Considering working in the Bitcoin and crypto space? Be aware of these trends


A career in the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto industry may hold promise and profitability, but, as with almost every sector, its success is contingent upon business cycles – expansions and downturns – characteristics for which this industry is notorious. The preceding bear market witnessed a significant number of layoffs, and although hiring is reportedly on the rise, it has yet to reach previous peaks.

Let's delve into a more detailed exploration of the current state of this market: who is hiring, what positions are available, and how much these employers are willing to pay.

Data from the professional networking website LinkedIn reveals a 57% decrease in crypto job postings in December compared to a year ago. However, the year-over-year decline is already smaller than that of November (71%).

Currently, there are 1775 “crypto” job postings on LinkedIn. Industry insiders are also asserting that hiring has increased in recent months. Nevertheless, hiring plans might be subject to adjustments once again if the rally in BTC and other crypto asset prices experiences a prolonged pause or evolves into a deeper downturn. As of the time of writing, BTC is down approximately 20% from its recent highs.

The funding problem

In either case, as mentioned in a recent podcast, Scott Fletcher, co-founder of Intersection Growth Partners, a US-based executive search firm specializing in crypto and fintech, pointed out that hiring for infrastructure-related jobs has nearly tripled, while CEO hires have more than doubled as a percentage of all hires.

Fletcher observed that after the overheated hiring during the bull market and substantial layoffs in the bear market, hiring has now surged in tandem with the rising prices of crypto assets. Last year, BTC experienced a significant increase of around 160%.

The headhunter added that he's uncertain whether hiring will reach the levels seen during the previous bull market. According to him, venture capital investments, though on the rise at the end of last year, are still relatively slow, and there's a mismatch between founders' and investors' beliefs in how their businesses should be valued. Moreover, the majority of these startups are still unprofitable, which puts a strain on their hiring plans.

crypto fundraising

Where to look for a job?

There are multiple websites where one can search for jobs in the blockchain and crypto asset space. Some of these platforms are general-purpose, covering all sectors, such as Indeed.com and the previously mentioned LinkedIn, while others specialize specifically in the blockchain and cryptoasset industry, such as cryptocurrencyjobs.co, web3.career, crypto.jobs, and more. Additionally, certain platforms exclusively offer Bitcoin-related jobs, such as bitcointalent.co and bitcoinerjobs.com. It's also essential to check the websites of companies you're interested in working for, as they typically post their job listings there, too.

For instance, the major crypto exchange Coinbase, which laid off almost a thousand employees, or 20% of its workforce a year ago, now has nearly 70 openings, with legal & compliance, marketing & communications, and engineering positions dominating.

Another exchange, Kraken, which reduced its global workforce by approximately 1,100 people, or 30%, at the end of 2022, currently has almost 50 openings, primarily in client support.

Meanwhile, Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, notorious for the $4 billion fine it agreed to pay last year, terminated over a thousand employees in the first half of 2023 and is currently recruiting over 300 new team members in business development, customer support, research, and other departments.

However, beyond exchanges, there are numerous other companies and organizations in the BTC, crypto, and blockchain space seeking to expand their teams. These include wallet, blockchain developers, DeFi (decentralized finance) platforms, mining companies, research and security specialists, NFT (non-fungible token), gaming, and various other teams.

In terms of salaries, according to data from web3.career, the average annual salary for a Web3 developer ranges from 130,000 $ to 200,000 $. Meanwhile, the average annual salary for non-tech positions in the Web3 sector is reported to be between 128,000 $ and 167,000 $.

web3 salaries 1
Source: web3.career
web3 salaries 2
Source: web3.career

Meanwhile, both tech and non-tech salaries have experienced a decline over the past year.

web3 salaries 3
Source: web3.career
web3 salaries 4
Source: web3.career

A recent survey conducted by two venture capital firms, Variant and USV, covering 32 crypto companies, has provided additional insights into trends within the crypto industry. Some notable findings include:

"Employees in the US earn 28% more than those outside of the US, and for engineers, that gap is 33%."

"Fewer than 40% of employees polled have received equity, while roughly 50% have received tokens. But in 2023, those numbers flipped: new hires were three times more likely to receive equity than tokens."

Variant's conclusion suggests that startups are seemingly "experimenting with new incentive mechanisms that may be less reliant on tokens than in previous crypto market cycles.

How to start?

Meanwhile, here’s some advice from Scott Fletcher for those looking to start working in the BTC, crypto, and/or blockchain space: Before applying, delve deeply into this sector and honestly assess why a particular position interests you. According to Fletcher, during bull markets, there are "a lot of tourists who are looking for what's hot at the moment," indicating that the quality of these potential candidates is low, and headhunters need to "weed those folks out."

Also, if you're concerned about the volatility in this sector, it's essential to remember that other industries can also experience significant workforce reductions. A recent example is eBay, which plans to cut around a thousand of its employees, constituting 9% of its full-time team members. Similarly, SAP's restructuring will impact 7% of its workforce, totaling around 108,000 people. However, the company anticipates that the headcount should remain the same by the end of this year.

Therefore, let’s conclude with a key piece of advice from a prominent NFT investor, who goes by the name 6529 in reference to the CryptoPunk #6529 NFT he owns. He recently shared insights in a lengthy thread on X (formerly Twitter) for those seeking employment in the blockchain-powered sector, and the main suggestion is this:

web3 reaasons

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