How This Canadian Blockchain Company Expands Global Presence Through Hosting Virtual Internships

Blockchain technology is reshaping industries like banking and healthcare on a global scale.  However, the rising demand for blockchain expertise rapidly exceeds the available professional workforce. 

Bitcoin Bay, a Canada-based blockchain company, found a way to cope with the talent shortage by nurturing early career talent with Virtual Internships

We recently sat down with Jerry Qian, one of the co-founders of Bitcoin Bay, to delve into their experience. Discover how Bitcoin Bay found a solution to address their need for developer interns and broaden their reach by tapping into the global workforce.


Tell us about yourself and what Bitcoin Bay does.

My name is Jerry. I'm one of the co-founders of Bitcoin Bay. We started as a meetup group geared towards helping newcomers get into the Bitcoin and blockchain space in 2014, and we officially became a startup company in the second half of 2017. Our main goal is to help people understand the whole blockchain ecosystem and develop products and services that can help people interact with the system in a self-custodial manner. We want to give control of people's finances back to people's hands.


Are you remote-first, or do you have a base in Toronto?

We do have an office in downtown Toronto. We're all Toronto-based, or at least in the greater Toronto area. With the Covid-19 lockdowns these past few years, people have been working from home. Right now, we are trying to maintain the hybrid working model. Our team meets at the office at least twice to three times a week to ensure we can coordinate.


Can you tell us a little bit about how you came across Virtual Internships and came to partner with us?

It was a referral from someone else from the blockchain space here who recommended the platform to me and many others in the blockchain space. We want to give it a try. We worked with two interns this past summer. It was an exciting experience, especially considering most of our interactions have been very local.


Before partnering with Virtual Internships, had you hosted an internship program?

We usually had students from the local schools, colleges, and universities here. We work with schools that have Blockchain programs. We provide those students with relevant work experiences, whether in developments like programming or a better understanding of the business aspect and the dynamics of all these blockchain industry players.


Considering your company's nature, do you seek interns with particular skills to contribute to and effectively work on your projects?

We are focusing more on developer interns or people with programming interests. We're looking to build many things, not just for ourselves but also for some of our prospective clients. What we're looking for is some basic understanding of JavaScript, like being able to work with the website's developments. And then, we can coach them along with everything else. It will be tough if people still need basic development skills.


Before you partnered with Virtual Internships, did you have any concerns? Was there anything that made you stop and think?

Nothing that we have yet to experience. Before, we'd had to do quite a lot of training for the interns we worked with. So, as long as there are no “minimum competencies,” at least on the developer aspects, it’s relatively flexible when working with those people. As I mentioned, if a person comes in with a barely functional grasp of programming, it would be a waste of time for both sides.


You were open to the opportunity when you first partnered with Virtual Internships. Did you have your specific goals at that time? Were you primarily interested in virtual interns for short-term projects, or were you considering it a potential pathway for eventual hiring?

We had two developer interns come in. They mainly worked on short-term projects as it was our first time with the experiential learning program. We want to see what kind of students we are getting. And we were pleasantly surprised by the results. Ultimately, expanding our presence beyond Canada is one of our goals. The possibility of having more individuals dedicated to raising awareness of our business abroad is something we're looking for.


Certainly, the virtual aspect adds a global perspective, especially considering that interns are joining from various parts of the world. Regarding the benefits, you mentioned that they surpassed your initial expectations. Could you highlight some key aspects?

A significant aspect of it was being attentive to things we often took for granted, such as the various steps involved. The interns were also engaged, diligently working, and open to feedback. Overall, I found their enthusiasm and willingness to contribute particularly intriguing.


Thank you. As a startup founder, what roles do you believe companies like yours can play in early career development?

We'll primarily be sharing some of the experiences we've had, particularly in terms of life and career guidance. Like our active listening role with clients, we aim to understand their needs. While we have specific requirements for hires and team members, the positions are flexible, given the company's startup stage. If necessary, we can temporarily shift people around to meet evolving needs. So, flexibility is crucial, especially in the startup environment.


Definitely, a large part of our host companies' network is startups. I think the beauty of working with startups is that the interns get exposure to all sides of the business and wear several hats.

So, the critical factor for us is how much effort students are willing to invest. We've encountered people who prefer to simply follow instructions without much initiative, while others demonstrate more creativity and initiative. It's good to have those interns coming in with a proactive mindset.


Reach The Global Workforce Through Virtual Internships

The success story with Bitcoin Bay highlights the importance of nurturing global early talent, especially in industries with growing talent demand like blockchain. By bringing international talent into your company, you can extend your global reach and infuse new perspectives into your operations.

Virtual Internships simplifies connecting your organization with a global talent pool in just a click. Our innovative platform allows you to browse interns' profiles or receive personalized suggestions directly in your inbox. 

Our program goes a step beyond by providing personalized coaching and expert webinars that can empower these emerging talents with career readiness competencies for future success.

Join our expansive community of over 15,000 host companies and unfold the global future workforce by clicking the button below.

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