We chatted with Stepan Krasnov and Daniel Monchar from Mercuryo.io on how to find a job in the crypto world.
Stepan works as a sales specialist for Mercuryo. He had worked for a Russian-based FinTech company before joining Mercuryo. Daniel works for Mercuryo as a Business Development Manager. He began the happy hour discussion by introducing us to Mercuryo. Mercuryo is an Estonian-based cryptocurrency exchange service providing businesses and consumers with a quick way to buy and sell crypto with their bank cards. It features a crypto exchange where users can exchange crypto for fiat currencies and vice versa. The platform also features a multicurrency wallet to store and transfer funds. “We began our journey in 2018, and in just two years, we became one of the world’s leading and recognizable cryptocurrency services, with over one million customers. In general, we feel that the value of cryptocurrencies is not about profiting from price increases, pumping downs, and so on. We believe that cryptocurrency is far more convenient for international transfers and settlements, and the real purpose is to improve the traditional financial system. Mercuryo’s objective is to build an infrastructure that connects traditional and crypto payments, allowing consumers to use cryptocurrencies as simply as modern banking and in a better way. We believe that the future of cryptocurrencies is only conceivable in the legal arena, with no restrictions and full conformity with regulatory norms.”
We asked Stepan and Daniel why they chose to work in the cryptocurrency industry. Stepan stated that he never imagined himself being associated with cryptocurrency. He began his career as a seller — he used to make direct sales and to shops, selling medical equipment to hospitals and other institutions. Then, throughout the job transition phase, he was looking for something new, and he wasn’t thinking about crypto at the time. So his friends, including Daniel, eventually came out to him, and because of his selling talents, charismatic personality, and ability to speak English, they offered him an interview. And that’s how he started working with the AD Group. He funnily added that there was a time when he was selling payment gateways and other payment solutions and had no idea how they worked or what he was talking about. Later, after obtaining some work experience and passing the interview, he began working for Mercuryo, solely selling Mercuryo products. He then expressed his belief that in order to do a good job in a crypto company, you must have a variety of soft and/or hard skills. “Many of those skills are transferable to different employment in different fields and/or companies. As a result, if you have certain skills, you can work at a crypto company. However, if we are talking about developers, IP accounting, or traders, you must have a complete understanding of the subject.”
Daniel said that he ended his career in game development at the end of 2016 and decided to look over new opportunities. He began by investing in ICOs and then moved on to OTC trades (OTC trades or Over-the-counter trades refers to the process of how securities are traded via a broker-dealer network as opposed to on a centralized exchange or in terms of crypto, it is like changing crypto for local money without exchanges mostly in form of offline deals). After a highly interesting adventure in OTC trades, he eventually started working as Mercuryo business developer, which he considers as “the best job of his life.”
We then asked Stepan and Daniel what is going on in the crypto market in terms of jobs – which positions are the most popular, which ones are the easiest to get started with, and what positions are shifting directions in terms of working in the crypto sector. Stepan stated that people are starting to pay attention to the crypto market right now, and that we are only just beginning to utilize the technology in his perspective. “Not everyone understands that when we talk about crypto and all that new financial stuff, there is a technology behind it, and it is called a blockchain,” he explained. “Blockchain is a new approach of storing and gathering data, transferring data, conducting transactions, and so forth. We are on our way to widespread use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and the same is true for crypto-related jobs. If we look back five years, there are no companies or recognizable ones on the market. So, what is occurring now is that some of the startups that were unknown at the time have developed into more or less mainstream, so to speak, companies. So, in my perspective, there is the creation of a new labor market, and we are seeing global adoptions of crypto-related jobs”. Daniel went on to say that crypto companies prefer to hire people with FinTech and startup experience, as well as traditional financial industry knowledge.
The following question concerned why someone might consider working in the cryptocurrency business and what prospects it provides. Daniel replied, “It’s a simple response.” “If you love something, you must pursue it; if you do not, you must “fire yourself”. Simply pursue your dreams.” According to Stepan, in the Russian labor market, crypto companies pay slightly more than the market average. “They are searching for dynamic people with experience, and they are willing to pay above market rates in order to attract good personnel from good companies.”
We then asked them what advice they would provide to someone who doesn’t know anyone or has no network in the crypto world but is keen to work in this field. They advised that the best recommendation is to set up a Linkedin account. “For new people in this industry, you need to discover a few companies that match your thoughts and interests, then you need to dig deep into that company’s history and roadmap, and finally you need to be confident and not give up.” Stepan went on to describe how to get into the Russian crypto labor market in further detail: “Create a solid CV on HeadHunter (online recruitment platform in Russia and CIS focusing on connecting job seekers with an employer) and begin watching various advertising from cryptocurrency companies. Keywords such as crypto lawyer, crypto data analytics, crypto salesperson, crypto business developer, blockchain, Bitcoin, and so on should be used while looking for that type of job. And another platform that I advice using is Linkedin, which is more international in nature. You may search for people who work for crypto companies, or you can look for crypto companies themselves, or you can simply browse for adverts of crypto companies searching for employees. So these two would be my primary job-search methods in the crypto market.” He also stated that you should not be afraid if you already have a job in crypto company or are interviewing for one. “A lot of people believe that asking a question when you don’t know something is embarrassing. If you don’t know something, it doesn’t imply you won’t be able to find a job. Nothing like that occurs. You will, of course, be denied if you are not qualified for the position. I’ve been turned down several times. Sometimes it is for the best because you imagined a company to be one thing, but it turns out to be something quite else. So, if you receive a denial, consider it a step forward and go on.”
The following question we asked was, “What are the crypto projects seeking for in candidates – what kinds of soft or hard skills would you advise our audience to develop?” Daniel stated that crypto is not a different planet, and that they are seeking for the same things as in any other IT company, but that you get to learn and start learning quickly in every IT area. Regarding sales and the community management and business development positions Stepan said: “In all of my cases, one of my benefits was the English language itself. Knowing and speaking English is a great approach to boost your market value and make your profession more interesting by expanding your clients’ global reach. When it comes to Community Manager, things get a little difficult because you need to keep up with daily headlines as well as a lot of new information. And conversational abilities are the second most crucial talent in a sales or business development position. So, if you understand and speak English, are able to develop communication, and are a quick learner, you have hit the jackpot.”
We then inquired about their investment approach, such as how they construct a portfolio and what they search for. Daniel simply stated that you need conduct your own research and follow US-based funds – open the current market capitalization, each of the top 100 and conduct extensive research, discover the funds on the back, and follow them. Regarding the funds mentioned by Daniel, Stepan noted that he would recommend just searching for tier-one funds — as they are required to post various reports on their activity for the regulators, which can be accessible on a variety of websites and platforms. So, once you’ve compiled a list of funds that interest you, you may begin browsing and reading their reports. If we’re talking about Stepan’s investment strategy: “I am doing it way simpler. What I do is known as dollar-cost averaging, and it is a fairly basic investing method. Every month, on a fixed date, I purchase a specified amount of Bitcoin and/or Ethereum, no less than $200 equal. I’m writing everything down and keeping track of how much I’ve spent on the cryptocurrency as well as how much fiat I’ve already put in. At some point, let’s say after three or four years, I’ll stop and let it hold for a while because I feel these two coins will grow in value. And when you reach that point, when a change in the rate of, say, 2-3 percent affects your portfolio in two or three salaries, that’s when you can start thinking about real investing. And, as always, never spend more than you are willing to lose.”