Services Act 2019. However, in 2022, the Monetary Authority of Singapore prohibited the advertisement of crypto services.  
  • Hong Kong is arguing against China’s recent outright crypto ban.  
  • Japan, too, treats cryptocurrency as property under the Payment Services Act and taxes it as miscellaneous income. Recent amendments to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act distinguished between virtual currency and cryptocurrency and eased restrictions on trading. At the same time, Japan has extremely strict laws for exchange registration – the process can take over six months.  

Shifting opinions about crypto regulations

WEF explains the need for stricter regulation with financial stability, innovation, and sustainability. Here are a few highlights: 

  • Cryptocurrency service providers will be forced to disclose energy consumption and the impact of their assets on the environment.  
  • The development of regulations signals a widespread adoption of virtual assets.  
  • Cryptocurrency issuers will have to publish white papers outlining the technical aspects of their tokens or services.
  • Alignment with traditional financial institutions may soften the market volatility.  

Regulations undoubtedly benefit the authorities. But do they benefit the public? Decentralization and anonymity were the main drivers of the crypto market in the early days, but while governmental control might seem contradictory to distributed ledger technology, there are potential advantages.  

Love it or hate it, we’re in an arms race. Success will be defined as a country with enough rules to limit damage and potentially provide encouragement to the crypto market.

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