The Key To The Crypto Hiring Boom For Massive Adoption

A recent trend in crypto hiring has confirmed an exodus of top talent from TradFi to the digital asset space, which will surely drive mass adoption.

Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer of digital asset investment firm Coinshares, spoke at the start of last year about the likelihood of talent leaving TradFi: “Crypto will drain banks of their best talent.”

Demirors seems to have been right. A survey conducted by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles found that nearly half of respondents entered the crypto industry from investment banking.

Crypto companies have more money to spend thanks to venture capital funding pouring into the industry. The digital asset arena is also expanding and has a much greater depth of opportunity than before thanks to the development of Web3, decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and game-based games. blockchain. Meanwhile, compensation at TradFi institutions has increased dramatically as they now scramble to compete for talent.

Coinbase alone plans to hire 2,000 people in 2022. LinkedIn data showed a 615% increase in job postings containing terms such as “blockchain” or “crypto” last August compared to the last year.

In the context of the great resignation, people have changed their way of thinking about life and work, making the competition between the TradFi (traditional finance) and digital asset sectors even more acute. It also means that compensation is not the only factor.

According to David Duong – who recently left HSBC to lead institutional research at Coinbase – “It’s actually a business hazard if I don’t move into this space.” He rules out compensation as the primary motivator and cites a focus on the relevance of what he’s actually working on as the most important factor.

As monetary and financial systems continue to evolve, we are seeing a shift from TradFi to the digital asset space. Talented financial services professionals want to work on relevant and forward-thinking projects. As Michael Bucella of crypto investment firm BlockTower Capital put it recently, crypto “offers [a] level of excitement that banks cannot. Bucella left Goldman Sachs for BlockTower in 2017.

Crypto market maker GSR is a good example of the Cambrian explosion happening in crypto and manifesting in the multitude of opportunities the company is now offering. GSR is recruiting for 100 vacancies in London, New York, Singapore and Zug. Earlier this year, John MacDonald, former Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer at Citadel Securities in Europe, joined GSR as CTO to drive the company’s technology strategy.

Talent drain is not exclusive to the banking sector. These roles span a myriad of functions, including compliance, finance, legal, risk management, sales, software engineering, DevOps, and enterprise technology and security.

Late last year, GSR’s Michael Bressler gave some insight into the company’s even bigger ambitions, saying, “Our plan is to add 100 hires every six months for the next few years.

The company’s intentions have certainly been buoyed by its progress in 2021. While GSR started the year with a headcount of 60, the current team now numbers over 250.

Like so many who have made the transition, Bressler is a veteran of traditional finance, having worked for JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs before. GSR’s global sales manager revealed what the company values ​​most about new crypto hires: “A passion for crypto.”

Hiring is also not limited to pure crypto startups. Many TradFi and fintech companies are also adding staff for newly created crypto units and projects. After opening a crypto and blockchain business unit in 2021, PayPal followed by hiring 100 crypto experts. Payments company Stripe is diving back into crypto after a previous foray into the sector between 2014 and 2018.

Amid what can only be described as a crypto recruitment frenzy, and with crypto and traditional industry leaders announcing blockchain-based products, it’s only a matter of time before that cryptocurrency adoption becomes a global norm across industries.

This content is sponsored by GSR.

  • Aaron Ahmadi


    Content Marketing Manager

    Aaron Ahmadi is a Colorado-based writer. Prior to joining the Blockworks team, he was an editor at a privacy-focused crypto exchange. He produces the daily Blockworks newsletter written by Byron Gilliam and writes the Blockworks Investor Guides.

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The Key To The Crypto Hiring Boom For Massive Adoption

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