Meet The CTO: Rohit Reflects on Crypto, Blockchain, Web3, and His First Month at Binance
As Binance’s new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Rohit shares all about his first four weeks, why he made the leap to crypto, and the projects that excite him.
“Before the pandemic, my mother didn’t even use credit cards,” says Rohit. “Now, she knows how to shop online, and she’s even asked me about this Bitcoin thing.”
It was an odd moment for Rohit. His mother—someone from an older generation— asking about cryptocurrencies.
While Rohit found the question from his mother surprising, moments like this made him realize: crypto is here, it’s hit the mainstream, and people across generations are talking about it.
Rohit goes on to quote Mayur Kamat, Binance’s current Head of Product: “Would you rather watch from the outside or work on the inside to help shape this growing industry?”
An Accomplished Career in Web2
Before the days of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, Rohit worked on early Microsoft projects like Excel and Sharepoint, which are still used today.
From there, Rohit helped grow Facebook’s Seattle office from around 100 engineers to over 1000 in four years. At Google, he spearheaded a startup team of ten engineers to build a product that enabled people to compare and find the right home mortgages. As Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, his most recent role, he oversaw product and engineering for consumer communications: Skype, Groupme, and Microsoft Teams.
Rohit’s work has always seen him push the boundaries of technological possibility. His long list of accomplishments speaks for itself—going back to the first years of Web1—and now he has his sights on a new challenge.
A Growing Revolution
Today, Rohit finds himself at the crossroads of yet another technological revolution: the world of crypto, blockchain, and Web3.
“Crypto. It's just going to happen. It's just a matter of time. Each revolution has come faster than the one before.”
As he reflects on past technological revolutions, Rohit references the heydays of Blockbuster—a relic of the 2000s. Could you imagine telling someone back then about this thing called Netflix, a service that would let you watch any movie or tv show on your tv, computer, or phone?
And as a lover of innovation and creating solutions, Rohit’s decision to leave his Web2 career and start a new chapter as the Chief Technology Officer at Binance was simple.
Like how Netflix brought movies and tv shows to people globally, he aims to bring the benefits of Web3, cryptocurrency, and blockchain to everyone.
Revisiting Rohit’s First Month at Binance
It’s been a busy four weeks for Rohit. A change of pace from some of Rohit’s previous companies.
At Binance, Rohit hopes to engineer scalable, compliant, and fast Web3 services and solutions that will welcome the next billion crypto users. Beyond Web3, he wants to ensure that Binance continues to be the most secure, fastest, and liquid exchange in the world.
All the while, Rohit will be building out his team into a group of world-class builders who exemplify all of Binance’s values.
Setting the tone
One thing that’s completely surprised Rohit is that “everything is bang on time at Binance.” If someone schedules a meeting for eight o’clock in the morning—the call starts ringing at 8:00:00, and not a minute or second late.
Rohit credits CZ, our founder and CEO, as a big reason behind Binance’s culture of getting things done, or as we like to call it —“Being Hardcore.”
“CZ sets the tone with how he works,” says Rohit. “Not to mention, his high-level knowledge of crypto allows him to make important decisions that would take other people weeks to process.”
Working in a flat organization
Outside of CZ, Rohit has found Binance’s flat organization a refreshing transition.
“People here aren’t territorial. They're saying: I'm here to help the company; I'm here to improve the entire ecosystem.”
Rohit has found that his colleagues also possess a strong sense of ownership. Wherever there’s an issue, someone is always available to step up and resolve the issue.
“Everyone here is just adding value. While we have our areas of ownership within the company, all of us—regardless of role or title—are ready to go and do whatever is needed.”
In the meantime, Rohit wants to operate and observe in the background, like a sponge absorbing information every day. “What can I learn from the giants of Web3? What can I learn from my amazing team members, our users, and even the newcomers to crypto?”
“Web3 and traditional tech companies that started in Web2 (like Amazon and Microsoft) will continue to coexist within their own spheres, or pockets, of innovation.”
Rohit firmly believes that the blockchain and crypto industry will bring tremendous innovation across industries. “It’s how we move money, how someone gets paid, and how we record transactions. These will definitely get dramatically improved and reshaped by our industry,” he says, going into more detail.
On the other hand, “the giants of Web2 aren’t just going to disappear,” he says. “The Amazons and Microsofts will continue to build state-of-the-art solutions, but within their innovation sphere.”
Why Should You Pursue a Career in Crypto
“Should is a dangerous word. Many of you are thinking: I should be part of this revolution. You can go from ‘I should be part of this’ to ‘I can be part of this’ to ‘I will be part of this.’ ”
Binance, and other crypto companies, only look to hire the best talent, many of whom already have great jobs that are making a positive impact.
However, Rohit believes most of these people deep down are already considering a career in crypto. And as he puts it, all they need to do is “trust their gut and take the leap.”