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We make every new employee invest in crypto as part of their onboarding

One of the unique quirks at our company Covalent is how much emphasis we put on onboarding new team mates. We have specific 1-day, 1-week and 30-day milestones for them to meet. From the various companies I've worked at, a clear onboarding checklist was critical to getting a new team mate immersed in the company culture, policies and processes.

As part of our onboarding checklist, we assign a "homework" assignment. This is an assignment they will be able to perform on their own without too much input from us. This assignment is the only exception we make where we ask new team mates to work on something related to the company on their personal time.

We had very specific objectives when coming up with an assignment:

  1. Broadly applicable to all roles regardless of responsibilities – be it engineering, product, design, support, marketing or sales.

  2. No need for specialized tools – the assignment shouldn't require mucking around with new software or hardware.

  3. Ability to ask anyone in the company for help over Slack. Half of our team works remotely, and it's not always possible to meet in-person.

  4. Tangentially related to the products or industry we work in at Covalent. For us, that would be #blockchain, #databases and #data.

After evaluating a bunch of ideas according to our criteria – we had chanced upon the perfect task that met all of our objectives!

Let's make them all crypto "investors" 😄

Regardless of where you stand on the viability or speculative nature of cryptocurrency, there's no doubt cryptocurrencies are an amazing phenomenon. We put together a task list that teaches every team mate to invest in cryptocurrencies. The amounts are small – $10, which we ofcourse 100% refund.

After sending a couple of our colleagues through the task list, the benefits far exceeded our initial expectations. So much so that we've decided to open source our checklist and share it broadly with the community.

The benefits are:

  1. The culture around crypto is a bit insular. We want more people to have an opportunity to be exposed to the possiblities that this technology can bring forth.
  2. Crypto has high barriers to entry. A lot of the content out there assumes a base-level of technical knowledge. A concise, jargon-free guide is much needed.
  3. Crypto has poor UX – the experience is daunting. Being able to plough through bad UX gives you an appreciation for the (lack of) maturity of the technology. I remember back in the day you had to restart your computer when you installed a new browser plugin – this isn't quite as bad UX!
  4. A sense of accomplishment! It feels really good to work through something you've never had exposure to and to end the week on a high note.

Covalent's crypto-investing round-trip task list

Without further ado, here's Covalent's crypto-investing checklist:


To understand the various types of transactions that are required when people use a cryptocurrency.


  1. Register with a crypto-exchange website supporting CAD↔ETH trades
  2. Fund your exchange account with CAD $10
  3. Convert the sum of CAD in your exchange account into ETH
  4. Download an Ethereum Desktop wallet client (preferably a thin client, e.g.; non-thin clients will require you to download a copy of the Ethereum blockchain [300GB!] onto your machine)
  5. In the wallet software, create one Ethereum wallet (let's call this walletA), and find the address associated with this wallet (let's call this addressWA)
  6. On the exchange site, transfer your ETH to addressWA
  7. In the wallet software, create another Ethereum wallet (walletB), and find the address associated with this wallet (= addressWB)
  8. In the wallet software, open walletA and wait to see the sum of ETH you transferred from the exchange appear in it
  9. Send the sum of ETH available in walletA to addressWB
  10. On the crypto-exchange site, follow their process for funding an account with ETH—this should result in them giving you an Ethereum address to send to, let's call it addressExch
  11. In the wallet software, open walletB and wait to see the sum of ETH you transferred from walletA appear in it
  12. Send the sum of ETH available in walletB to addressExch
  13. On the crypto-exchange site, wait to see the sum of ETH you transferred from walletB appear
  14. Convert the sum of ETH in your exchange account into CAD
  15. Withdraw the ETH from the exchange to your bank account
  16. Track the above transactions on by clicking on ‘View on blockchain’ in your Exodus wallet
  17. Send your manager your wallet addresses walletA and walletB

What we've learnt

The big takeaway – providing a supporting and welcoming channel to ask questions or vent your frustrations can be a big deal! When people know there's a safety net, they somehow find the motivation to power through any challenge.

We discovered some difficulties that were unforeseen:

  • Not always possible to deposit $10 through your credit card. A lot of banks block transactions to Coinbase and other crypto exchanges and there's no obvious alternate way to make a deposit.

  • Not always possible to withdraw from an exchange. I'm not exactly clear why, but for some reason, a lot of exchanges block the withdrawl of your funds.


Some of our unsuspecting friends and colleagues who were put through this checklist, say:

Bought some Ethereum! The crypto on-boarding guide has been helpful! I'm still waiting for it to appreciate back up to convert it to CAD again... I mean, it's only 10 CAD, but... you know.

– Flo

I learned that I don't like cryptocurrencies. 😂

– Nour

The Crypto exchange instructions are actually amazing. Gracias!

– Kara

Wrapping up

I hope you find our checklist useful and have a lot of fun learning about cryptocurrencies. Any shares on social media or via email to your colleagues and friends will be much appreciated!

Disclaimer: this blog post is purely for informational purposes and should not be construed as Covalent recommending investment in cryptocurrency assets or as a solicitation to buy or sell any cryptocurrency or engage in a particular investment strategy or business decision. Investment in cryptocurrency entails substantial risk.