Crypto: the strange story of Coinbase’s first employee

Nostalgic for “Questions for a Champion”, here’s an exercise you might like. Who I am ? I’m the first employee of Coinbase, hired when he started in 2013. It’s a cold email and ” boringly long sent to Fred Eshram and Brian Armstrong who earned me this post. Obviously at the time I had just graduated in Sociology and this allowed me to work at Coinbase for more than 3 years. At that time I had been paid in BTC. I am now the head of an empire, Polychain Capital, a fund management company valued at $ 300 million. Who I am ?

Olaf Carlson-Wee, the longest motivational email in history?

A place in the Guinness Book of Records would have been one of the best rewards for Olaf Carlson-Wee, the first employee of Coinbase, the diversification-loving exchange. It is about him that we are talking about in this article.

Coming out of Vassar College, sociology degree in hand, Carlson-Wee decided to send a cool email to Coinbase, with his 90-page thesis attached.

Fortunately this thesis concerned bitcoin ” and the broader implications of open source finance “.

The future employee of Coinbase No. 1 explains:

I literally sent a cold email [email protected] and I said: ‘I love bitcoin. Here is my thesis I am ready to do any work. ‘

Result: Ehsram had given him a really brutal math problem Once this problem was solved, he was asked to meet the famous Brian Armstrong for a one-hour interview.

Brian’s questions were really intense: “What do you want to do with your life?” “What motivates you as a person?” “Name a belief you have that it is extremely unpopular?” He really wanted to know me “He said.

After this successful job interview, Olaf Carlson-Wee was hired as Coinbase’s first employee. He was assigned the customer service of the irreplaceable American exchange long before the latter registered 250,000 users.

I did customer support myself until we had 250,000 users. It was a marathon. I spent 12 hours a day to respond quickly “, He breathed during an interview with Y Combinator.

Olaf Carlson-Wee, from employee to CEO

Coinbase’s first employee paid in bitcoin

Very strong in math, valiant sociologist and good communicator, Carlson-Wee admitted he received a starting salary of $ 50,000 when he started working at Coinbase. Except that at that moment the Eshram-Armstrong duo had decided not to pay him in fiat but … in bitcoin.

Take our calculator: if bitcoin traded at $ 13 in 2013, it could have hit the equivalent of 3,800 BTC in a year. Let’s also not forget that the price of bitcoin has fluctuated. A year later, he had reached $ 1,100 to return to $ 1,000 a piece in 2016, the year he ended his Coinbase venture.

Ultimately, it is difficult to gauge the amount of cryptocurrencies in Olaf Carlson-Wee’s wallet. But he’s pretty sure his crypto wallet is among the richest of the time. Some sites like How Worth are valuing this man at $ 900 million right now.

From the first Coinbase employee to the founder of Polychain Capital

Surely many of you envy this status as the first Coinbase employee paid in bitcoin. He also did not know that BTC would be valued at $ 69,000 during its November 2021 ATH.

Note that Carlson-Wee chained promotion successions to his first employer as well. We have known him to be the head of customer service at the exchange without any help from subordinates. Subsequently, he was awarded the title of Chief Risk Officer of Coinbase.

Strong in math and a true computer wizard, Carlson-Wee left Armstrong’s company with some experience and crypto funds. Enough to create Polychain Capital, a dedicated cryptocurrency hedge fund that managed a $ 600 million funding round in 2018. Also note that this first Coinbase employee is the co-founder of Filecoin, Inchain, Boost VC and Protocol. Labs. A great success story to which we will add more details soon.

Sources: how much is it worth; CNBC; CryptoSlate; Business Insider

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Mikaia ANDRIAMAHAZOARIMANANA avatar

Mikaia ANDRIAMAHAZOARIMANANA

The blockchain and crypto revolution is underway! And the day the impacts are felt on the most vulnerable economy in this world, against all hope, I will say that it has something to do with it.

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