The prolonged crypto winter continues to pose challenges to the entire industry and affects both young startups and the largest market players who stood at its origins. Giants like the Binance exchange regularly announce about the reduction of not only ordinary employees, but also top managers. According to some reports, in just the last year there have been about 10% industry workers.
In the new material of the “Who to become” section, ForkLog studied current statistics and talked with representatives of recruitment agencies involved in searching for employees for Web3-companies, and found out whether everything on the labor market is really as bad as it might seem.
Who are they looking for?
According to the latest Coincub study, there are 90,487 blockchain specialists officially employed worldwide. The leaders in this area are traditionally countries whose governments are open to the adoption of new technologies: Singapore, Switzerland, Germany.
However, employers remain interested in hiring blockchain engineers in countries with unfavorable regulations for the crypto industry, including Russia and China. The latter, however, is explained in the study by the introduction of “not very popular CBDCs among the population.”
As analysts note, “from 2022 to 2023, the number of blockchain jobs fell by about 40% in most regions of the world. The exceptions are Asia, which lost 20% of its employees, and Australia, which saw a slight increase.” At the same time, in traditional fintech the layoff rate is even higher—about 50% of employees were left without work during the specified period.
According to other data, the crypto industry currently employs about 190,000 specialists, more than half of whom work for Western companies. K33 Research analysts provide the following employment statistics in various areas of Web3:
- exchanges and brokerage services – 62,400 jobs;
- crypto finance – 48,500;
- blockchain development, analytics and mining – 39,800;
- NFT and GameFi – 12,000;
- other – 24,800.
“Now employers are looking primarily for blockchain engineers and protocol programmers, zk-researchers, and people with experience in HFT. Priority is given to those who work in Rust, C++, Go and Solidity,” shares daoHunt IT recruiter Valeria.
According to her, the main employers in the market are currently small startups with teams of 15 to 40 people.
Is it easy to log in from traditional IT?
Katya, head of the recruiting department at HR me, who specializes in recruiting personnel in the digital field, notes that specialists from the fintech industry who want to try themselves in the crypto industry need to be prepared for the specifics of working in small teams.
“In my opinion, this is a special lifestyle. If a person has worked in corporations for many years, he is unlikely to be comfortable in a startup. Firstly, this is a different status of the team, different work processes, everything is different,” warns a representative of the recruiting company.
In turn, Valeria points out three key differences between the Web3 industry and “classical” fintech. First of all, these are the special requirements that companies impose on applicants.
“We are often contacted with requests for highly specialized specialists. Employers want to see candidates with existing experience in the cryptosphere,” says the recruiter.
The second difference is the employment format. In her experience, “Web3 has less bureaucracy compared to classic IT.” Finally, the third difference is the wage format. At Web3 startups, you will almost certainly receive your salary in cryptocurrencies, primarily in stablecoins.
What about the money?
“In 2022, wages jumped in different directions: in some places they fell very much, and in others they rose very much,” says Valeria. “Seniors have begun to live even better, because they stick to them, and the middles and juniors are sadder.” In recent months, salaries have stabilized, but this still remains an individual issue, depending on many factors: the level of the company, its status, popularity.”
These words are confirmed by data from Web3 Jobs analysts. The project team notes sudden changes in labor costs on the market. Thus, salaries for blockchain developers reached their peak in January 2023. At that time, the average annual salary of sector employees was ~$400,000. However, already in February this figure dropped sharply to ~$185,000 and as of September 2023 is ~$167,000.
Experts interviewed by ForkLog report the following current monthly salaries for employees in the Web3 industry:
- developers (seniors) – $6000–9000;
- devops – $3000–6000;
- QA – also about $6000;
- marketing director – up to $7,000;
- product managers – from $2000;
- head of SMM department – $1500–2000;
- copywriters – $500.
According to Web3 Jobs, the highest salaries are offered by companies registered in Uruguay, where developers earn an average of ~$135,000 per year. Next come Croatia (~$110,000) and Switzerland (~$102,000). The top ten also includes Finland, Kuwait, Georgia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Portugal (everywhere – ~$100,000).
Armenia is in 21st place (~$90,000), Belarus is in 26th place (~$82,000), Latvia is in 27th place (~$80,000), Estonia is in 41st place (~$70,000), Azerbaijan is in 49th place (~$60,000) , at 52 – Ukraine (~$60,000), at 58 – Lithuania (~$50,000), at 71 – Kazakhstan (~$40,000).
Indonesia closes the ranking, where blockchain developers earn an average of ~$15,000 per year.
Are they waiting for the Junes?
“When the FTX exchange collapsed, all my customers had their budgets sharply reduced for finding new employees in the field of marketing and copywriting – it became too expensive for them,” shares Katya. — People are still needed, but employers are not ready to spend money on highly qualified specialists. This is affecting the entire industry: I have received more orders to find employees working in betting and gambling. The applicant is expected to have an interest in the market and understand at least basic terminology.”
Her colleague from daoHunt believes that newcomers from the IT field are also “much easier now than in 2022.” According to her, Web3 now tends to attract job seekers who are tired of working in a corporate environment.
She adds that while Web3 is associated primarily with flexibility and innovation, the age of the applicant usually does not matter.
“People come of all ages. You can be ossified at 25, and be trendy at 60. Of course, a C++ programmer who learned about crypto the day before yesterday from his grandson will be looked at cautiously, wondering how comfortable he will be working in a startup,” says Valeria.
Among other advantages of moving to the Web3 sphere, experts point out the ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world, as well as a large number of specialized conferences and other platforms for sharing experience. Our interlocutors also believe that, despite the protracted crypto winter, the digital currency market remains a promising area.
“If it doesn’t work out or you don’t like the atmosphere and want a corporate feel, you can always switch to fintech. All the crypto guys I talk to are modern (and very digital) people. This is where specialists of this type should go,” sums up Katya.
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