Citadel Securities’ European CTO quit for a crypto market maker

The first technology experts leave the investment bankers to the electronic market makers. Then they leave the electronic market makers to the crypto market makers companies.

John MacDonald, former managing director and chief technology officer of Citadel Securities in Europe, has joined GSR, the crypto market maker. MacDonald joined GSR’s London office this month as CTO and Partner, according to his LinkedIn profile update.

GSR is expanding rapidly globally. In December, head of sales Michael Pressler told us he plans to add 100 people every six months for the next few years.

Pressler previously spent 14 years at JPMorgan and may already have been familiar with MacDonald, who had worked at JPMorgan in London for nearly nine years before joining Citadel Securities in 2016.

Citadel Securities is known for its generosity of employees. According to its latest accounts filed in London, the average compensation per person was $683,000 (£499,000) in 2020. However, crypto-market makers are gaining a good reputation for their generosity, and GSR pays out bonuses twice a year.

It’s not just financial companies that are losing their employees to crypto companies – big tech companies face the same problem. CEOs from Google, Amazon and Apple all moved to crypto companies in 2021 according to the New York Times, and former Meta employees have founded crypto startups.

Recruiters say there is a huge shortage of people familiar with cryptocurrency languages ​​like Solidity and Rust, which are popular with crypto companies. Top engineering managers in this sector can be well paid, with Coinbase paying over $270,000 in salaries in San Francisco.

The Block estimates that 27 major crypto companies employed 8,700 people last year. GSR is currently looking for more than 50 engineers globally.

McDonald’s move comes despite the fact that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plunged nearly 20% in the past month, presumably completed before that happened.

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