Quantstamp Germany has Launched and We’re Hiring
We are proud to announce that Quantstamp is expanding our operations to Germany and we are hiring!
In this post, we discuss the launch of Quantstamp Germany and provide potential employees with insight into what it’s like to work at Quantstamp through the eyes of our employees. We interviewed the following security auditor and research engineers at Quantstamp:
Dr. Sebastian (Sebi) Banescu, formerly IT Security Specialist at BMW AG, received PhD in Computer Security from Technical University of Munich - LinkedIn Twitter
Dr. Mohsen Ahmadvand, formerly Security Specialist at SAP Hybris, recieved PhD in Computer Security from Technical University of Munich - LinkedIn
Christoph Michel, author of Learn EOS, winner of the Günter Hotz medal for outstanding academic graduate studies, received MSc. in Theoretical Cryptography from the University of Saarland - LinkedIn Twitter
While these are the engineers based out of Germany, the whole Quantstamp family consists of 37 fantastic individuals working in various teams such as engineering, communications, operations, and business development. We limit needless bureaucracy in the company and inter-team projects are quite frequent.
Hi Sebi, please introduce yourself.
Sebi: My name is Sebastian Banescu and I am a security auditor and researcher at Quantstamp. I will be in charge of growing the Quantstamp family in Germany over the next year.
What are the goals of the German branch?
Sebi: Our goal is to employ 15 engineers by the end of 2022: however, we may hire more. If we find additional talent, we won't turn them away. To attract the best engineers, we are offering highly competitive compensation packages on par with companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Siemens, BMW, Audi, VW, and Huawei. In addition to compensation packages that include a great base salary and bonuses for performance and referrals, we also offer equity that has great potential over the next 5-10 years.
The German branch will do the same work as the rest of Quantstamp. We're one big family. The point of this entity is to facilitate employment in Germany. Before, our teammates living in Germany and working at Quantstamp had to work as contractors. Now, our current and future teammates are directly employed by Quantstamp and do not have to deal with the complexities that come with working as contractors.
What is the status of the blockchain industry and how does Quantstamp fit into this picture?
Sebi: This industry is at the same level of development as the internet in the mid-90s. In the 90s, few could predict the development of technology giants like Amazon, Google, or Facebook, but people working within the industry knew that something big was on the horizon. Like the internet, blockchain technology is here to stay, and we are excited to be a part of this industry as it unfolds.
Quantstamp plays an essential role in this industry because blockchain applications have unique security needs. In 2020 alone, over 240 million USD worth of digital assets were lost or stolen due to vulnerabilities in blockchain applications. Security incidents taught developers and their users that getting audits conducted by external security experts was in their best interest. It is now an industry standard for blockchain developers to hire security experts to conduct an audit before launching an app.
This is where Quantstamp fits in. We have already secured over 100 billion USD worth of digital assets for over 220 clients and, in doing so, established ourselves as leaders in the security space. Quantstamp developed state-of-the-art expertise by auditing leading DeFi and NFT projects and helping NGOs, private industry, and government entities develop blockchain applications. Our clients include Siemens, Toyota, Mitsubishi, eToro, Binance, Crypto.com, and Chainlink. We are a Y Combinator alumni and we are also backed by Outliers, Plug and Play Japan, and Dubai Future Accelerators. The investors that we can publicly disclose include Nomura Holdings, VentureSouq, Fifty Years, Pioneer Fund, DG Lab, Translink Capital, Y Combinator, Bloccelerate, SVKCrypto, and Keisuke Honda.
We have also developed a great reputation by building trust with our clients and their users. It feels great to see that users are excited to promote the fact that their favorite applications were audited by Quantstamp.
What are the perks of working for Quantstamp?
Sebi: First and foremost, we respect the work / life balance. Many companies feel the need to make their employees work 24/7. We understand that this is a bad strategy that leads to burnout, and drains creativity and effectiveness. One way that we put this into practice is by planning for a 30hr work week with the understanding that random stuff might come up and take more time than expected. By providing this cushion, we make sure that full-time employees do not go over 40hrs/week.
Another way we prioritize work / life balance is by having flexible hours. Employees can work whenever they prefer from wherever they want. Additionally, we offer generous vacation packages (5-6 weeks/year) as well as paid parental leave.
We also make sure our employees have the best working conditions when it comes to physical environment and hardware. This means that when you are at Quantstamp you can decide if you want to work in an office/co-working space or if you want to work from the comfort of your own home. In any case, you are free to pick the hardware of your choice (i.e. laptop, monitors, keyboard, mouse, other accessories) and even buy home-office furniture including a stand-up desk and comfortable chair, all reimbursed by Quantstamp.
We are a remote-first company, but we also offer quarterly retreats so that our employees can hang out at a nice location, get to know each other in person, and plan for the upcoming quarter. We have already been to Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and we are aiming for Portugal next.
In addition to quarterly retreats, Quantstamp also flies its employees out to blockchain and security conferences like Defcon, Devcon, and ETHCC so we can strengthen our ties with partners, meet new people, and share unique insights with the community.
Quantstamp also prioritizes the future goals of our employees. Some of our engineers are still completing their PhDs, so they are only working about 10 hours a week. This is mutually beneficial because it allows us to retain talent while making sure that our employees can fulfill their existing commitments.
Everyone at Quantstamp has the opportunity and support for personal development through professional technical training and courses. Our company strongly encourages regular exercise and meditation and offers free gym memberships or online workout subscriptions of your choice.
