Leaving Tech for Crypto: Where to Work in Web3

Leaving Tech for Crypto: Where to Work in Web3


This is Part 3 of a 3-part series about Why to Move Into Web3, How to Move Into Web3, and Where to Move Into Web3. Follow me on Twitter @0xShah and tweet at or send me a DM to say hello!

Web3 is here. NFTs, DeFi, DAOs. Big brands like Nike and Pepsi, celebrities like Jay-Z and Reese Witherspoon, and everyone's grandmother at Thanksgiving dinner wanted to know more about crypto. As we head into 2022, maybe you're thinking "Should I get a job in Web3? Where should I work? What would I do? How do I get started?"

As a brief reminder, I believe Web3 is important because it transfers the creation, ownership, and governance of Internet technologies from centralized corporations to decentralized but coordinated individuals. This yields better socioeconomic results in my view. Most people contribute to the world in spare time, board seats, or through donations; this is an opportunity to fully contribute to building a better long-term version of the Internet. For me, that was about joining Alchemy to help bring blockchain to a billion people through infrastructure; we're hiring.

This is not financial advice. Do your own research. I will update this periodically based on feedback and new information. These are my personal opinions; not that of my employer or anyone else. If anything is incorrect or can be improved, please let me know.

I previously wrote about why to work in Web3, and how to work in Web3. This post is about where to work in Web3 to demystify the landscape.

Summary: The Web3 Landscape

In short, you can either work on infrastructure or applications. Infrastructure would be an actual protocol with a growing ecosystem; an application could be a Web3 wallet for using dapps and staking tokens. One is a foundation, one is an experience.

  • Layer 1 Protocols: The blockchain
  • Layer 2 Protocols: The scaling solutions (mostly for Ethereum)
  • DAOs: Decentralized autonomous organizations
  • Centralized Exchanges (CEX): Buy, sell, and hold cryptoassets
  • Decentralized Exchanges (DEX): Buy, sell, and hold cryptoassets with no centralized control
  • Wallets: The consumer gateway to assets, dapps, and protocols
  • NFT Marketplaces: Mint, sell, collect, and socialize around NFTs
  • NFT Projects: Bringing the technology and community around an NFT concept to life
  • Gaming: Play-to-earn and other ways to incorporate NFTs and other tokens into games
  • Blockchain Education and Onboarding: Educating Internet users about DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs
  • Infrastructure: APIs and Oracles - power the ecosystem
  • Investors: Deploying capital and executing research to help grow the ecosystem
  • Additional teams

Layer 1 Protocols

Recommended if interested in core technology infrastructure and ecosystems across DeFi/NFTs/DAOs

Ethereum Foundation (Ethereum) | Contribute | Careers

  • Unlike alternative layer one protocols, Ethereum doesn't have a centralized team driving it
  • This means that there's not an economically-motivated group focused on recruiting the best talent
  • Yet the Ethereum Foundation does an incredible amount of public goods work to fuel the ecosystem
  • As of December 2021, they were hiring administrative assistants and a product designer but presumably if you are a capable, motivated developer you have a lot to contribute here (Source)
  • Recommendation: If you are technical and believe in Ethereum, this is a highly respected team to join

Solana Labs (Solana) | Solana Labs Careers | Ecosystem Jobs

  • Solana is considered the biggest competitor to Ethereum, with lower fees and faster speed
  • However, some fear centralization with fewer validators and its Proof of History mechanism
  • Many developers are starting to use Solana as an alternative to build more usable products
  • More than 1M people have used Phantom, its ecosystem's leading wallet, suggesting growth potential
  • Recommendation: If you want to work on an actual blockchain with the most traction towards being a complement or replacement to Ethereum, Solana currently presents that opportunity

Terraform Labs (Terra) | Careers

  • Terra is focused on a stablecoin ecosystem ($UST) that it believes is critical to a functioning Web3
  • It is deploying a $150M ecosystem fund to foster development beyond its current 100+ applications
  • The team is primarily hiring for engineers and business development roles between Korea and the US
  • Recommendation: If you believe in Terra's underlying approach to stablecoins and are excited by the real world adoption they have seen in Asia to date, Terra is an opportunity to drive an L1 ecosystem

Ava Labs (Avalanche) | Careers

  • Focused on financial use cases and asset digitization, Avalanche is another high-growth Layer 1
  • The leadership team has a mix of highly respected computer scientists and finance industry execs
  • To date, Ava Labs has created Avalanche and Ryval, the stock market of litigating financing
  • Based in NY with a global team, Ava Labs is hiring across engineering, BD, product, marketing
  • Recommendation: If you are passionate specifically about finance, and want to intersect that with a team building a protocol and actual products to push DeFi forward, Ava Labs is a unique opportunity

