Bitcoin may have fallen 6% in the past month, but the short term travails of crypto tokens don't appear to be dulling enthusiam for moving out of banking into a job more closely aligned to the world of the blockchain.
The poster child for what can happen if you go for it and walk away from traditional finance is Sam Peurifoy, the former Goldman Sachs analyst who's now a partner at Hivemind Capital Partners, the investment firm set up by former Citi trader Matt Zhang.
Peurifoy, who spent less than a year at GS, is aged around 26 and also goes by the name of Das Kapitalist in the metaverse or "Captain" in Axie Infinity. He's hiring at his new firm and he says the interest in the roles on offer is huge.
"We've had a tsunami of interest, really remarkable," says Peurifoy, adding that within a few hours hundreds of people had applied and that many of them were traditional finance professionals.
The jobs in question, at Hivemind Capital Partners, are for an investment principal sourcing new investment opportunities and deploying funds in the crypto space, and for an investment intern. The principal will need, "extensive investment experience and a demonstrable passion for blockchain," says Peurifoy. The investment intern will be, "someone with moderate investment experience & a demonstrable passion for blockchain."
Peurifoy says both roles could conceivably be filled by someone with banking experience, and that junior bankers are probably more appealing than seniors. "It's hard to say without seeing the candidates, because crypto as a space is very nascent," he says "But a junior banker who happened to participate in one or two DAO launches earlier this year might be a more attractive candidate than an MD-level banker who thinks Bitcoin is all there is to crypto."
Hivemind currently only has two employees: Zhang and Peurifoy, but with $1.5bn to invest, it needs further assistance. "We are building a tailor made crypto investment platform from the ground up that also offers the infrastructure institutional investors need for risk management, compliance and security," said Zhang at the time of the launch. Bloomberg reported in November that Hivemind planned to add four of five partners in the next six to twelve months. Peurifoy is leading Playground Labs, a division of Hivemind focused on play to earn games.
During his 14 years at Citi, Zhang worked as global head of structured products trading and created SPRINT, the Citi 'spread products investment technologies team' to focus on investments in the fintech space. Zhang is unlikely to be discouraged by the recent fall in crypto prices - in November he forecast a 'crypto winter' in which Bitcoin prices would fall before recovering, and said he was hedging accordingly.
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