Given all the layoffs and chaos in the cryptocurrency industry, is it still worth pursuing a job in technologies such as the blockchain and crypto?
Crypto.com announced it was slicing 20 percent of its workforce, days after Coinbase revealed the layoffs of hundreds of employees. The cryptocurrency industry is wrestling with the fallout from the collapse of prominent crypto exchange FTX, which is currently the focus of a massive fraud investigation.
“We grew ambitiously at the start of 2022, building on our incredible momentum and aligning with the trajectory of the broader industry. That trajectory changed rapidly with a confluence of negative economic developments,” Kris Marszalek, co-founder and chief executive of Crypto.com, wrote in a corporate blog posting.
“The reductions we made last July positioned us to weather the macro economic downturn, but it did not account for the recent collapse of FTX, which significantly damaged trust in the industry,” Marszalek added. “It’s for this reason, as we continue to focus on prudent financial management, we made the difficult but necessary decision to make additional reductions in order to position the company for long-term success.”
For a long time, the cryptocurrency industry was a reliable source of jobs for technologists with the right mix of skills and experience. According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources its compensation data, Coinbase was one of the highest-paying companies for software engineering managers, product designers, and software engineers with considerable experience. Crypto-related startups sprung up like mushrooms, powered by bountiful VC spending.
Will those jobs rebound? Lightcast, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, suggests that the number of jobs asking for blockchain skills will increase by 24.6 percent over the next two years. The median salary for blockchain-related jobs is $99,593; top industries with blockchain-related positions include finance and insurance, retail, and manufacturing. Of course, blockchain is more than just crypto; for example, many companies are experimenting with using blockchain for “smart contracts” and other verification workflows.
Those who’ve worked in crypto for a long time know the industry goes through spectacular cycles of bust and boom. Right now, it seems the industry is enduring a particularly nasty downswing; but given the enduring interest in crypto (and the level of existing investment), it might be foolish to declare it doomed in the long term. Those who know their way around the blockchain and popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could still find opportunities to use those skills, particularly in finance.