As crypto prices soared over the past year, the job market for this emerging industry has turned white hot. The number of postings for crypto and blockchain jobs surged by 118% on employment website Indeed in the last 11 months, jumping from just 599.6 per million job postings in September 2020 (last year’s low) to 1,307.8 per million in mid-July 2021.
According to the company’s latest report analyzing U.S. job postings data, released on August 3rd, this rise tallied with the largest bull market in crypto history that saw bitcoin rise from below $4,000 at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 to a new all-time high above $64,000.
For many companies operating in the vertical, the rally dramatically increased product demand and revenue, spurring aggressive hiring in turn, particularly across operational sectors, such as marketing and management. Indeed flags a job posting as crypto and blockchain-related if its text includes relevant terms such as “cryptocurrency”, “blockchain”, “bitcoin” etc.
Indeed’s findings are corroborated by The Block’s August report on crypto hiring that shows that just 19 cryptocurrency firms brought on nearly 3,500 new employees in the first half of the year.
Comparing crypto and blockchain job postings by various sectors, Indeed found that finance, marketing, human resource, and accounting positions currently make up 16.8% of the openings, nearly double the share a year ago – a sign of the industry’s maturation. While the share of software development-related jobs is still dominating the market, it has fallen by 5.1% to 29.7% over the period.
“While the industry’s labor market trends are still closely tied to leading cryptocurrency price changes, the fact that there’s more hiring for support positions like marketing or human resources underscores its development,” says AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab who developed the report.
While the report did not examine job posters by specific crypto verticals, exchanges were among those seeking to hire the most candidates. The largest of them in the U.S., Coinbase has grown its headcount from around 1,200 employees as of December 2020 to the current 2,100+ and is hiring across various positions globally. The exchange, which went public to much fanfare in April, says it has increased its support staff fivefold since January. Additionally, on August 9, chief executive of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, tweeted that the number of applicants per hire at the company has gone up from 108 in 2019 to 150 in 2021.
The second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. by trading volume, Kraken has increased headcount by 50% during the first half of 2021, with hires from several Wall Street banks, trading houses, legal firms, and financial regulators, according to Jeremy Welch, Kraken’s chief product officer. Kraken currently has more than 200 open positions across marketing, engineering, finance, compliance, client services, and IT.
Finally, billionaire twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s crypto exchange Gemini has hired over 250 people since January and expects to add approximately the same number of employees by year’s end. According to the firm’s spokesperson, in addition to filling other roles, Gemini has been scaling customer support operations, employing staff in the U.S., APAC and Europe.
As suggested by Armstrong’s tweet, job seeker interest in the space has also shot up, showing strong correlation with bitcoin and ether’s price fluctuations. In the seven days ending July 16, 2021, crypto-related searches spiked 300% and blockchain-related searches were up by 137% from the comparable period ending September 1, 2020, Indeed’s research finds.
Finally, these trends reflect the hiring surge in the broader economy as employers are increasingly adding jobs. According to the Labor Department’s August 6 report, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in July, the lowest since the pandemic took hold in the country, with nearly a million jobs added over the past month.
Indeed’s economist Konkel notes, “It’s too early to say whether the crypto and blockchain labor market dynamics are unique, but industry hiring appetite and job seeker interest may react to price fluctuations more swiftly than in other sectors.”