Christopher Newhouse has long been interested in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and other Web3 “future of the internet” technologies. But, as an undergraduate at Georgia Institute of Technology, he found the university’s professional networking opportunities in the space somewhat lacking.
So, he decided to create them.
“Every single day we’re reading new articles about traditional firms opening crypto divisions, raising crypto funds, building things on the blockchain, asking questions about how to pivot their current business line to be more web3 friendly,” says Newhouse, a 2022 graduate of Georgia Tech who secured several job offers in crypto trading before walking across the commencement stage.
“If companies like A16Z, Goldman Sachs, Citadel, McKinsey, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. are looking for ways to get exposure to cryptocurrency and blockchain, it’s time for students to realize there’s other ways to apply your finance and programming knowledge in opportunities that might be a little more fast paced, a lot more entrepreneurial, and a whole lot more fun than coming to work at a bank in a suit every day, 15 hours a day.”
GEORGIA TECH: A PREMIER PLACE FOR CRYPTO
As an undergrad majoring Computational Biology with a concentration in business, Newhouse co-founded Blockchain at Georgia Tech, a student-led club that now has around 300 members, which is becoming a first-stop for crypto firms looking to recruit junior hires. He also founded The Trading Club at Georgia Tech, which has about 400 members, to help raise awareness for career opportunities in quantitative trading, research, and similar sectors.
“Crypto firms are paying similarly if not better than traditional firms, the culture is a lot more relaxed and entrepreneurial, and these firms are attracting some of the best and brightest talent,” says Newhouse, now working at GSR Markets, a leader in crypto trading. He plans to help advise the clubs he founded as an alum advisor and help build out the recruiting pipeline for Georgia Tech in the blockchain/crypto space.
“Georgia Tech was an incredible place for Web2 careers, but now we’re a premier university for some of the top-rated crypto firms in the industry,” he says.
Poets&Quants interviewed Newhouse about laying the groundwork for a Web-3 recruitment pipeline and the opportunities it can offer to incoming students. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where you grew up, what you wanted to be, were you always interested in tech, etc.?
I recently graduated from Georgia Tech in May 2022.
I grew up in Woodstock, Georgia, about 40 minutes north of Atlanta. I’ve always been interested in computers and was involved in multiple different state-wide competitions that I had placed in during my time at Woodstock High School. I never really knew what I wanted to be, so I came into Georgia Tech as a Computer Engineering Major since my parents had often told me, “If you enjoy it as a hobby, why don’t you try pursuing it as a career?”
A bit about my personal life: I’m recently engaged to my fiancé who I met in Biochemistry class. I greatly enjoy fitness, finance, and food. I’ve recently found myself very interested and involved in cooking the perfect steak and enjoy grilling and relaxing with friends on the weekend.
Why did you choose Georgia Tech?
I chose Georgia Tech because it had one of the top computer engineering programs in the nation, my friends had all attended Georgia Tech, it was in-state, and it felt like one of the best opportunities I had. I was also accepted to Georgia Tech’s distance learning program in high school where I took linear algebra and multivariable calculus.
When/why did you start to become interested in blockchain, crypto and the like?
I had always been interested in cryptocurrency, but mainly as a tradeable asset back in 2017. My journey into the space has been as a trader first. After developing professional experience with one of the leaders in the space, I knew that I wanted to stay involved full-time because this would be one of the best opportunities I could have as a new grad. In crypto, age doesn’t really matter as much as knowledge and passion; You’re able to get responsibility and recognition without having to climb the corporate ladder for years.
My true interest started to develop in the Summer of 2020 when “DeFi Summer” started (this was when decentralized applications built on Ethereum specifically for financial applications became popular). This is when I realized this is going to be one of the biggest opportunities for my generation. Some people compare blockchain/cryptocurrency tech to the next internet.
I became interested in blockchain/crypto as a career because I never wanted to just be one of 50 new graduates in a banking program, or one of the dozens of software engineering hires at a massive company, or even one of the hundreds of consultants in the area. I ended up joining GSR and am the only new graduate trader hired in New York for their firm and was part of a graduate class of six. We were able to sit down and speak face-to-face with the CEO, and we were flown to London as part of our graduate training.
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