"Bulgaria is Europe's hidden gem for programming talent"
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Token Terminal: Bulgaria is Europe's hidden gem for programming talent

Business
10/01/2022
"Token Terminal and Telerik Academy share the same vision that programming can transform lives, even industries," Robert Valta shared. 

Originally from Finland, he's the co-founder and CTO of Token Terminal - a leading data analytics platform for cryptoassets and one of the most recent companies joining our ever-growing partner network.

Naturally, we wanted to learn more about Token Terminal - the fascinating field it operates in, the investment in junior IT talent, and what's next for the local office in Bulgaria.

photo of robert valta, cto of token terminal, a telerik academy partner

Let's dive right in!

Cryptoassets, protocols, Token Terminal

Token Terminal operates in the field of cryptoassets - one of the hottest topics among investors, tech enthusiasts and recently the broader audience with the help of people like Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and the benefits of the technology itself. However, we'll start with a quick introduction to two terms you'll meet in the interview.

The first one is cryptoassets, also known as cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, to name the most prominent, but there are many others). Those are secured digital representations of value that can be transferred, stored or traded electronically.

The other one is crypto protocols. Protocols are a set of rules that allow data to be shared between computers. And every cryptoasset has its own protocols.

So, now we are ready to get back to our conversation.

Before co-founding Token Terminal in 2020, Robert Valta worked as a software engineering consultant at Accenture for financial and public services clients and as a blockchain developer for a San Francisco-based startup.

"Just like many other developers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the space, the crypto bug bit me in 2017," he added with a smile. Around that time, the problem with data availability and the lack of tools to evaluate different crypto protocols became more apparent.

This, in turn, led to the inception of Token Terminal with the idea that cryptoassets are internet native businesses with actual economic activity, as Robert Valta explained.

"In fact, 1-2-year-old crypto protocols have either already surpassed or are on the path to surpass their 10+-year-old traditional finance competitors. Yet, the vast majority of people have no clue about what crypto is, not to mention its rate of growth," he added.

Token Terminal's core product focuses on providing fundamental metrics (e.g. revenue, gross merchandise volume, price-to-sales ratios) on cryptoassets through the website and API. They use real-time technology to translate open but somewhat disordered data into standardized and comparable metrics. 

"Our clients mainly consist of crypto-native individuals, funds and lately also large institutions," explained Robert Valta.

Even though it's a young company, Token Terminal has already achieved some notable milestones, seeing their metrics and data featured in high profile reports in the digital asset space (e.g. Grayscale's 2020 digital assets report, VenCap's 2021 report, among others).

The Bulgarian office and the role of the junior talent

Since its beginning, Token Terminal has been a remote-first company, and even one of its co-founders works from Bulgaria. With the team's scaling, opening a local office was the natural next step for the company.

"We view Bulgaria as Europe's hidden gem when it comes to programming talent and the growth of the IT sector," explained Robert Valta, adding that finding the right and hungry junior talent has turned out to be the correct strategy for Token Terminal.

Junior talent is a key component to fuel the growth of a company that operates in the novel and constantly changing crypto space.

"In our view, experience in traditional "web2" technologies doesn't guarantee the capability to learn crypto-native "web3" technologies well. We invest a lot internally, giving junior programmers and researchers responsibilities they are totally unqualified to do. We optimize for speed of learning, not speed of doing."

The partnership with Telerik Academy

"We share the same vision with Telerik Academy that programming can transform lives, even industries."

According to Robert Valta, Telerik Academy is "a premier brand in Bulgaria's IT and startup ecosystem ", just as Token Terminal is one of the leading crypto data analytics companies globally with "ambition to be a premier brand also locally in Bulgaria," adding that outdated, 3-5 year studies crumble in front of practical and intense programs.

Well, the Telerik Academy Alpha programs are just that - practical and intense.

Trends shaping the IT sector

We are always eager to ask our partners about the trends that shape their area of work at the moment. Speaking of crypto, getting an inside look is even more interesting. 

"Historically (and currently) a lot of the public discourse regarding cryptoassets has been about price movements, dog coins, regulatory uncertainty, etc.," started Robert Valta, and added that the more sophisticated discussion (which is not that public) is about the growth of the market, real usage and fundamentals.

"We predict that also the public discussion will move more towards the latter as more sophisticated investors start deep-diving into the data. We can already see the institutional adoption increase as companies like Visa are experimenting with the technology on top of Ethereum and Société Générale is looking into taking a loan from the MakerDAO protocol."

What's next for Token Terminal? Here's the answer

"We aim to ramp up operations towards the end of the year and deep dive into understanding the local talent market even better. Mid- to long-term, we aim to become one of the premier brands in Bulgaria. Talent-wise, we plan to recruit 5-10 developers in the coming 6 months."


Are you looking to jumpstart your career in IT? Find out more about our Telerik Academy Alpha programs. Are you a company seeking Master Junior talent? Then go through our business page or contact us directly.
 
Business
10/01/2022

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