2020 has been a tremendous year for crypto, with prominent companies and investors jumping into the industry. PayPal is arguably one of the most important forces by making crypto available to millions of Americans. What’s it like to power such an exciting product? Paxos Engineering Manager Shai Borochov is here to share his experience.
How did you learn about Paxos?
I joined in 2018. I had started to get interested in blockchain and knew about Paxos from reading a lot about blockchain around the time people were exploring using it as a distributed ledger for various applications and, of course, the Bitcoin boom of 2016-2017 piqued my interest. I remember being really impressed with the engineering blog.
Why did you join Paxos?
I joined Paxos because I really liked the mission and what Paxos was building: a regulated, disruptive approach to creating efficiency in key financial workflows by writing them to a distributed ledger, i.e. blockchain. I was extremely impressed by the team that interviewed me: engineering, product and our CEO & Co-Founder Charles Cascarilla. Prior to joining Paxos, I had worked either in finance or in startup environments, but Paxos seemed to combine the two, along with cutting-edge technology and extreme attention to quality. I originally worked on the securities settlement platform but my role evolved as we grew.
What was your work experience before Paxos?
I had about 15 years of engineering experience shifting from telecommunications to financial systems at Goldman Sachs to data analytics at Palantir. Over the years, I’ve contributed to a variety of products (mostly B2B) – from pre-packaged executables that get deployed every 6 months to systems that get deployed continuously. This allowed me to practice methodologies that ranged from waterfall to scrum. Over time, I realized I prefer agile, fast-paced environments with a B2B focus that present opportunities to make a significant impact.
What are your responsibilities at Paxos?
I’m an Engineering Manager on the Custody team and I mostly manage the crypto exchange (aka itBit), which was the first regulated crypto exchange in the US. There has been a lot of development on the exchange since I joined. Getting it to a scaled state where it can support large Crypto Brokerage customers like PayPal and Revolut has been an exciting and rewarding journey. Paxos fosters a highly collaborative environment so we often work across teams to realize a product vision, like our work with PAXG, HUSD or BUSD.
What do you like about working at Paxos?
Paxos is a product- and technology-driven company, which means we always debate the best practices and have thorough design reviews, working constantly to improve our software delivery and quality. As a regulated entity, Paxos emphasizes security and protection of our customer’s assets at every turn. Every engineer at Paxos makes an impact on the world. In addition, working on the exchange means I have high engagement with business development and customers, which is exciting!
What has been your favorite experience at Paxos?
We’ve launched many products, from stablecoins to crypto brokerage, but due to recency bias my favorite moment is when PayPal users started buying crypto thanks to our platform! Launching that partnership was truly a cross-team, cross-functional effort. I enjoyed collaborating and discovering the immense resourcefulness and talent that resides in the engineering team. And that’s all in addition to the other teams I work with, like product, marketing and business teams. I still get friends telling me they’re now buying bitcoin on PayPal for the first time, and that’s probably the most impact I’ve ever made in my career.
If you’re an aspiring engineer who wants to make an impact on the financial system, we’re hiring! To understand more about Paxos culture, you can read about other team members via our spotlight series – from Compliance Officer Ed Luo to Deputy General Counsel Emily Meyers.