Do employees have an opportunity to participate in research?
Sebi: Definitely! From the point of inception, we have awarded grants to professors at world-class universities like MIT and NUS. This gives our employees the opportunity to research in collaboration with the best research groups in the world. We are currently actively involved in research with the University of Waterloo, with which we have already co-authored academic papers published at international conferences. Academic research published include the following papers:
MPro: Combining Static and Symbolic Analysis for Scalable Testing of Smart Contract
Constant-Time Updates Using Token Mechanics
We are currently in discussions with several other professors from renowned universities in Europe in order to start collaborating on smart contract research projects with PhD students.
However, Quantstamp is not limited to academic research:
- Our engineers are involved in open source research projects such as GodMode, a testing tool that allows you to easily modify the state of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. We highly encourage open source contributions from the Quantstamp team.
- For those engineers looking to patent their ideas on Quantstamp’s behalf, we also financially support the full patenting process and currently have a patent pending.
- Quantstamp is also one of the Global Innovators in Blockchain of the World Economic Forum and, as part of that engagement, our engineers have the opportunity to join various research projects and initiatives in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
- Quantstamp is also part of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), which is developing the future of mobility with the help of Distributed Ledger Technologies. Our team members have co-authored the first ever Vehicle Identity Standard as well as reference implementation architectures for Vehicle Identity, Supply Chain, Finance Securitization, and Smart Contracts. See all documents co-authored by our team on the official MOBI website.
- In terms of smart contract community collaboration and research, our team members are actively contributing to the Smart Contract Research Forum.
- Back in 2019, we published the first book on smart contract security entitled Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security.
Where is Quantstamp based out of?
Sebi: We are based in San Francisco and we have offices in Toronto, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, and now Munich. However, we have employees working from many countries fully-remotely: Algeria, Brazil, Dubai, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada, and the US.
Are you interested in traveling the world while you work remotely? You can! Working for Quantstamp means you are not confined to a specific location.
How is blockchain technology going to impact the future?
Sebi: Blockchain technology is on track to be the backbone of the financial infrastructure of tomorrow. The transfer of assets managed by a blockchain settle much faster than assets managed by traditional finance backends. Fast settlement in combination with the ability to write tamperproof programs that manage these assets led to the new financial applications collectively known as decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi applications currently manage over 50 billion USD worth of assets.
Multi-billion dollar finance companies are already exploring blockchain implementations with the aim of speeding up asset settlement and currency transfers including CitiGroup, Depository Trust and Clearing Group, UBS, and JPMorgan Chase (source). Allianz SE is also actively exploring how to speed up the processing of insurance claims using this technology.
Blockchain technology also enhances trust and transparency in supply chains. Walmart is currently using blockchain technology to detect contaminated food and others are using blockchains to detect counterfeit goods.
Blockchain technology is here to stay.
How will regulation affect the blockchain industry?
Sebi: Although governments are in the process of figuring out how to regulate the industry, most are taking measures to ensure that regulation does not stifle innovation. Like the early internet, blockchain technology is not going away and offers many benefits that the private sector, NGOs, and even government entities themselves want to take advantage of. In fact, governments that choose to be heavy handed in regards to regulation have the most to lose. Strict governments will miss out on quality jobs for their citizens, tax revenue, and the economic benefits that will result from implementing this technology.
Overregulating the blockchain industry is akin to overregulating the development of the early internet.
Hi Christoph, can you tell us what you like about working for Quantstamp?
Christoph: I like that Quantstamp lets me work remotely. Unlike most companies, the Quantstamp team was a remote-first company even before the pandemic.
The work hours are flexible, there are few meetings, and I work part-time. This allows me to travel from time to time. Quantstamp gives us way more freedom than the vast majority of companies can offer.
When we do have meetings, they are very useful. Every Friday, we have our Decentralized Friday Meeting, where most of the company gets on a single call and each department shares what they are working on. After the calls, we sometimes have tutorials where teammates share the latest things they learned about a particular niche in the industry.
Another great thing about this job is that we are basically getting paid to stay up-to-date with an emerging technology that is going to have as big an impact on the world as the internet itself. We are an industry leader and, being that we provide security services to the industry, we have the opportunity to work with the top projects in the space. While most blockchain companies are working on a particular niche for years, we get to work with lots of different applications which gives us unique insights and perspectives.
How about you Mohsen? What do you enjoy about working for Quantstamp?
Mohsen: My passion is security and Quantstamp is the first place where I can pursue my passion without compromising my values. I do not have to worry about convincing product owners that security standards matter.
We have an ideal learning environment that is facilitated by our workplace culture and the clients we work with. We work closely with our clients when we are conducting an audit, and this is great considering that they are working on state-of-the-art projects such as Ethereum 2.0, Maker, and Curve. Another important factor in maintaining our edge in the industry is that we have a culture of continuous improvement without bureaucratic red-tape, which I like very much. This industry is constantly solving new problems together and this fosters a unique culture of collaboration, even with outside organizations.
Quantstamp also values research and innovation. The company encourages (and generously covers) participation in scientific activities, writing papers, giving talks, and conducting workshops. As a researcher with an academic background, I have the chance to deal with solid practical problems and more importantly, I have access to real-world data (audits)! Quantstamp’s position in the industry means that my research and work have an impact on the technologies that will be a part of the internet infrastructure of tomorrow.