Experts told about the reasons for mass layoffs in the crypto market and promising jobs in the field of cryptocurrencies

​“A specialist is always appreciated.” How to find a job during layoffs at crypto companies



6 min

During the week, several major players in the global crypto business announced staff layoffs. Experts interviewed by GetBlock Magazine told what mass layoffs can be related to and how to deal with those looking for jobs in the field of cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0.

Bybit CEO Ben Zhou announced that the exchange will lay off 30% of its employees. In a message to the exchange’s employees, Zhou wrote that the crypto sphere is “entering into an even colder winter than we had anticipated from both industry and market perspectives.”

Bybit was joined by Australian crypto exchange Swyftx, which announced it was parting ways with 90 employees, or 35% of its entire staff. The exchange’s CEO Alex Harper pointed to the possibility of new events under the “black swan” scenario and said that trading volumes on the market could collapse sharply in the first half of 2023.

A week before the Kraken exchange announced a 30% reduction in staff. It became known that GameStop, a US video game retailer, began laying off blockchain specialists en masse, while Amber Group, one of Asia’s leading crypto platforms, also announced the layoff of 40% of its staff.

Cuts at crypto companies are caused by attempts to reduce operating costs amid a bear market, liquidity problems, and vague prospects for further fundraising from institutional investors, according to ENCRY Foundation co-founder Roman Nekrasov.

Given that many crypto companies hold their own funds in cryptocurrencies, the low rate of bitcoin and other coins means that their reserves in the fiat equivalent have shrunk. “And salaries still have to be paid in fiat, in whole or in part,” Nekrasov explains.

Liquidity problems are caused by the massive outflow of coins to cold wallets. Crypto investors fear a further wave of bankruptcies and withdraw assets to where they will not get stuck, i.e., cold wallets. As for funding issues, many crypto companies are in the growth stage and are attracting investment through rounds. “Because of the FTX crash, investors are no longer running to invest. The trend will continue,” the expert cautions.

Typically, the bulk of the staff at crypto companies is support staff, with the number of support requests usually proportional to the open interest in the market. Obviously, a constantly rising asset that sets new records attracts more attention, senior analyst Nikita Zuborev notes.

“After the beginning of the “crypto winter,” interest of buyers to crypto assets has decreased, although it remains at an acceptable level. Comparing the trends of changes in the number of users’ requests to support our service and directly the number of uses of our functionality we can confirm this thesis,” Zuborev analyzes. Despite the continuing interest of users in cryptocurrencies, the active audience has noticeably decreased year by year, the analyst adds.

The number of operations performed is the main indicator for a business, on which its management is guided in determining the size of the staff. In Zuborev’s opinion, it makes sense that when profits are shrinking, companies try to cut costs, including those of rank-and-file personnel. But this is not something new, a similar picture unfolds approximately every 3–4 years, when the market goes through a prolonged stage of accumulation after the correctional fall, the expert notes.

“It is worth noting, however, that such trends mostly affect large companies that have had bloated staffs. They usually hire in volume to account for market growth,” Zuborev specifies. According to his observations, small companies rather on the contrary continue their expansion, and increase their staff, while large players have moderated their aggression.

How to find a job in Web 3.0

“A good specialist is always appreciated. If not in one project, then in another,” Nekrasov commented, answering the question about how those who look for jobs in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects should act now. In his opinion, it is worth paying attention to the direction of Web 3.0 and the growing markets of Asia. “In principle, there are always vacancies there. But you have to be ready to learn new skills and to move. Different companies require different presences. It is better to be close to the headquarters or some backbone of the project when you start,” the ENCRY Foundation representative adds.

According to his observations, lawyers or AML specialists familiar with the specifics of cryptocurrencies and related tools are always in demand. “Developers in principle are also always in demand, but they do not have to count on a tenfold salary, as in 2017 or 2020. That is, they are in demand, but salaries, according to my feeling, have decreased,” Nekrasov adds.

Now the areas related to professional management, team building, and analytics continue to be relevant, to a lesser extent, highly specialized developers and engineers are in demand, Zuborev believes. “Over the next 1–2 years, we predict an increase in demand for technical blockchain specialists: smart contract programmers, blockchain developers, designers, network architects, and infrastructure maintenance engineers. But also relatively humanitarian areas, like technical support engineers and customer support, will develop as the market recovers,” the analyst commented.

“Finding a job in Web 3.0 depends on your experience, portfolio, and networking. A good specialist will always find a job,” says Stanislav Itkin, CEO of the Telegram channel Crypto HeadHunter, who also attributes mass layoffs to crypto winter and the dwindling money in the market. In his opinion, vacancies related to development and marketing will invariably be relevant, as most Web 3.0 specialists are in one way or another associated with one of these areas. “Of course, certain amendments are made by trends which create more narrowly focused specialties related, for example, to DAOs, multiverses or decentralized social networks,” Itkin comments.

The situation for specialists today is ambiguous, adds Zuborev. On the one hand, the market outlook remains quite positive. Many analysts expect a resumption of growth in crypto asset prices as early as next year, which also means future growth in demand for highly specialized professionals. On the other hand, right now, large companies are not interested in hiring new employees, they are trying to cut costs to survive the crypto winter. Small companies, on the other hand, are not able to digest the full volume of existing specialists and offer the same terms and social packages.

“It turns out that having such a profession is promising, but at the same time, they may not have a job for the next year,” the analyst reasons, while specifying that really serious specialists are retained by companies regardless of the stage of market growth. In his opinion, it is possible to take advantage of the pause to improve their skills to find their “place in the sun” in the future.

“There will definitely be new “bull rallies,” “helicopter money,” easy profits, uncontrollably inflated budgets and a struggle for personnel in the next few years. And it is better to be prepared for this in advance than to improve your skills already in the midst of what is happening,” the expert concludes.

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