NEAR Foundation (NEAR) | Careers

  • Cofounded by brilliant technical leaders from Google and MemSQL, NEAR is a carbon-neutral L1
  • NEAR announced an $800M ecosystem fund, integrated with Chainlink and The Graph, and more
  • Recommended: If you want to support an L1 with industry-leading technology that has already implemented a lot of the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap (e.g. sharding), NEAR is a growing ecosystem

Fantom (FTM) | Careers

  • Fantom has 80+ dapps built in its ecosystem across DEXes, bridges, lending, yield, NFTs, and more
  • Like most other Layer 1s, Fantom promises speed, lower cost, and environmental-friendliness (PoS)
  • Right now Fantom only has 1 open role for a blockchain developer listed but likely more in reality
  • Recommendation: If you like the technology and its ecosystem specifically, it's worth exploring

Binance Smart Chain (see Binance / Binance.US) | Binance Careers

  • Binance is one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, so this is a chance to work at the protocol level
  • BSC was originally a fork of go-ethereum (Geth) but now evolved into its own distinct chain
  • BSC has been criticized for being significantly centralized as it is primarily developed by one company and has just 21 active validators, which is less than Ethereum and most other competing L1s
  • BSC announced a $1B ecosystem fund across liquidity incentives, incubations, talent, and investments
  • Recommendation: If you believe in Binance's vision and strategy, primarily as an exchange, but now want to work on an actual blockchain technology and ecosystem of dapps, BSC could be worth a look

Layer 2 Solutions

Recommended if you are deeply passionate about the scaling problem facing Ethereum

Offchain Labs / Arbitrum | Careers

  • Led by a founding team from Princeton with academic origins dating back to 2013
  • In Q4'2021, announced an important upgrade Arbitrum Nitro that will deliver a 20-50X speed increase
  • Recommendation: Best if you're highly technical and interested in scaling Ethereum

Optimism | Careers

  • Similar to Arbitrum, it's a rollup that stores transactions on the Ethereum L1 and uses fraud proofs
  • Differs in technical implementation of the specific fraud proofs; learn more here
  • Recommendation: Best if you're highly technical and interested in scaling Ethereum

Polygon | Careers

  • "Ethereum's Internet of Blockchain: a protocol and a framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks."
  • Solutions (Non-Exhaustive): Polygon SDK, Polygon PoS, Polygon Hermez (zk-Rollup)
  • Learn from this Bankless interview (November 2021) about Polygon's growth and Ethereum's challenge
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in variety of Ethereum's scaling solutions

zkSync (Matter Labs) | Careers

  • An alternative to optimistic rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism, zkSyncs boast 10m vs. 2 week exit time
  • Compared to other ZK rollups SNARK based or STARK based, this solution is EVM compatible
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in this specifical technical implementation to Ethereum scaling

Starkware | Careers

  • Responsible for StarkEx, a permissioned Validity-Rollup, and StarkNet, a permissionless ZK-Rollup
  • Differs from optimistic rollups that rely on validators by relying on cryptography instead
  • Claims the mosts transactions ($50M) and volume ($200B) across all L2s
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in STARK (Scalable, Transparent, Argument of Knowledge)

Immutable X | Careers

  • Layer 2 Solution for NFTs specifically. Powers Gods Unchained game. Based in Australia.
  • 2 primary products: Immutable X (exchange protocol) and Mint (NFT minting). Powered by Starkware.
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in NFTs and keen to work on a scaling technology.


Recommended if you want a more flexible work option and want to be on the cutting-edge of crypto communities

FWB (Friends with Benefits) | Careers

  • FWB is a DAO focused on culture and crypto through community, art, live events, and more
  • a16z invested $10M into FWB at a $100M valuation in October 2021
  • Open roles include a diverse set of options including a treasury lead, contributor relations, and more
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in cutting-edge culture and flexibly contributing to a DAO

Developer DAO | Discord

  • Started by Nader Dabit, a well-known Web3 developer relations leader and influencer
  • This has quickly become the pre-eminent community for technical contributors to Web3 with a forthcoming token launch and community growth
  • Recommendation: If you are interested in blockchain engineering and building products, Developer DAO is a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals and build community

she256 (non-profit) | Careers | Ecosystem Jobs

Centralized Exchanges (CEX)

Recommended if you're interested in cryptocurrency trading or breadth of a centralized crypto conglomerate (NFTs, DeFi, etc.)

