Crypto job market holding up despite tech industry cutbacks

The crypto job market shows few signs of slowing down despite high-profile cases of staff layoffs and hiring freezes across big tech companies. 

In recent weeks, several major tech companies have announced a paring back of staff, citing a downturn in the traditional market and narrowing demand for products that had boomed during the pandemic. Recently announced hiring cuts include Twitter, Uber, Amazon and Robinhood.

On Tuesday, movie streaming service Netflix terminated the roles of 150 mostly United States-based employees amid a slowdown in revenue growth. Earlier this month, Facebook parent company Meta instituted a hiring freeze for most of its mid- and senior-level positions after failing to meet revenue targets.

A Netflix employee post on LinkedIn

The crypto industry has not been totally immune. On Tuesday, Coinbase announced it was slowing down its hiring, after posting a $430 million loss in Q1. Coinbase chief operating officer Emelie Choi told employees in an internal memo that plans to triple the headcount in 2022 were on hold due to market conditions that require the company to start “slow hiring and reassess our headcount needs against our highest-priority business goals.” 

So, are we at the beginning of a major slow down in crypto industry hiring? Crypto recruiters Cointelegraph spoke to don’t think so.

“We have not seen a slowdown in crypto hiring. We are as busy as ever,” said Neil Dundon, founder of Crypto Recruit.

Dundon’s firm specializes in recruiting exclusively within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space:

“We have a team based globally across the US, Asia/Pac and European regions and demand is equally as high across the region.”

Kevin Gibson, founder of Proof of Search, told Cointelegraph that lay-offs in the tech sector have had little to no impact on his crypto industry clients so far. 

“I’ve only heard of two companies letting people go,” said Gibson. “This may change in the next month, but any slack will immediately be taken up by well-funded quality projects. As a candidate, you won’t notice any difference. if you do lose your job, you will also have multiple offers pretty quickly.”

VC funding runways

Gibson said that most crypto projects are still in the startup and early stages of their life cycle, and are still operating off venture capital (VC) funding secured last year:

“The vast majority of quality projects were funded last year, so they will continue to build and hire. There was such an imbalance of talent to role that any pull back from pre-funded projects will not be noticed.”

CB Insights’ “State of Blockchain Q1 22” report stated that blockchain and crypto start-ups saw a record-breaking funding quarter, with venture funding reaching an all-time high in the three-month period, raising $9.2 billion and beating the preceding quarter of $8.8 billion in Q4 2021. It was the seventh-consecutive quarter of record blockchain funding.

Dundon said he has seen more traditional tech companies and employees venturing into the crypto space, further enriching the crypto job market:

“At a minimum, most forward thinking tech companies are allocating some budget to look at how they might incorporate blockchain into their existing models. Not only are more companies venturing into this space but candidates are flocking over as traditional tech downsizes.”

A study from LinkedIn released in January this year found that crypto-related job postings surged 395 percent in the U.S. from 2020 to 2021, compared to only a 98 percent increase in the tech industry in the same period. The most common job titles demanded included blockchain developers and engineers.

According to Glassdoor, the average annual blockchain developer salary is $109,766. The average annual blockchain engineer salary sits slightly lower at $105,180.

Related: Analysts note parallels with March 2020: Will this time be different?

When asked whether the current crypto bear market may translate to more crypto company lay-offs, Dundon said that he doesn’t expect a similar situation to play out as it did in 2018.

“Crypto hiring in the past has tended to slow right down when the Bitcoin price tumbles. It was almost directly correlated to its price,” explained Dundon:

“This time, it’s different, though, as crypto companies now manage their treasuries in a much more responsible manner. This all translates to a much more stable hiring market.”

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