Cryptocurrency Companies Are Waging A War For Talent In A Hot Job Market

Cryptocurrency Companies Are Waging A War For Talent In A Hot Job Market

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies captured our rapt attention with their amazing gains, creating newly minted millionaires and billionaires. There’s also talk about the volatility associated with buying digital assets and the recent sell-off in Bitcoin, along with other coins. What’s left out of the conversation is the dire need for top talent to work at these fast-growing companies.

The U.S. economy and job market have roared back to life. Businesses—ranging from small mom-and-pop restaurants to investment banks—are engaged in a heated war for talent. Companies complain that they can’t keep up with customer demands and find enough suitable workers to satiate their needs.

The lack of experienced talent is particularly problematic within the turbo-charged crypto community. The exchanges need highly specialized professionals, such as software engineers, compliance, legal, risk management, marketing, sales and recruiting personnel to manage, scale their businesses and deal with the anticipatory tighter regulations and government oversight.

According to Bloomberg, crypto firms are finding it tough to find the appropriately skilled candidates for thousands of open roles across the world. This sector faces a number of challenges recruiting people. Since it's still an emerging area, there aren’t large numbers of job seekers with five or 10 years of relevant experience for the specific nature of most of the job openings.

Some people are enamored with the space, but there is an equal—or larger—number of potential candidates that shy away from the crypto field. They are afraid of the unknown, concerned about career safety and would rather pursue more traditional roles.

With cryptos going mainstream, there is now intense competition from major banks, investment banks, hedge funds, FinTechs and all sorts of other financial institutions. Apple, Facebook, Square, Tesla, MicroStrategy and other tech companies are looking to get in—or already are in—on the action. Even the country of El Salvador got in on the game, making Bitcoin legal tender. A large number of job openings seek software developers and engineers, and these folks are in high demand everywhere.

Frederick "Fred" Ernest Ehrsam III is an American business executive and investor who is the cofounder and managing partner of cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm. He is also the cofounder of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ehrsam contends that the crypto industry has the potential to create as many or more jobs than the internet.

A quick search on both Indeed and LinkedIn’s job boards shows thousands of listings for roles related to “bitcoin,” “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain.” Writer Sarah Butcher, in a piece for eFinancial, shares some crypto companies that are aggressively hiring.

Coinbase, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange that recently went public, has been hiring from investment banks, like HSBC, Barclays and JPMorgan. At the end of last year, Coinbase employed 1,249 people globally. It plans to keep hiring “meaningfully" and currently has around 183 jobs open globally, including 26 for recruiters.

Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Founded by Changpeng Zhao, a former head of Tradebook futures development at Bloomberg, Binance is currently advertising over 350 jobs globally. The job listings include software developers, data scientists, compliance, legal, marketing sales and human resources professionals around the world.

"We are hiring aggressively," Zhao, Binance CEO, told Bloomberg. He said, "We see the industry growing exponentially on a year-to-year basis, and we need to scale our team to cope with it," Zhao added, "We are a geo-equal-opportunity employer. We don't mind where people are, as long as they produce results."

Blockchain.com runs a crypto exchange and says it's "rebuilding finance from the bottom up" and is the "easiest and most powerful crypto wallet." The company has about 40 open headcounts, which could be based remotely. The jobs include low-latency developers, commonly found at high-frequency trading firms, data scientists, data analysts, quant developers, traders and even someone to work in M&A.

BlockFi is a crypto-management platform that offers cryptocurrency trading, pays interest on cryptocurrencies and offers loans with crypto as collateral. It's currently hiring 100 people internationally, including both in-office and remote options.

Grayscale Investments, a crypto asset manager based in Stamford, Connecticut, seeks 15 people. The listings include positions for engineers and ETF professionals.

Anchorage Digital, the first federally chartered digital asset bank, has about 50 job openings globally, seeking traders, engineers and risk and compliance professionals.

Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has plans to increase hiring in Singapore. Crypto.com, based in Hong Kong, has over 200 openings—with more than half of them based in Asia.

To fight the war for talent, crypto firms are upping the compensation, promoting remote-work options across the globe and offering other incentives to entice people to join their companies.

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