The new Silicon Valley get-rich-quick job

When Sandy Carter quit her position as a vice president of Amazon’s cloud computing unit this month, she stated in a LinkedIn post that she was joining a crypto technology startup. She included a link for open positions at the startup.

Within two days, she claimed, more than 350 people – many from the world’s largest internet companies – had clicked the link to apply for jobs at Unstoppable Domains. The company provides internet addresses that are stored on the blockchain, a distributed ledger system.

“It’s the perfect storm,” Carter said. “The momentum we’re seeing in this space is just incredible.”

Carter is part of a wave of executives and engineers who are quitting lucrative careers at Google, Amazon, Apple, and other huge tech firms, some of which pay millions of dollars per year, to pursue what they view as a once-in-a-lifetime chance. The next big thing, they argued, is crypto, a catch-all term for digital currencies like Bitcoin as well as goods like nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which rely on the blockchain.

Stories of people riding apparently ludicrous crypto investments like Dogecoin, a digital token based on a dog joke, to life-changing success abound in Silicon Valley these days. This year, Bitcoin has risen by roughly 60%, while Ether, the cryptocurrency linked to the Ethereum network, has more than fivefold in value.

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