Coinbase | Careers

  • $60B+ market cap, public company
  • Run by one of the most highly regarded leadership teams in tech
  • Learn the ropes of crypto at a Web2-ish centralized company
  • Get to have exposure to an exchange, NFT marketplace, wallet, etc.
  • Recommendation: Best if seeking breadth, public company dynamics and culture, and risk-mitigation

Binance | Careers

  • $300B market cap, private company
  • Market leadership with $76B in volume per day; highly visible and controversial leader with CZ Peng
  • Opportunity to work at an exchange that also has a fast-growing L1 protocol in Binance Smart Chain
  • Has faced more regulatory scrutiny than average blue chip international centralized exchange
  • Lots of new developments like the recent $200M gaming fund between Binance and Animoca Brands
  • Recommendation: Best if seeking riskier, more aggressive, more international culture and vision

FTX | Careers

  • $32B+ market cap, private company
  • Led by SBF (Sam Bankman-Fried), a more forward-looking, bold, candid industry executive
  • Recommendation: Best if seeking hypergrowth, trading-oriented environment with ties to Solana
  • More: Bittrex, Crypto.com, Gate.io, Gemini, Kraken, Okcoin, and many more

Note: Most crypto exchanges are in the process of becoming crypto conglomerates, adding NFT marketplaces, providing financial service products like lending and borrowing, blockchain education, more.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

Recommended if you're interested in cryptocurrency trading but don't want to work for a big/centralized company

Uniswap Labs | Careers

  • Creators of the Uniswap Protocol, responsible for more than $678B in volume to date
  • One of the most popular DEXs, often doing more volume than most of the centralized exchanges
  • Facing scrutiny from regulators according to The Wall Street Journal like much of DeFi
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in exchanges, automated market makers, and decentralization

Sushiswap | Discord

  • Initially purely a fork of Uniswap's code that launched in August 2020 and lured many Uniswap users by offering its own native token $SUSHI, it has now evolved into a hub for DeFi activity with more products
  • In Q4 2021, public reports documented significant internal turmoil leading to the CTO's resignation
  • Recommendation: Best if interested in breadth of DeFi products and ability to support the restructuring

dYdX | Careers


NFT Marketplaces

NFT Collections

  • Larva Labs (Crypto Punks) | About
  • Pixel Vault (PUNKS Comic) | Email
  • Yuga Labs (Bored Apes) | Website
  • Group Behind World of Women | Website
  • More: Pudgy Penguins, Cool Cats



Rabbithole | Careers

  • "Earn crypto by learning and using the latest crypto applications on web3"
  • Compelling value proposition for projects seeking users and contributors; easy way for people new to Web3 to discover projects and learn how to engage with them and onboard into Web3
  • Hiring engineers, PM, designer, and business development
  • Recommendation: If you're keen to help more people learn how to use Web3 and work with a wide array of projects, Rabbithole is an early leader in the space for doing so

Layer3.xyz | Careers

  • "Earn crypto by doing…[things]"
  • Projects can create bounties for discrete tasks (e.g. "Translate the Olympus Pro documentation")
  • Hiring community manager, developer, product designer
  • Recommendation: If you want to help create projects for people to complete and create a way for DAOs to get quality work done in a decentralized, incentivized manner, this is worth exploring



  • a16z | See Portfolio
  • Alchemy Ventures | See Portfolio
  • Coinbase Ventures | See Portfolio
  • Dragonfly Capital | See Portfolio
  • Electric Capital | See Portfolio
  • Fabric Ventures | See Portfolio
  • Framework Ventures | See Portfolio
  • Pantera Capital | See Portfolio
  • Paradigm | See Portfolio
  • Variant Fund | See Portfolio

Additional Teams

  • Alchemy: Leading Blockchain Development Platform
  • Celo: Global, Mobile-Focused Blockchain
  • Circle: USDC, Financial Services
  • Compound: DeFi Protocol
  • Galaxy Digital/BitGo
  • Goldfinch: Emerging Market Lending
  • Syndicate: Investing as a DAO
  • Moonpay: Fiat On-Ramps Into Crypto
  • Paysail: Invoicing
  • PleasrDAO: Leading culture and art-focused DAO
  • Dapper Labs: Flow, NBA Top Shot and NFT Everything
  • OpenZeppelin: Smart Contract Security
  • Paxos: Digital Assets
  • XMTP: Messaging
  • Zapper: DeFi Portfolio and More
  • Zerion: DeFi Portfolio and More

Thanks! Good luck on your Web3 journey.

DM me or follow me on Twitter @0xShah if I can be helpful.