Big technology is experiencing a brain drain into the crypto sector

Like the internet in the 1990s, the industry blockchain you are living a moment of full effervescence. Projects are no longer mere promises but are beginning to become a reality that is increasingly accessible to all. Investing in cryptocurrencies has become mainstream , NFTs are skyrocketing and big brands like Zara or Nike are starting to create services for the metaverse. The thing is serious. And this is confirmed by the brain drain experienced by the large Silicon Valley technology companies –Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon–, who see their professionals moving towards start-ups cryptocurrency, NFT, blockchain or the now called Web3, a concept that is used to designate an internet that is no longer under the control of large companies but operates through a decentralized system in the hands of the Internet users themselves.

The paradigmatic example is that of Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, who three weeks ago announced his departure from the company to focus on the leadership of Square -now called Block-, a digital payments company that wants to become a benchmark in the world of the blockchain.

“I hadn’t been this excited in a long time; It reminds me of eBay in the 90s, ”says a manager

The rotary The New York Times reported this week on a string of managers in companies big tech they were following the same path. Some examples are the vice president of Amazon in the cloud, Sandy Carter, who has just announced her incorporation to the company Unstoppable Domains, specialized in the marketing of domains of blockchain ; the leader of the Meta (Facebook) cryptocurrency division, David Marcus, who has also announced that he is leaving office to create his own virtual currency project. Or the head of finance for the transport platform Lyft (rival of Uber), Brian Roberts, who has just signed for the same position at the firm OpenSea, an exchange platform of NFT. In recent statements to the Bloomberg agency he said: “I haven’t been this excited in a long time. It reminds me of eBay in the mid-nineties. “

According to this newspaper, the phenomenon worries companies like Google, which has already begun to offer more shares to some employees to retain them. But many of them do not change their professional course because of a salary issue (very high in big technology) but because of enthusiasm for what is coming.

In Spain there are also cases of financial managers and the video game sector

The technology blockchain –Which is behind the cryptocurrencies, NFT or the web3– is “living its moment, the market has recognized its potential, leaving aside the speculative fever that exists in the environment of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin”, confirms Montse Guardia, director of Alastria , a Spanish association of blockchain with more than 500 associated companies from different sectors. “Blockchain technology has been promising a lot for years and it is now when we begin to verify its potential, supported projects are appearing with a lot of money behind, especially in the field of virtual payments.” Guardia believes that another demonstration of the serious progress in the sector has been the approval this year of the virtual yuan in China and the digital euro project announced by the European Union this summer.

Another data that confirms the explosion of the sector this last year is that of the investment that the start-ups based on blockchain technology. According to the CB Insights platform, the sector has captured 15,000 million dollars in the first nine months of the year, which is almost four times more than the total achieved in 2020, when 3.1 million dollars were registered. From a mega-round registered last year (capital increase of more than 100 million), 15 operations of this type have been reached. Among them, the French Ledger stands out, which sells devices to store cryptocurrencies, the American Gemini, a currency exchange platform or the start-up Austrian crypto asset investment company Bitpanda which, precisely, announced the opening of a hub technological in Barcelona two weeks ago.

Beyond the speculative rush in bitcoin, the potential is in a decentralized internet

“Lately it is much easier to find funds willing to invest in crypto. There is a brutal change ”, recognizes Àlex Puig, promoter of the Block Chain Space project accelerator and founder of Caelum Labs. Carlos Blanco, a leading investor in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain, also has the same impression. “Technology seemed very incipient to me but since last year I consider that it has gained strength and size, especially in technology blockchain , which goes far beyond the speculative phenomenon of bitcoin. I believe that 2022 will be the year where we will see many projects born in this industry ”, points out the entrepreneur, who has just launched a training school for blockchain together with the multinational company Binance aware that the market will demand specialized professionals in the medium term.

In Spain, the phenomenon of the flight of professionals into the sector blockchain It is not being mass produced but there are some examples of senior managers in the financial and technology sector who have taken the same path. For example, Julio Faura, director of the R&D department and blockchain At Banco Santander, he founded the company Adhara three years ago, a consultancy in services blockchain , or Manel Sort, first vice president of the video game multinational King in Barcelona, ​​has promoted G4AL, a games company in this new virtual universe. Another significant case is that of Haydée Barroso, former leader of Innocells, Banc Sabadell’s innovation platform, which more than two years ago launched Atani, an investment platform for multiple crypto assets.

The true potential that all of them see is in the development of an internet that is not controlled by large companies and that allows users to interact in a much more direct way between people and the payment of products and services.

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