Jump Crypto, the cryptocurrency division of Jump Capital’s decades-old trading company, is now in the spotlight as builders, not traders.
Jump Crypto President Karnav Kariya presented the details of his crypto operations at the Avalanche Summit, Barcelona, Spain. He was wearing a neon orange puffer coat and flipflops.
Jump Crypto is a unique presence in decentralized finance ( DeFi). branching further away from its trading roots to become active builders and investors, governance voters, and community members. Jump Crypto even completed what was called DeFi’s first bailout by putting up 320 million. This hack exploited the Jump-backed Wormhole crosschain bridge.
Kariya explained that marketing was not necessary before he joined Jump as an intern in 2017. He rose to the top of the multibillion dollar crypto operation. “But crypto is different, we’re building lots of stuff. Three months ago, we made our first marketing hire.
The firm is now the dominant player in every area of crypto-related activities, including a market-making company, venture capital arm, and increasingly, a team made up of in-house developers that contribute to major blockchain projects.
Kariya reports that Jump Crypto currently employs 140 people, of which over 100 are developers. Half the developers focus on trading while the other half work on ground and shipping codes for protocols.
Kariya stated that they are “writing Rust and Solidity for AVAX, Ethereum” and was referring to the programming languages which power the three blockchains. “We are builders first.”
The investors-as-builders strategy appears to be a growing trend, with venture giants Paradigm and Polychain Capital also expanding their research teams with talented developers who are able to build out key features for their portfolio projects.
Jump has made some of the biggest engineering investments in crypto infrastructure. These include decentralized Exchanges (Serum), Oracles(Pyth), and Wormhole. Wormhole was the bridge mentioned above that suffered structural integrity problems in February.
Kariya stated at the conference, “Many people have asked me why you plugged the $300 million hole.” “The infrastructure pieces that provide communication between chains will be the most value-creative. It was not an easy decision but it was possible to quickly make the right decision.
Jump seems to be using its name in order to gain influence in a community where major decisions are often debated on open governance forums.
Kariya says Jump’s other priority is to stay ahead of changes in the market structure.
Avalanche is also being teased, suggesting a possible Jump subnet at the layer 1 blockchain