Crypto is a fresh and exciting industry, but its relative newness can make it a challenge to build an extended network. Finding people with significant (or any) experience in crypto isn’t the only important criterion. To grow the space and see it reach its full potential, crypto pioneers need a holistic vision of the industry’s possibilities.

Many of the qualities that make for a great potential connection in any industry apply in crypto, too, but it’s when those qualities come with a genuine passion for the space that real progress can happen. Below, 12 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share the qualities they’re searching for when expanding their crypto network.  

Entrepreneurial experience

I only work with seasoned entrepreneurs and those who understand what it takes to not only start a business but also to execute and build that business into a success. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard it and witnessed it first hand. Bringing any idea to market is a challenge, and being in a fast-paced, innovative industry like crypto makes it all the more difficult. If I know someone has a solid track record, that means the project has a better chance of success, which makes it easier to get involved either financially or in an advisory role. – Eric Benz, MYNT

An active presence on LinkedIn

I use my LinkedIn profile to voice my passionate belief in the ideals of blockchain. Because of this, I also use it to see how active others are in their participation. You can see who someone knows and how willing they are to share, and you can also see people’s credentials. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my work recognized through LinkedIn’s “2021 Top Voices in Tech & Innovation,” and I wear this honor on my profile with pride. – Lavinia Osbourne, Women in Blockchain Talks

The motivation to create something meaningful

The most important part when evaluating new connections in crypto is figuring out whether this person actually wants to work with you to create something meaningful or if they want to connect to shill you a project. I am in crypto for the long run, because I believe in the potential of this industry to transform the world and almost all other industries. Many people are in it for the possibility of making a quick buck, often at the expense of those who have invested in them. Those people are a waste of my time. – Simon Cowell, ZEBEDEE

Openly shared information

With the average loss per victim in the crypto space rising, it is very important to vet who you are networking with. The connection requests in the crypto space come largely from developers or businesses active in the space. I try to understand why someone has reached out to me. I look at the projects they are involved in, their credibility and their experience; I am reluctant to connect with individuals whose information/projects are not openly disclosed or those who don’t have any prior experience. It’s a very active market at the moment, and as with anything, scams and frauds are at their peak, too. – Vinita Rathi, Systango 

In-network recommendations and verified references

When in doubt, the best possible option is to hire or work with people inside your extended network. When you get an investor, employee or peer to vouch for someone, it’s so much easier to sleep well, knowing the list of unknowns about a person or entity you’re engaging with is smaller. That being said, you cannot have 100% certainty all the time, and there are always well-qualified people outside of your network. Being unafraid to ask for references and actually following through on checking them is essential for turning a gut feeling about someone — whether good or bad — into something that’s actionable and responsibly verified. – James Moreau, Jet Protocol 

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Lived experience

I look for the person’s history of activity in the space. This includes how long they have been involved and during which time period. Because of the market’s cyclicality, I find this helps inform the conversation. There’s no substitute for lived experience. – Andy Edstrom, Swan Bitcoin

A credible background

I look closely at the backgrounds of the people. Although the blockchain can be trusted, it still requires a governing council, a decentralized autonomous organization or a corporation to execute and maintain the systems. It is essential to know who the contributors are and that they have credibility. – Akash Takyar, LeewayHertz

Passion for the space

It’s important to recognize true passion for the crypto space. The amount of daily news and innovation in the market feels like a firehose of information, and it can be easy to be left behind and miss important new updates and projects. If crypto is something that keeps someone excited in their spare time on a weekend, that’s usually a good sign that it will be a positive connection. – Jared Christopherson, OneOf

Relevant media presence

I research the connection’s background, including other mutual connections, relevant media exposure, and social media presence and publications. There are many scammers and fraudsters along with self-proclaimed experts in the space. Doing the right research will help eliminate a lot of the noise. – ​​Bilal Hammoud, NDAX

Consistency and productivity

Two factors that I look at when making a new connection are that person’s background and project history. This is particularly important in our industry because so many people are currently operating solely on hype or without the technical or philosophical understanding required to be a valuable resource. Consistency and productivity are important. – Joe Roets, Dragonchain

Common crypto contacts

When checking out a potential new connection, I definitely look to see who we know in common. I have been in the crypto space since 2017, and I am familiar with many of the early adopters and leaders. If a potential new connection isn’t connected to an original gangster in the space, I can’t trust them. – Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene, PopCom

A farsighted conception of the technology

I want to see what someone’s perception is of the underlying technology and its use cases. Is this person just a speculator or a gambler/trader? Or do they really see the implications of what this technology infrastructure could provide? – Charles Adkins, Admix

This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.

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