Crypto: The Strange Story of Coinbase’s First Employee

Nostalgic for “Questions for a Champion,” here’s an exercise you might enjoy. Who am I ? I am Coinbase’s first employee hired when it started in 2013. It’s a cold email and ” boring long sent to Fred Eshram and Brian Armstrong, which gave me this post. Of course, I had just graduated in Sociology at the time and because of that I was able to work at Coinbase for more than 3 years. I was then paid in BTC. Now I run an empire called Polychain Capital, a $300 million fund management company. Who am I ?

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

A place in the Guinness Book of Records would have been one of the greatest rewards for Olaf Carlson-Wee, the first employee of Coinbase, the exchange who loves diversification. We are talking about him in this article.

Carlson-Wee came out of Vassar College with a sociology degree in hand and decided to send a cold email to Coinbase, with his 90-page dissertation attached.

Fortunately, this thesis was about bitcoin” and the wider implications of open source finance “.

Future Coinbase Employee #1 Explains:

I literally cold emailed to [email protected] and I said, ‘I love bitcoin. Here is my dissertation. I’m ready to do any job.’ »

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 an hour-long interview.

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

After this successful interview, Olaf Carlson-Wee was hired as Coinbase’s first employee. He was assigned customer service at the irreplaceable US exchange long before it had 250,000 users.

I only did customer support until we had 250,000 users. It was a marathon. It was 12 hour days to respond quickly ‘ he had breathed during an interview with Y Combinator.

Olaf Carlson-Wee, from employee to CEO

The first Coinbase employee paid in bitcoin

Very strong in math, brave sociologist and good communicator, Carlson-Wee had admitted to receiving a starting salary of $50,000 when he started at Coinbase. Only the duo Eshram-Armstrong had decided at the time not to pay him in fiat, but in bitcoins.

Take our calculator: if bitcoin traded at $13 in 2013, it could have reached the equivalent of 3,800 BTC in a year. Also, let’s not forget that the price of bitcoin fluctuates. A year later, it had hit $1,100 before returning to $1,000 apiece in 2016, the year he ended his adventure with Coinbase.

Ultimately, it is difficult to measure the amount of cryptocurrency holdings in Olaf Carlson-Wee’s wallet. But he is quite sure that his crypto wallet is one of the richest of all time. Some sites like How Worth are now valuing this guy at $900 million.

From the first Coinbase employee to the founder of Polychain Capital

Sure, many of you are jealous of this first employee status at Coinbase, paid in bitcoins. Not even he knew that BTC would be valued at $69,000 during its November 2021 ATH.

Note that Carlson-Wee chained succession of promotions at his first employer as well. We have known him as the head of customer service at the exchange without any help from subordinates. He was then given the title of Chief Risk Officer of Coinbase.

Strong in math and a true computer prodigy, Carlson-Wee left Armstrong’s company with some experience and crypto funds. Enough to set up Polychain Capital, a hedge fund dedicated to cryptocurrencies that managed a round of $600 million 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 shortly.

Resources: how 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 impact will be felt on the world’s most fragile economy, against all odds, I’ll say I had something to do with it

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